Being a millennial mum – Spinning plates and burn out

I’ve been a little quiet lately. I would like to say it is because I’m working on a new exciting project, but the truth is, I simply burnt out and needed a rest. I’ve spent so long spinning too many plates, my mind and body just shut down.

 

Being a millennial mum is really hard work and it is even more so if you have children a little before the average mum. I’m constantly hearing that I should be at home, nurturing my children with a firm (but not too firm) hand. I should be encouraging their development at every turn with sensory play, messy play and crafts, but I should also allow them enough independent play in order to give them the chance to develop their creativity. I should only offer fresh, healthy, made from scratch food. We should do puzzles, read, sing and have regular play dates. We need to get outdoors into nature and learn about the world around us. While doing all of these things I should be nurturing my relationship, finding time to socialise with friends, taking ‘me time’ and have an established career (or at the very least be working towards one). It’s a lot to juggle and quite honestly I’ve dropped the spinning plates.

Mother and Son look over the river in York, England

 

I looked up at the boys playing in the garden after lunch one day last week and I realised just how much they had grown. I felt like because I was so consumed with trying to do everything well, I seemed to have missed it all. That night I sat in their room once they were asleep and just watched them. I took in their faces, watched their chests rise and fall and I cried. Tears started tumbling down my face and I felt like the air had been sucked out of me. They suddenly looked so much bigger than they did the day before, time seemed to be going by so fast and I felt like I was losing grip of the world around me. So I switched off.

 

The next day I woke up and my emails were left unopened. My laptop left cold and silent on the desk. I cancelled all of our planned play dates for the week and instead I drank tea and practised yoga. I let the boys watch cartoons for longer than is advised. I didn’t do any housework and instead I played trains with my children. We didn’t take exciting day trips, but instead snuggled on the sofa, watched movies and ate pizza. I left them to their own devices in the playroom, while I took time to do nothing other than read a book. We played silly games and pretended to be astronauts. We took strolls into the village, drank hot drinks and ate cake. We sat in the garden toasting marshmallows on the fire pit. We spent time just enjoying all of the wonderful little things in life that I had forgotten were so important. The best thing about my relaxing week is that, for the first time in years I felt calm and that allowed me the head space to be present with my children. Nothing happened because I took a week to answer my emails. The world didn’t cave in because I didn’t do the laundry and my family life didn’t crumble because I sat down for a little while and read a book.

Toasting Marshmallows on the fire

 

Spending a week living in a completely different and relaxed way was actually the best thing I could have done. I gave myself a chance to slow down, breathe and reboot. Taking that time for myself has meant that I can now face spinning all those plates again, only now at a much slower pace.

 

Being a millennial mum is really hard work. There is a monumental amount of pressure, but I won’t be letting that pressure ruin these days of motherhood. Not anymore. Not when these days of motherhood are as fleeting as they are. Not when the world didn’t come crashing down just because I stopped spinning so many plates.

 

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30 thoughts on “Being a millennial mum – Spinning plates and burn out

  1. Wowzers, just reading that list of things we’re supposed to be doing I feel tired and a failure. Expectations are high and I’m definitely dropping those plates.

  2. I think this is definitely something I need to do, your completely right when you say the world won’t crumble if we don’t reply to every email straight away, and sometimes putting one of those spinning plates down won’t end the world. Brilliant read!

  3. Sometimes you just gotta step back and it sound so like it reaped the rewards for you and your family! I’ve taken many breaks for work and blogging and stepped back and just wnjoyed life and it’s so refreshing

  4. I hear you. Sometimes I really wish I didn’t work so I could spend more time with the kids, but then I realise what working allows us to do – like our pending move to a new home – I then I feel bad for thinging that! Basically we can’t win. We were told we could have it all but they were wrong. You can’t do it all without burning out. I also feel like I need a break but I think I’ll have to hold out until we have moved house – half term perhaps!

  5. I think we should throw out all the labels, all the dos and donts and just focus on being the one label that matters, a parent!

    taking time out and not doing anything is the best way to unwind and shut off. i honestly dont know how some can do it all hah

  6. I totally and utterly relate to this. It’s just exhausting isn’t it? We have such huge expectations on us an spend so much time spinning plates that sometimes we almost forget to just enjoy the moment.

  7. I think being a mama, in general, is incredibly hard work sometimes. We all need to be careful, practice self-care and have some ‘time out’ (not of parenting, but of overdoing things!) before we hit burn out (now, just to follow my own advice…) xo

  8. I’m currently writing a post about how I feel i’ve missed my girls growing up. I could’ve written all of this myself. I can defo relate. I love the fact that you switched off for a week. I really need to try that and find some more me time x

  9. Reading this post is like reading my thoughts! There is just too much pressure to do and be everything, it’s something I really struggle with. It’s great that you were able to switch off for a week, I try to but end up feeling too guilty about all the things I’m not doing.

  10. I could have written that myself, it’s a shame we don’t have a filter to block out all the bull shine about what ifs, you should’s and I wouldn’ts….then we’d be allowed to get on with what we do best, what we do naturally…parent! xxx

  11. Ah, bless you. It’s tough being a mum any time but these days, we are so much more aware of how what we do influences and impacts on our kids. I think the most important thing is that you offer them quality time with you – no bells and whistles needed. They don’t care what you do as long as you are engaged with them. Good for you for taking the time out you needed (and realising you needed it) x

  12. This is brilliant. It is so easy for us to get caught up in our lives isn’t it. I think it’s very important to take a step away from these every day pressures every once in a while and just relax. The emails will still be there the day after. Fantastic post. 😊

  13. I have had to do this very same thing quite a few times. Life for us moms gets so hectic and today there is more pressure on us from all of those high expectations. It’s gets overwhelming so taking the time to spend just enjoying your kids and enjoying you is so worth taking the week off:)

  14. I could have written this myself as I took most of the summer off due to feeling like this too. I too feel like I have missed out on so much due to trying to do it all and that makes me sad. My little girl has just started school and my boy nursery and it has made me reevaluate everything x

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