January 14, 2013

Guest Post: Elated Exhaustion

Here for you I have the last of this series of guest posts.

I quoted this blogger just week before last. I took the quote from a really great post she wrote about how blogging has changed her life. I can so relate.

Something kinda big is weighing on Julia's heart and she could really use some advice and support.

Burnt Out

When Jennifer called for submissions to guest post on her blog, I was immediately in. She has been a longtime supporter of my blog, Elated Exhaustion, and I’m so honored to be here today. Today, I want to share something with you that I’m not sure I have ever been able to articulate correctly, and I would truly love to hear your opinions.

I’m afraid that I am burnt out.

Growing up, I always wanted to be a Mommy. That was my entire goal in life, was to one day be a stay at home Mommy to four little ones.

It was so much my goal, in fact, that I prepared vigorously for it.

I started babysitting when I was 12, and continued all the way through my adulthood. In high school, I was known to skip dates to babysit. I know, I was super cool, right?

I skipped some of the parts of my teenage childhood in order to take care of little ones and I truly loved doing it.

I nannied through college and even choose to major in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Pre-K through second grade, so a lot of my classes were geared toward childhood development. Majoring in Early Childhood Education is not just about taking classes, but it involves a lot of student teaching, so you are constantly learning about children, interacting with them and actually teaching intently before graduating.

I graduated in December, so I was not able to land a teaching job right away since it was the middle of the school year. I took on a job as a full time nanny of 3 children, ages 5, 3, and a few months.

The following school year, I secured my first teaching job as the lead teacher in a pre-K class, getting my own class of 20 four year olds.

Luckily I had a great teaching assistant and wonderful students and parents. Though I enjoyed teaching, that job did not fit and so the next year I started a job as a Kindergarten teacher at a local Title One public elementary school.

I loved this job. Though at first I was intimated, teaching at a Title One school turned out to be a wonderful experience and I really felt at home there.

But oh my goodness did I love coming home to a quiet house and vegging out in front of the TV at the end of the day. Taking care of 20 five year olds all day can be quite exhausting!

Half way through the school year, I unexpectedly got pregnant. I fully intended to return to teaching after the birth of my son.

I finished the school year, but as it turns out my pregnancy became quite complicated. I was on bed rest for the last three months of my pregnancy and then went through a difficult delivery and recovery that included a bought of postpartum depression. I chose not to go back to work and am now a stay at home Mommy, a decision I have never once regretted.

But here’s the thing: I’m afraid I’m burnt out. I love staying at home with my son, but there are days when I think about how nice it would be to just be able to sit in front of the TV and veg out. Or, you know, do something novel like go to the bathroom alone.

I wanted to be a stay at home mommy so badly that I spent many years prepping for it, but now I wonder if I would ever be able to have another child? Because sometimes I feel like I got burnt out on all the years of babysitting and nannying and teaching and now I only have enough energy to be a Mommy to one.

My trepidation to have another child stems from a variety of reasons, some obviously related to my difficult pregnancy and recovery with my son. But in the back of my mind, I wonder if maybe I’m just done with the whole taking care of little children thing?

What do you think? Is it possible to burn out on motherhood before you really get started?
Elated Exhaustion

Ummm.... Well Julia, the thing is.....

OK, my advice is this: Don't have another baby just because you think you're supposed to. You should WANT to add to your family. Also, both you and hubs gotta agree. Maybe you should just space your kids out by 5 years like I did. Have a new baby when the first is starting kindergarten!

That was helpful, right? It's just such a personal question, whether or not to have children. I wish you all luck with coming up with great things to say to Julia!

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