Parental Burnout: Getting Help to Get better

Parental Burnout: Getting Help to Get better

“I can’t do it anymore!”

I said it. It was not easy but I needed to let emotions go and tell the truth. I didn’t know it but I had hit parental burnout. It did not come out of nowhere but I had kept the situation at a distance for some time. I did not want to show my weaknesses. I did not want people to see this side of me. 

For months and months I kept repeating to myself that I could manage, that some other women had more than one kid, some had more issues, illness, parents to deal with and they could make it work at the end of the day. Therefore, I could too. 

The breaking point

Then, one day, I found myself locked in the bathroom, crying. Tears were heavy and on the other side of the door was my kid but I could not come out; I could not find the strength to make a step towards him; I could not get past my anger and pain—like I had many times in the past—and give him a hug.

I was not myself anymore. In addition, after every crisis, I hated myself. I was afraid of my violence, of the words, of what my own body and mind were able to do towards the most precious person of my life. I even asked myself at some stage if I really loved my son and if it would not be better to let him go live with other people. Home wasn’t safe. Family life felt like hell. 

Mama Burnout

Shame

I was so ashamed I could not tell other mums or even family or friends. How can one say “I don’t like being with my child?” I was thinking that if I tell, Social Services would take my child away from me; or worse, give him to his dad. I could not imagine this.

I kept smiling outside, and the worst is that people told me I was a good mum. They didn’t know how awful these words made me feel, even guiltier than I felt already! 

I kept crying indoors. I thought about my son, the one who helped me get away from an abusive marriage. And, here I was, making a mess of his life. 

I cried for a long time this day and when I got out, I made myself only one promise: ask for help.

Asking for help

A week later, I was spilling my guts in front of a psychologist. I told her all the things I could not tell myself. I said out loud that I was scared to go home, that I was scared to cause harm to my son, that I could not go on like this, exhausted, feeling empty and mentally absent. I told her I was just surviving, doing the things that needed to be done.

Week after week I let go, I told her the chaos, my violent outbursts that I could not control, the fear in my son’s eyes when I was shouting and knocking on the walls, my wish, many times, to kill myself as it was becoming too hard and harmful for both of us. I was losing confidence as a mother, as a woman, as an individual. My life was slipping out of control. 

Naming it

This is called parental burnout. It refers to a prolonged situation of emotional imbalance, where the burdens of stress overcome personal resources to deal with life as it is. It can be compared to post-partum depression but it’s mostly linked to one’s parenting role and tasks. 

Asking for help saved my family. I started writing at the same time, sharing my story with others, as guilt and shame were slowly fading. It’s not something I like to remember but I know that personal experiences can be of help. When facing such hardships in one’s life, loneliness is a killer.

We should all be strong together, being able to listen, without judgement, but with an attitude that will help women to open up before it’s too late. Parental burnout is a real and scary reality for many parents, especially single moms.

Have you heard about parental burnout before? Have you been there or do you know someone living such an experience?

Marie Kléber

Marie is from France and is living near Paris, after spending 6 years in Irlande. She is a single mum of one, sharing her time between work, family life and writing, her passion. She already wrote 6 books in her native langage. She loves reading, photography, meeting friends and sharing life experiences. She blogs about domestic abuse, parenting and poetry @https://mahshiandmarshmallow.wordpress.com

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FRANCE: One Day…

FRANCE: One Day…

One day, I’ll be able to say: “I left because he was killing me softly”. And I would be able to tell people, without feeling my heart racing, without thinking I should not say things like this, that he was a mistake. But a mistake that gave me the chance to see the Light again.

One day, I’ll be able to say without worry: “he was a manipulator” without thinking “that’s not fair for him” or “I should keep this private”.

One day, I’ll be able to tell people that for a while I was a shadow, a pale reproduction of myself, that for a while I was scared to death.

One day, to the question “why you married him?”, I’ll be able to say “because I felt like a prisoner, I could not say “no” to him, he would not take “no” for an answer. He played with my emotions, he was a control freak and I was under his spell.

One day, to people telling me “don’t say that, every couple has good memories together”, I’ll allow myself to say “my first memory of him is one of fear

One day, I’ll be able to say out loud “I stayed because I did not know how to leave – I stayed because I did not have any energy to leave – I stayed because I thought he’d change – He told me as soon as he’ll get this or that he would – I believed him

One day, to curious people, I’ll be able to say “he harassed me, he threatened me, he played with my emotions, he told me I was an easy girl, he said he would kill me if I was to leave him, he said all my writing was bullshit, he used my body for his own pleasure and accused me of torturing him when I would not agree with him”.

Today I can say:

You have no right to judge me. This is my choice. I am proud of my choice

How do you feel about domestic violence? Is it easy for you to talk about the “downs” of your life?

This is an original post written by Marie V. for World Moms Network

Marie Kléber

Marie is from France and is living near Paris, after spending 6 years in Irlande. She is a single mum of one, sharing her time between work, family life and writing, her passion. She already wrote 6 books in her native langage.
She loves reading, photography, meeting friends and sharing life experiences. She blogs about domestic abuse, parenting and poetry @https://mahshiandmarshmallow.wordpress.com

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FRANCE: I am a Dreamer…

FRANCE: I am a Dreamer…

Last week a family member answered one of my questions by « you are such a dreamer! ». This was not a compliment. This was a statement saying something like this “you are so naïve” – “you’re 36, wake up”. I heard this before. I’ve heard it since I took the first step into adulthood.

It made me think.

What’s wrong about being a dreamer? What’s right about not being one?
Should I stop dreaming now? Why? Why should I stop being who I am? Why should I follow the crowd?

Big things happened in this world because at some stage people thought these things were possible.

Everything starts with an idea. Everything is set into motion because people have a dream and believe in it. They make it happen. They have faith.

Do narrow-minded people have dreams?

They don’t. They accept things as they are. Even if these things don’t please them. And if they have some, they don’t follow them, surely thinking it’s not worth it.

Back to the conversation we were having. The family member who said that is old enough to be a grand-dad. Maybe he’s just fed up with life. I am sure he had dreams at some stage (all kids have dreams!) but these dreams vanished. And he’s now left with nothing else but regrets and resentment towards life.

I don’t want to become like him. I hold on tight to my dreams. I dream of a better world. I see life as a wonderful opportunity to share love and light, to learn tolerance and respect, to help one another and to build step by step, all together, a peaceful planet.

If people stop dreaming, what our world is going to be like? What will we get if we don’t imagine tomorrow’s world? What will happen is we stop creating and just accept violence, greed, injustice?

I am a Dreamer and I am proud of it. I’d like to dream till the end and pass it on to my son. I am a Dreamer and I invite you to dream with me. The toughest battles and the most wonderful victories have been achieved by people with, what others thought were, “impossible” dreams!

Are you a dreamer or a realist?

This is an original post written fro World Moms Network by MarieV in France.

Marie Kléber

Marie is from France and is living near Paris, after spending 6 years in Irlande. She is a single mum of one, sharing her time between work, family life and writing, her passion. She already wrote 6 books in her native langage.
She loves reading, photography, meeting friends and sharing life experiences. She blogs about domestic abuse, parenting and poetry @https://mahshiandmarshmallow.wordpress.com

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FRANCE: I need “help” and that’s Ok

FRANCE: I need “help” and that’s Ok

mirjam_texgramAs far back as I can remember I always had a clear idea of what a strong woman is and how she should behave. A strong woman would do whatever she could to have all situations under control, would not need help and would not ask for it either, would manage on her own and would succeed alone.

This was before. Before what?

Before I had no other choice than say “I need help”. I need help to go through the day. I need help to wake up, stand up and live. I need help to overcome my fears, doubts. I need help to love my child. I need help to face past memories. I need help to rebuild my life. I need help to forgive. I need help to love myself.

And my idea of what a strong woman is changed.

We often think that asking for help is a proof of our inability to face life and its challenges.

If you ask mums, friends, people around you, I bet that the answer you’ll hear most of the time will be something like this “I don’t want to ask for help. I’m fine. I’ll deal with it like a big girl”.

Why can’t “being a big girl” and “asking for help” go together? Why do we, women, mums, think that if we ask for help, people will consider us failures?

I took the step of asking for help, feeling lost and guilty at first. But what I received out of it was worth the try. People who were there, at any time of the day (and night) reassured me – this was the first step towards a better life for me and my child. There was no judgement on their side, only kindness and the assurance that I had made the right choice by reaching out to them.

As women and mums, we have a lot to deal with. Our kids count on us. People count on us, from our partner to our boss, our parents to our friends. And we do make it an important part of the deal that we are the ones in charge. But when something gets in the way, would we rather keep going until we fall or ask somebody to take our turn for a while?

Nowadays, I believe that a strong woman is a woman who knows her limits, who can acknowledge her weaknesses and still feel proud of who she is and who could ask for help knowing that this is the best for her and her family at any given time. A strong woman knows when she can’t take it anymore and feel like her duty to take care of herself, in order to take good care of the ones she loves afterwards.

Your turn, world moms, how do you feel about asking for help? Are you good at it? Or are you finding it hard to do?

This is an original post for World Moms Network written by Marie in France.

Marie Kléber

Marie is from France and is living near Paris, after spending 6 years in Irlande. She is a single mum of one, sharing her time between work, family life and writing, her passion. She already wrote 6 books in her native langage.
She loves reading, photography, meeting friends and sharing life experiences. She blogs about domestic abuse, parenting and poetry @https://mahshiandmarshmallow.wordpress.com

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FRANCE: Acceptance & Freedom

Source: http://www.mariefrance.fr/psycho/coaching/famille-nos-enfants-sont-nos-miroirs-32628.html

Source: http://www.mariefrance.fr/psycho/coaching/famille-nos-enfants-sont-nos-miroirs-32628.html

Accepting children the way they are. It sounds normal. It’s what love is all about: accepting others. We are all different and we recognize that our differences are a real chance.

But when it comes to our kids, we tend to have dreams for them; we tend to wish them to be more extrovert than we were, more independent, to be less frightened, less worried than us. We are trying our best to tell them all about confidence and how important it is to share, care, how nice it is to have friends or not to be afraid of others, strangers.

When they fit our expectations, it feels so good. We are the first ones to congratulate ourselves on how good we are at educating them. When they don’t, we start asking ourselves, “what’s wrong?” We start feeling that we are not good enough and put a lot of pressure on us and on them. We want them to fit in, to be like others. It’s so easy.

We do forget easily that kids are independent beings. Just like us. They are who they are, not to make us happy or make us sad. They are unique. Just like us.

I came up with these thoughts around the summer. I got to spend some time with my son. And I used this time wisely, looking at him and understanding many things. He is the kind of child who studies his surroundings a lot. He needs time to let go of my hand when we are with other people. He’d rather like watching a game than being part of it. We can spend hours together at the bus stop, looking at the buses coming and going.

When I was a little girl, I lived in a bubble, one I had created to protect myself from the rest of the world. I was a silent kid, happy, but yet, I felt awkward most of the time. I suffered from it. And obviously, I’d never want my son to deal with the same issues I had. Like other parents, I want to protect him and give him the best to face life in a positive way.

I pushed him and put a lot of pressure on him over the past couple of months to get him to be the way I wanted him to be, thinking that it was the only way for him to find his place in the world. I compared him a lot with other “3 years old” kids. We fought a lot, over things that don’t matter that much.

I feel now more ready to just let him be. And accept that in some situations he may not act the way I’d expect him to.

How is it for you? How do you manage your kids differences?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog written by Marie in France.

Marie Kléber

Marie is from France and is living near Paris, after spending 6 years in Irlande. She is a single mum of one, sharing her time between work, family life and writing, her passion. She already wrote 6 books in her native langage.
She loves reading, photography, meeting friends and sharing life experiences. She blogs about domestic abuse, parenting and poetry @https://mahshiandmarshmallow.wordpress.com

More Posts - Website