I have said this over and over again, day after day after day. Sometimes I think it. Sometimes I say it loudly. Sometimes I whisper it to myself. But it is becoming my mantra.
From the moment I get home from work to the minute I climb into bed, I often feel like I'm dealing with crisis after crisis. It seems that meltdowns, tantrums, and behavioral issues fill every minute.
And it can be overwhelmingly exhausting and stressful.
Last night was another in a long series of such nights when I repeated my mantra over and over again. And before I climbed into bed, I got out my phone and began to type a post on my Facebook page: "I just want 1 peaceful night! Does anyone else ever feel this way?"
But I stopped myself. I put my phone down and climbed into bed. I didn't want to seem whiny. I didn't want to bring the mood of my page down. I decided I was being a baby and told myself to just go to sleep.
Then, this morning, I got up and went to work. I work at a health science center. I meet with students for a myriad of reasons. Lately, with it being right before finals, many of my talks with students have included the topic of burnout.
I've had many such talks with students. But today, I decided to look up some information online about burnout in medical students. One article I came across had some advice that struck home. Many of the symptoms listed mirrored how I often feel. It said one of the best antidotes to burnout is peer support.
I thought of my reluctance to share my Facebook post the night before. Why did I feel I needed to shoulder that feeling alone? I have always said I would be transparent (while respecting the privacy of my children), so why did I hold back? Why did I not think someone else might need to feel a bit less alone in that moment, too?
Peer support can make it a bit easier to cope with the seemingly endless number of bumps in the road. We need to remember to lean on one another. To share our experiences with one another. To remind one another that we are not alone on whatever challenge-filled path we are traveling–whether it’s school, living with a chronic illness, raising children with or living with disabilities.
So, tonight, I proudly post that I am in desperate need of one peaceful night. And if you feel the same, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. I believe in our strength. I believe in the power to keep traveling down this road. Especially if we lean on and support one another.
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