How "The Burnout Remedy" was born
My entire approach to preventing and overcoming Parental Burnout is based on three fundamental lessons I had to learn the hard way, but that changed my life forever.
After burning myself out as a parent to the point of crashing and abandoning my entire life, I literally had nothing left to lose. After moving alone to another country without my family, friends, church or home... I had to face life’s core questions: Who was I now? Who could I ever be again?
Guilt, shame and regret had swallowed me whole. For leaving my family and hurting them, yes of course – more than anything. But not just that... For all those years of being so angry with everyone. For yelling at my kids (and my husband), for rejecting their affection, for shredding their dignity. For my harshness, my numbness, my selfishness. For dreaming of another life. For craving to be left alone. For wishing they weren’t there anymore. How could a mother think and feel and do all of those things?
Anger, bitterness and resentment lived in my eyes. Everywhere I looked, I saw what was missing and it didn’t seem fair. Why did I have to set myself aside for my family? Why did everyone else seem to matter more than me? Why didn’t I get to be happy too instead of just exhausted? All of my energy belonged to my family and their never-ending needs and schedules, and I took the leftovers. My own hopes, dreams and plans would have to wait. What I wanted wasn’t going to matter until the kids were grown and out of the house. I could still take time for myself, but only if the kids didn’t need something first.
I felt out of control, trapped and suffocated by my own family duties. This was the life that I had always wanted and the life that I had worked so hard to get. Being a mom was my job and my responsibility and nobody else could do it like me. I took my role seriously and did what was required to raise kids who would become good future adults. If kids needed rules to thrive, my kids would flourish and prosper. But it was so much more stressful and overwhelming than I could have imagined, and there was no turning back. I felt caught in a snare that I had set for myself and there was no escaping it.
It's not hard to see now how my path led from burnout to collapse.
And yet it was from that place of collapse that I was gifted a second chance to re-create my life from the ground up. Trying and failing at what I thought I knew had been a disaster. If I was going to heal and be a mom again, I needed to find out what went wrong and learn how to prevent it from happening again. So began my journey. It was not quick, and it was not easy, but I’m forever grateful for it. From the sacred space of my own wilderness, I learned three fundamental lessons that changed my life forever.
1. For the guilt, shame and regret, I learned how to have GRACE for myself.
2. For the anger, bitterness and resentment, I learned how to HONOUR myself too.
3. For the lost control, entrapment and suffocation, I learned the power of CHOICE.
With this new groundwork philosophy in place, I was able to find my footing and find my rhythm again. Not only did these truths help me to overcome the effects of Parental Burnout, but they continue to prevent it from ever happening again. More than ten years later – these healing principles continue to protect me from exhaustion, anger and overwhelm – and instead fill my life with peace, courage and possibilities. This is something worth sharing!
Introducing “The Burnout Remedy”
It took the better part of two years to research, compile resources and create “The Burnout Remedy”. This online coaching program is designed to help parents prevent and overcome Burnout from the root level. It is based on the application of THREE core "Lay the Groundwork" principles (Grace, Honour and Choice) to TEN root causes of Parental Burnout Syndrome, and is supported by the research findings of the Institute for Parental Burnout in Belgium. Many of the tools, resources and exercises are inspired or provided by Moira Mikolajczek, Isabelle Roskam, Martin E.P. Seligman, Daniel Goleman, Brene Brown, Marc Brackett, Patrick Williams, Diane S. Menendez and others. No patronizing advice, false promises or impossible agendas here. "The Burnout Remedy" promotes lifelong, root-level recovery - not temporary symptom relief. There are no quick fixes or magic bullets, and the work is not always going to be easy.