I’m OVER It! :: Dealing with Quarantine Burnout

“I’m resigning…effectively immediately.”

Yesterday was so incredibly chaotic that I legitimately texted a group of friends, “I’m resigning from this parenting life, effective immediately. I’m done with this day, y’all.” I know that may sound harsh to some but the day was a special kind of crazy and I was completely done. I have no plans of leaving my husband and kids and driving off into the sunset.  But, dang, y’all! The expectations are piling up! The dishes, the laundry, the homeschooling, the COOKING, the CLEANING! Top that off with trying to work full-time at home while wrangling my two boys, and I am running out of internal resources!

Not only that…

But, this experience brings about very deep, complex emotions like worry, guilt, and isolation. My fear grows when I hear government officials imply that senior citizens are willing to sacrifice, possibly with their lives, to save the economy when I know that my parent fit the demographic of those who generally do not survive the virus. I try to squelch the survivor’s guilt I feel for being able to work at home while several of my friends have lost their jobs or wages. And, while I understand the value of familial connection, we’re struggling to manage around here because we have been housebound for over seven weeks and we’re all a little stir crazy. All that and more is leading to some major quarantine burnout. I know that we are “super women” but we’re NOT Superwoman, right? There has to be some reprieve!

But, here’s what I’m learning…

This is NOT a normal life season, mommas! This is truly an unprecedented time for us all. Yet, I know that I have been trying to function at 100% without fail. Somehow, I thought if I continue rocking through life as if nothing had changed, things would be fine. But, EVERYTHING has changed. As much as I want the world to go back to ‘normal’, I know that we may never experience the world the same again. This ‘new normal’ has been hard to accept but it is providing me the time I needed to assess my personal and professional life.  I realized that I was addicted to the things that kept me preoccupied with ‘busyness’ so that I can avoid dealing with critical areas of my life. So, I knew I had to find the courage to deal with the issues that impede my sense of self and joy and prepare to do the hard work to change. This quarantine is giving me the space to make life changes I may not make otherwise.

Finally, I am contemplating how I want to remember this season. It has been sheer craziness, filled with uncertainty. But, what would I rather recall? All of the crazy moments when I felt like pulling my hair out or the happy memories I created with my family to offset the harsh reality of the pandemic? Will I become submerged under the weight of poor social distancing and the possibility of a reemergence of this virus? Or, will I find balance by recalling beautiful acts of humanity who supplied masks and gloves to the front-line warriors battling for our communities? I know that I will not move past this experience unscathed but how can I make the good moments count?

Here’s the thing: I know that I am not alone in my wondering and worrying. There are so many women who are sharing in the anxiety, the chaos and are feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps knowing this is keeping me from falling into the abyss. My boat may not look like yours, but we are all in the same storm. And, somehow, it gives me hope that, when this is all said and done, we will get through this together.

Natalie Bunner
Natalie is a nomadic spirit who loves to travel but has always called Louisiana home. Born and raised in Lafayette, she grew up with five brothers and so she feels that being a #boymom was destiny. Marriage and babies were a late blessing as she became a wife and mother in her mid-thirties but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Life with her husband, Wayne, and two sons, Edison and Oliver, is always full of laughter; there’s never a dull moment with those three! Natalie is a Licensed Social Worker and currently works with children in the charter school system. Providing support for children in need is her life’s purpose. In her mind, social work and motherhood go hand in hand. Creating an environment where kids feel safe, loved and valued as individuals go a long way to building well-adjusted adults. Natalie explores social work and motherhood both here at Lafayette Mom and on her site Connect. Learn. Grow. at nataliebunner.com.