So I kind of went on a bit of an unexpected Blogcation, we were having a lovely Staycation (because of work commitments while on leave – don’t go there) but I decided to go on a last minute vacation. Let me back track a little.
Ive said before that my CFS is at an all-time low, even the Vitamin B and the multivitamins just aren’t making a difference at all, which doesn’t help matters when it comes to partying the night away and forgetting a really horrible and trying year. I was in bed at 21h30 on New Year’s Eve – this old age thing really sucks. But it was well I was getting ready to sleep the year away that I came across an interesting article about Single Parent Burnout and it was a light bulb moment.
This article was describing me to a T. Im Ladybug’s everything from sun-up to when she goes to bed. If Im not being Mom, I am at work and if I am not at work I am being Mom. The were a few times where I have managed to have another pair of eyes on her, but this has become a problem to them. It is me all the time, it’s me 24/7 365. Some of the symptoms of Single Parent Burnout are:
- Fatigue – which I know is not just burnout and that there are other factors to consider
- Feeling depressed or anxious and withdrawing – Ive become a hermit in our house and Im quiet happy with that.
- Feeling irritable and tearful – again its not just the burnout, but I have been extremely tearful. Ive cried almost every day for the last 6 weeks.
- Inability to concentrate – I have had every intention to do some projects during this staycation, but I just haven’t got round to doing half of what I wanted to
- Lack of desire for sex – never in my life have I been happier to be single because this is one thing that I can cross off the “have-to-worry-about” list. I have zero desire, forget lack of desire. Desire packed its bags and headed for the hills.
- Disrupted sleep – my insomnia is at an all-time high, sometimes I am coping on 4 hours sleep for 2 days, which adds to the fatigue, which sets the cycle going all over again.
The list goes on and on, but the more I was reading about Single Parent Burnout the more I was checking off the things on the list. The signs to watch out for, I have every one of them. So what was I going to do? I kept searching for the answers and came across some interesting tips. One of the things the article I was reading said was to make use of the electronic mom to give yourself a break. Now I hate Ladybug watching TV, she watches TV at her Grandparents and some You Tube videos that I have saved, but that’s it. When we are at home she doesn’t watch TV. New Years Day, Ladybug spent the whole year watching TV… it was bliss, for both her and I. I was able to do things that had been outstanding and I was able to recharge, she was able to veg the whole day and she loved it.
Some of the other “fill your tank” tips I found were:
- Work Out: Exercise or participate in some physical activity daily – this is one area I have been lacking in like you cant believe so I will be getting back to the gym this week. Focusing on me and getting back into the swing of things.
- Ask for Help: To avoid burnout and stress, you can enlist the help of other family members, friends. There is no need to feel guilty for reaching out. – this is something I need to learn to do, I have been doing it all on my own for so long that asking for help is a foreign concept. I don’t really have a support structure I can turn to for help, sure the Grandparentals watch Ladybug when I have to work, but that’s the deal, it’s only when its work or something important.
- Take a Break: Take single day, a weekend, or even a week’s vacation. And when you’re away, stay away. Talk about different things, read that book you haven’t been able to get to, see a movie. Only a real break will renew and refresh you. – I like to plan, I plan in advance so when I booked our tickets to Durban on the Sunday night to fly Tuesday morning, it was a spur of the moment but it was needed. I needed to switch off, I needed to stop working for a few days, I needed to escape for my sanity and Ladybugs too.
- Eat Well: Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins, include also nuts, beans and whole grains. Indulging in caffeine, fast food and sugar as a quick “pick-me-ups” also produce quick “let-downs.” – we now out of holiday mode and we are returning to normal, part of normal is the healthy eating.
- Take Care of Yourself: Just like you make sure your children get to the doctor regularly, make sure you get your annual check-up. Being a single mom provides many excuses for skipping your necessary check-ups, but you cannot and should not compromise your health. – I think its a natural thing for parents be it single or not to put yourself and your health second, or third or fourth.
- Indulge: Treat yourself to a foot massage, manicure, nice dinner out or a concert to take yourself away from your situation and to reward yourself for the wonderful care you are providing your children. You shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to feel good. – again this is a foreign concept, but Im sure I can learn how to indulge.
So now we are back and tomorrow marks the start of the new School year and the new work year for us, there are some things that are going to change just so that I don’t lose my mind – literally. This year is an exciting jam packed year – Its Ladybugs last year of Nursery School – and while it is a BIG year for Ladybug, its going to be a big year for me too because I need to take care of myself for her sake, and mine. So here is to an awesome 2016!