Monday, January 24, 2011

Caaaaalgonnnnnnn Take ME Away: A TOS Blog Cruise

This week's TOS Blog Cruise topic is:  How Do You Avoid Burnout?

I think I still struggle with this.   I find that I struggle with being overwhelmed.  I want to do everything.  I want to do it better than anyone else and I want to have happy children who have no complaints and who are perfect.

You know what I think the first step to avoiding burnout is?  
HAVING REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS!

I am exactly who God made me to be.  My children are exactly who God made them to be.  Our family is exactly the way it is.  We are not the same as anyone else.  We have similar values but vary quite a bit from the average family.... and what is "average" anyway?

I think the first step to avoiding burnout is being realistic to who you are and who your family is and then planning and setting goals accordingly.   

I think another step then would be setting realistic OBTAINABLE goals.  

I think the most valuable step for me is knowing who I am and being SO CONFIDENT in who I am that I am not tempted with comparing myself, our school or my family with others.  There are some AMAZING things going on out there in the homeschooling world and you know what???  My family is STILL OKAY if we don't do those really cool things.   If we stick to who we are and what our plans are we will be just fine.  The glory of homeschooling is we no LONGER have to DO IT THE SAME WAY everyone else does it!  :)   

Non-conformity is so freeing!!!

Another step to avoiding burnout is being flexible to life and the Holy Spirit.  Yep, this does seem to contradict the above where I talk about having a plan!  You can have your plan but if you allow for wiggle room and being open to the spirit then burn out will not come as easily.  If you are all feeling crummy... take the day off.  If you are not flexible you are going to feel guilty for being behind.  If you KNOW ahead of time that there are going to be days where you just need to take a day to play with a visiting grandparent or just to have a pajama day with no demands then it rolls off your back and doesn't upset the emotional apple cart.  :)

So what do you do when you ARE OVERWHELMED?  

Here are some of my tricks:
* A nice hot cup  of tea or a special cup of peppermint flavored coffee
* The kids get a movie and I get to do computer stuff or read a book with earplugs in ......  if you can't actually GET quiet you can fake it.  :)
*  When Hubby is on his stretch off he lets me have time in "My Office."  What that doesn't tell you is that "My Office" is the large whirl pool tub we have in our master bath.  We used to rarely use it because it takes so much water and energy to fill it with hot water.  Now about once every 2 weeks I am able to escape with a dessert and tea and a movie and do nothing but sit there.   Now the really funny thing is that I'm not all that fond of baths (Shhhhhh, don't tell Hubby).  But it is the one place that I can go to and barely hear the kids and they can NOT come find me.    It is low on our gasoline budget and does not require me to purchase anything.  It is a super cheap escape for mommy.

What are some of your tricks to reduce that overwhelmed feeling?

What do you do to avoid burnout?

Would you like to read more?  Check out the TOS Crew site for links to this week's Blog Cruise where you can read many other posts from TOS Crew Members like me share how we avoid burnout.

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