Encouragment, Revelations

The Trenches of Caregiver Burnout

This is where I’m at today (see first video below)…it’s been some days actually. Caregiver burnout/fatigue is a very real, very intense and very tough spot to be in. I’m feeling called on to reach out to the other mommas and let you know that I see you. I feel you.

If you’re not a parent in those shoes, please reach out to one you know and ask what you can do for them. It may be a hour of playing with their kid so they can breathe and recharge. It may be reorganizing their pantry. It may be bringing a meal. It may be conquering a shopping errand. It may be picking up a kid and dropping them off at school so they can sleep in after being up til 3 am with a screaming child or catching up on things that they couldn’t accomplish while caregiving. It may be watching their kid for 30 minutes while they take a shower in peace versus trying to rig the shower curtain so their kid can see them from the highchair that mom drug into the bathroom so they aren’t freaked out screaming the whole time while also not covering the floor in water from the shower curtain being open. It may be prepping some food for their kid. It may be picking up diapers because they can’t carry the big boxes and their child out of the pharmacy with no help. It may be offering to watch their kiddo so they can spend time with their other children so they actually feel like they still have a mother 😭 It may be calling to ask if they’ve stopped to feed themselves today and if not, offer to drop something by to them. There are many many little things you can do that are very big for these parents. We are bombarded with piles of paperwork, follow ups, home visits, therapies, supplement and medication schedules, emergency response protocols, IEPs and advocating for our child’s needs from any possible resource even if it takes 8 months, or two years in one circumstance for my girl. Many days we can’t breathe and it’s hard to even try to paint the picture to anyone of the struggles unless they’ve been there bc your mind is just toast. Furthermore, it’s not possible to document all we do outside of typical motherhood. I assure you, they would appreciate some help but it’s hard to even know what/who to ask for. Call and offer something. Anything. What’s picking up a grain of rice to you likely will feel like moving a mountain to them. That takes the decision fatigue out of the equation for them if they don’t have to try to process what all needs done and pick one of the 1800 things for that day. I often am in “I don’t care mode” and my brain can’t even process all that needs to be done that can’t be gotten to, much less isolate one thing to ask someone else to do it.

Gratitude. This song represents gratitude to me. Speak gratitude. Speak gratitude. Speak gratitude. I’m not a fan of organized religion, but this song moves me and helps me find the place to be thankful in the chaos. Mommas (and daddies), I hope this song brings you to a place of gratitude on the worst days.

And this song brings me to a place of not only accepting the challenge with open arms, but requesting to go deeper. There’s only one way to get through the tough stuff…to get to the other side.  I can’t tell you how many times I have sang this song at the top of my lungs while tears poured from my eyes. There has to be purpose in this…there has to be. One of my favorite phrases is “You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.” Let’s move that mountain, mommas!!

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