October 7, 2021

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by: admin

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Tags: burnout, Household, Life, Mom, Reset, Working

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Categories: Parenting

The way to Reset Your Family (and Your Life) Following Working Mother Burnout

There are always decisions that help us connect career and motherhood into a unified universe and give us a sense of control. I remember my introduction to that time as confusing and lonely. Every day I tried to get around the fear of abandoning someone while my brain was filled with responsibility. It was like the universe was pulling my strings and pushing me into a corner where there was no longer any choice. I couldn’t see it in the midst of the emotional reactivity my life had become.

Experience has taught me that the elimination of choice is mind-boggling. My perception of having no other choice led to a feeling of helplessness – what I’ve now learned is a predisposing factor to burnout. In reality there was a choice, but my fear of change and the disappointment of others blinded me to their presence. Until I decided to accept my reality, face my fear, and explore change, I would continue to feel trapped.

That was the brave decision I had to make to break free. I remember precisely the moment when I realized that the life I had created was robbing me of my freedom of choice. I knew immediately that my career had to end in its current form.

It was a Friday afternoon and I could hear Lewis singing happily in his bedroom. My cell phone rang and with it a hot, prickly wave of fear rose through my body. When I answered my body collapsed on the bedroom floor. I’d spent 13 years as a medical device sales specialist wishing my cell phone would ring for surgeon customers. Now, unexpectedly, I prayed for his silence, resented his presence, and feared his demands. It had become a tool that was there for everyone but me.

Little did the caller know I was holding back tears as I wrote down the details for the three surgery bookings that would now fill my Saturday. A day that should have been filled with lazy sleep, sports games, and impromptu fun by my 10-year-olds would now be filled with nine hours in a cold operating room. Lewis in the hands of a sitter for the day.

It was like putting a cheese grater in my heart. The only person I wanted to do something for that Saturday was my son. Selling and money no longer mattered; My family’s life didn’t work, and it wouldn’t work until something changed.

For years, work was my one and only. Then pregnancy rolled in like a racing bowling ball, knocking over the perfectly placed pins of my professional world. Beat!

My immediate reaction was to arm myself. My mind burned as I pondered how to stay present during my absence during motherhood. As for my ego, it was a hot mess – it was based on a diet of professional success, high income, and accolades. And again, I relied on it to protect myself from having no idea who I was without my professional success or my job title.

My job became my identity. My performance, how I measured my self-worth. I clung on, desperately trying to hold on to a life that had suddenly become a clunky command-line course of emotional survival as I reluctantly jumped between two competing worlds.

I didn’t know that acceptance was my antidote. However, instead of giving myself this gesture of compassion for myself, I chose to resist change and maintain my professional identity with such ferocity that I robbed myself of many of the joys of early motherhood. I had meetings in the maternity ward days after my son was born and returned to work when he was seven weeks old. For 10 years I was physically present and mentally absent in my own home with my family walking on tiptoe around me. I was constantly preoccupied with my hunger for professional success, driven by my fear of who I would be or better not be without him.

It turned out, observed Lewis.

It hurt to see his words describing me before and after I quit my job. But not as much as in the next few years if nothing was said at all. It amazes me that while I have always approached work on purpose, I have never managed my personal life in the same way. As a woman, partner or mother. That is, until my burnout experience.

I look back now and realize how naive I was; I lived a defensive life, one of reaction and avoidance, dominated by ego and heartless. For me as a single working mother, that is burnout: heartlessness. For the love of your job. For your life. And most of all for yourself. And my recovery and reset took time.

My psychologist held my hand for three months while I paused a life that wasn’t working, sat in my uncomfortable mess, and let my wounds heal. She guided me as I learned the power of personal values ​​and the importance of self-connection. I mourned the familiarity I had left behind and it cheered me on as I demystified this person I never really understood and welcomed a beautiful soul I never knew existed.

Today life is a completely different structure, determined by personal values ​​that I regularly review and vehemently defend. This was my greatest life lesson from those chaotic years: How could I rule my life if I didn’t understand what I stood for?

When I rebuilt, I repositioned myself as a mother using a combination of Lewis’ words and my own. He needed to know that his opinion mattered. Together we agreed on what was and what was wrong at home and committed to a life that connected our spirits and understood our souls – we would no longer be two isolated beings living under one roof. From now on we were one. To go in the same direction, guided by these words, which are now our guiding light:

We make budget decisions together
And hold each other accountable.
We are curious instead of defensive
And we respect each other’s boundaries.
When someone has something to say, we stop and listen
And we look up from our screens when we speak.
We can say how we feel
But it has to be behavior
We don’t do it personally.
Life is about doing our best, not being the best
And we choose our words carefully.
Always.

After all, we use a lot of humor to keep laughing and mom isn’t anyone’s maid.

I now realize that if my life existed in a divided state, I could never live with integrity. I was not made to be split in two, work and motherhood, and neither was my family. I live with integrity when my world is interconnected and all my versions are integrated and exist as a whole. When my heart and head are talking and at least moving in the same direction, even if they are not quite dancing yet.

Lewis is now 15 and I will have to find out he’s just a boy for a few more years and then I hope he embarks on his own worldly adventure. A few wise words from his mom will always be close to his heart: “Your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself, darling. You always have all your answers. “

Peta Sitcheff is a speaker, coach and lawyer for professional and life practices that minimize burnout. She is also the author of My Beautiful Mess, which tells the story of how to live and rediscover yourself through burnout. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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