The dishes are never done!

I came home from work last night, and washed dishes. I woke up this morning, and I washed dishes again. Not sure about other mamas out there, but doesn’t it seem like the dishes are never done? Not only are the dishes never done, but the laundry basket is never empty either. Come to think of it, the floor is never completely clean (so please don’t eat off of it) and the furniture is always a little bit dusty. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my house is never really clean! I admit it. I’m not a perfect housemaid. Nor am I a perfect mama. God no. I have my moments of insanity. There are times I raise my voice, and shall I dare to admit – throw out a profanity or two along the way. I might just be willing to admit that there are times I close the door loudly. Just sometimes.

I feel no shame or embarrassment here. It is just the simple fact that there is never enough time! As long as there is a house, and there are dishes and clothes to wash, there will inevitably always be something needing to get cleaned. I’ve simply let go of the fact that something will always be dirty and I’m willing to admit that I can’t keep up!

Now, if I were a stay at home Mom perhaps I’d have more time for dishes and laundering, but is that really what I want to be doing with my free time? Really? I’d rather sit here and type this lovely blog update for my fellow mama friends. Now of course if I had a full time maid I wouldn’t need to worry about it. But really, how many people in this world have that luxury? Not too many, unfortunately. So if you do, I’m jealous!

So I came up with a list of mama care activities that are really important. Here are 4 signs of burnout and 4 activities to remedy that burnout – quickly!

Burnout warning signs:

  1. You notice a massive headache starting to come on.
  2. You notice you’re starting to raise your voice louder than usual.
  3. You feel exhausted.
  4. Your irritation and frustration towards others increases.

Burnout remedies:

  1. Go for a walk. This really works. Whenever I start to experience the above signs, I put my sneakers on. They’ve become an item I can’t leave the house without. Walk anywhere. Just go. Getting up, getting moving and away from the source of stress is important. But don’t forget to come back! Also, it’s important to notice if there’s a pattern emerging of always needing to walk away, but let’s save that for another blog post.
  2. Stop and sit. The picture above reflects the importance of making time for rest and relaxation throughout the day. Even just five minutes a couple times a day can help diffuse anger and get your blood pressure down. Focus on what’s right in front of you. I noticed this lovely nook on my walk one day. Use your senses: look, touch, smell, listen, feel. See blog post about this excellent grounding technique here.
  3. Call, write, text, message, or see a friend. With so many ways to get in touch with others these days, it’s easy to reach out and connect. Pick a friend who makes you laugh or is a good listener. Keep their contact information listed somewhere handy – preferably your phone. Put your top 3 friends/confidantes in favorites. Even if it’s just a one second text, I often find my mood lift when I can have a moment of healthy interaction with another.
  4. Do something fun. Forget the laundry and forget the dishes. Leave them for one night. Go out for ice cream. Watch a movie you’ve been meaning to watch. Read a good book or magazine. Play a game. Make love. Do something that interests or excites you. There will never be enough time in the day so make self care a priority!

What are your burnout warning signs and remedies? I’d like to hear, so please share!

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About Sofia Reddy

As a Clinical Social Worker and Adjunct Assistant Professor at USC, I teach students and clients how to use mindfulness to manage stress and improve overall well-being. I have been working on developing compassionate boundaries as a mom for the last 10 years. When I'm not working, I enjoy exploring new hiking trails and going on day trips with my two rambunctious children and awesome, patient hubby. Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @sofiasanctuary *Please note: the information presented on this blog is not meant to replace professional healthcare. Always consult with a healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns regarding your health. The views expressed here are solely my opinions and suggestions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the mental health or educational facilities in which I work.
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2 Responses to The dishes are never done!

  1. Trish says:

    Oh dishes… I can’t even begin on that one.

  2. Oh Sofia, you hit the nail on the head! I remember reading a quote that reminds me of this:
    “Keeping house is like threading beads on a string with no knot at the end.”

    We women take care of the world automatically, through the osmosis of being raised as a girl. Your blog is important to remind us that we need to take care of ourselves. As they tell us on the airlines, use the oxygen mask first so you’ll be able to help your children.

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