Burnout & hot chocolate

Burnout. I feel it all around me. Spread like wildfire. The burnout of life, the tedious day-in and day-out, of social distancing like a home arrest. We all used all our tricks to adapt, to survive and in some cases to thrive.

We were not the most extravagant parents before, but we had our sense of adventure. We would go see the world. Explore. Enjoy nature with our kids. They have hungry minds and energetic bodies. Staying put is not in their nature.

I long to show them the world, and rediscover it through the wonder of their eyes. Castles, mountain peaks, lakes, plane ride, kayak, the sea and other culinary experiences…

Meanwhile, we are stuck in this endless winter. It’s mid April and there is fresh snow on the ground.

Kids reflect our mood. They have a sixth sense. They go about compensating by being more silly, and drawing our attention more, which in turn exhausts us.

In a more reasonable season, I would avert my gaze from the stressful demands of life and be present more with my kids. But such is life, with a temporary burden of finishing a new home for us. I can see the light. Literally. Yesterday Leo installed hall and bathroom lights and the house looks so much more inviting even though the floor is not fully put in.

The naive way of thinking was assuming that we can’t go any lower in our burnout. But in reality there is a long way down to rock bottom. Willing myself into energy and good mood is not working out. So this is a good reminder to not ask it of my kids. Refocus. Embracing discomfort willingly. Go out to serve another.

I woke up at 6 AM this morning and couldn’t sleep anymore. I decided to get up. Write, ponder, pray. In the silence of the night.

I have always enjoyed my sleep. Not so much these days. It’s restless and interrupted.

My mind wanders around all the things happening, the classes I take and projects I start, the impending payments to be made, the tiles of the bathroom, the driveway, the contractors, the deadlines, Jackie’s violin dream, her moods and the ever growing challenges of parenting a pre-pre-teen.

The word of the week in parenting is balance between structure and nurture. For a wholesome healthy development kids who have structure and nurture, feel safe and can learn and develop.

As I write this at 6 am, ivy woke up from a bad dream. She called me. “Mom! Mommy! Do you hear me? Mom!” I snuggled with her as her heart beat slowed down; we sat like that, cheek to cheek. Then we both got up and had hot chocolate with a marshmallow float. It was an early started, full and wonderful day. Jackie joined our hot chocolate early morning spree.

The snow has melted. The sun shines bright.