I used to see those homeschool conference classes on “How to Avoid Burn Out” and I just passed right on by. I was NOT experiencing burnout. On the contrary, I was heartily energized by our homeschooling and the delight of discovering the gifts in my Sizzler and his siblings. How could so many moms be signing up for these clearly popular classes? I was oh-so-self righteously thankful that whatever I was doing was not resulting in the clear distress being experienced by so many others.
Well…that was many few years ago, when I was still new to the game.
And while I may once have looked upon those burned out moms with a bit of smug and arrogant judgement in my glance, I would now willingly stand shoulder-to-shoulder in line for just such words of wisdom which might be dispensed at just such a meeting.
I am tired!
This Sizzling child IS a lot of work.
To deny it is like denying the blueness of the sky.
And yes, sometimes his antics will fill me with mirth, delight and even, yes…dare I say it….energy.
But just as often, I sigh. I’m want sleep. My head hurts. My bones ache. I need to go to bed. I have yet another cold.
And tomorrow’s lessons and errands and activities loom LARGE in my head.
So to any of you who may have been judged unfairly by smug ol’ me in years gone by, I offer the HUGEST of apologies. (please note the clear groveling in her tone.) And now, let’s consider one solution.
Letter from a Sizzle Bop Mom
I got a note from a mom in response to our piece entitled “Knowing When to Shut Up” about strategies for dealing with a Sizzler’s incessant chatter.
(You can go back and read it later if you like.)
For now, let’s read her note.
Then I’ll tell you “the rest of the story.”
Hi Carol…..thank you for this post. How well I can relate to it!!! Our son drives us nuts with his constant talking……about “everything.” Even when I teach him about trying to be quiet for the family, especially in the evening, he goes on and on, sometimes repeating his stories. Trying to hear someone else talking, trying to hear the news, or music; is quite a challenge for us. Now I know what they mean when we are told to take time for ourselves……every week! Do we do it? No. Maybe I need to plan my “escape” to the bookstore and have a cup of coffee. Do you think they will let me stay over-night if I bring my own sleep bag? 🙂
Love your emails!
Barbara really got me to thinking about time for ourselves. It’s very popular these days to read that me-time is a selfish concept, and that moms should never go there.
But these articles make me uncomfortable. Even mad. I’m going to share my thoughts on this in an uncoming post. So, stay tuned for that one. . .
In the meantime, let’s talk about a refreshing idea. It all started with a unique gift for a friend.
Let me explain.
A Gift for the Mom Who Has Everything
A friend of mine was about to have her sixth baby. (By the way, have you ever noticed that it is only to homeschoolers that you will hear someone say, “Yes, we have only three children” ??? To the rest of the world, three is a perfectly adequate number. But in homeschooling circles it’s practically an embarrassing effort. So this mom of soon-to-be-six was clearly “in the zone”.)
ANYWAY…a bunch of our kids were about to get together for the purpose of a girls’ sleep over. As we moms all met in a parking lot for the necessary child-exchange, we complained that we were quite jealous of our own daughters. The idea of laying about on the floor, giggling all night with our friends sounded just wonderful. And that was when the inspiration hit me.
What do you give to a mom who’s about to have her sixth? Another bib to add to her stack of 47? A book on the ins and outs of mothering? Toys? Clothes? There’s no point. She’s got it all.
A Mom’s overnight party was the clear solution. It was something she didn’t already have and most likely couldn’t have
after the new baby arrived.
We had SO MUCH FUN! Of course we stayed up later than we should. But that was when the laughter was at its peak. We ate too much, talked about everything and had nary a care till we returned home late the next morning.
It was wonderful…something akin the giant sigh that follows a long and unsupressable laugh.
While we used the birth of someone’s baby as an excuse for such a party, we all acknowledged that its powers of stress-reduction were such that we need no excuse. We immediately began planning another one for fall. No reason needed…other than it was such food for our souls.
So take care of those Sizzlers.
Give them the best you’ve got.
Laugh with them. Cry with them. Love them with all your might.
But also…get away from them once in awhile.
Your whole identity can get wrapped up in being the manager of the Sizzle-factor in your world.
Sometimes you may just need to go Sizzle-less. Your renewal of your spirit will not only feed you, but will ripple over onto those you love.
From your friends in Sizzleland.