Okay I know it’s been three days of feasting, no school, no extra murals, but somehow I burnt out. Everything I try and avoid feeling I’ve felt today. The desperation of having to start lifts and school, homework, school lunches (the bane of a lot of mother’s lives we need a blog on that for sure. Although my Grade 1 Prince just eats cheese sandwiches with absolutely NO tomatoes.) Having to deal with the nitty gritty of everyday life when for 3 days I lived in the lala land of no blackberrys, emails or internet banking. Facing some very awful kiddie behaviour and realising how much more I had to do to bring up my little ones to be real Princes who get up for old people on buses (ok not that we bus much in Joburg) but you get the picture.

Burn out happens on many levels and when they collide it can feel like a disaster.

Physical Burnout – Too little sleep, food (or too much food), general running around and not enough rest.

Emotional Burnout – Too much giving, nurturing, doing for others and nothing for self.

Psychological Burnout – Too much negative thoughts and not enough feeding, building, loving thoughts.

That’s a brief summary as I see it and there are many, many, many different ways of dealing with it. I’ve touched on some in past blogs. Today’s burnout was a combination of all three reasons, and the good news is I didn’t actually burn out completely. I used my resources learnt from a good 8 years of burning out and organised for myself the ‘me’ time where I escape into my own world – which is at a Woolies coffee shop, where me and my laptop can dance for an hour or so creating and just being JUST FOR ME.

I came home – Normal, not mildly Gruffalo like as I had woken up, yes with the spikes down my back and warts on my toes etc etc. And I was the perfect Mummy after stashing my computer away I fed the darlings, washed the sweeties and put all three to bed. (All at their separate times. Tip – Put different age kids to bed at different times. Makes them feel more grown up and privileged that the older they are the later they get to bed. Furthermore if you’re lucky and they fall asleep quickly one by one, they won’t collude to create the night ruckus of chatting and laughter that I don’t know about you but definitely drives me mad. [although I do indulge them on Friday and Saturday nights they can have fun together for as long as they like])

So catching burnout early works. The earlier the better of course and I’ve already been warned to watch out for triggers that spiral me down into the doom and gloom that I create for myself. So identify triggers like anger, tiredness, tense body, itchy eyes, twitching eyes for that matter, be aware of anything at all that indicates that you may be on your way to losing it. And ask yourself why – what do you need? And if you can pinpoint it and give it to yourself. Well that’s what I call good mothering.

In fact I’m beginning to think that good mothering begins with ourselves more than with our kids.