I shared last week that I've been working to be gracious within myself, another way to say that is to be gracious to myself.
What happened before that resolution to be gracious to myself was a breaking point. Since January, I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself to do one-on-one school with my eldest everyday. Everything in my morning routine revolved around that goal. My wake up time, whether I skipped exercise to start school on time or not.
It started out fine and I was feeling successful, but then things went downhill. No matter what I tried my two youngers (11 and 2) could not manage to hold their attitudes together (mainly the 11 year old) for the duration of school. I'd hit a breaking point and reached out for help.
My mother-in-law gracious offered to watch the younger two while I helped my eldest. That was wonderful! But then she wasn't able to do it for awhile and I found my internal pressure returning and rising and rising. My frustration and agitation over not being able to do what I felt best for my kids building and building, till I broke.
I didn't really know what happened but I ended up in bed all day, one day, because I felt so sick... It was from stress! The next day, I felt physically better but I was overwhelmed with anxiety! Tiny, nothing things triggered my chest to tighten and my heart rate to increase. It was awful!
I made it through that day by prayer and focusing on small, obtainable goals, but man... At the slightest thing, my chest would tighten and I'd feel the panic rising in me again.
|Photo Credit: mompluslife.com
Something had to change!
I then realized I am going through some big things, hard things, sad things... And I've taken my sadness, grief, and misplaced it, focusing on school as the "solution" for a problem I couldn't fix. I'd reached my breaking point, my max, and I knew I couldn't go on like this, so I evaluated what to do.
"I need to STOP" I wrote in my journal. "I need to STOP all the things."
|Photo Credit: thegraceandgritproject.org
I needed to stop and take a step back from things, to reevaluate, and focus on what is truly important. I thought about my priorities, goals in parenting and life. I refocused on that, on the things I love to do and how we, my kids and I, love to learn, and decided to put on hold on everything else.
I'd put so much pressure on myself about school that I'd burnt out six weeks before the end of our school year. So, I evaluated the needs of myself, my children, and their education and decided to end our school year the next week and start something new. (I'll share more about that next week).
Mamas, if your hitting a wall, burn out, it's time to step back, reevaluate, and try something else. I know there's often things in life that cause our burn out that we can't necessarily stop doing (work, parenting, family stuff) BUT, we can take a new approach to those tough things. We can focus on self care and building ourselves back up from the hard times. Don't do it alone. Surround yourself with good friend that lift you up and help renew your strength.