Ending the Year with a Burnout

In some ways I can’t believe the year is over. A week ago I couldn’t believe it was Christmas already! Where did the time go? Wasn’t I just pulling the tree down and now it’s time to put it back up? Probably it’s because the weather this summer sucked big time. And autumn wasn’t any better.

But in some ways I can’t believe it’s still 2016. I’m so ready for this year to be over. And it has nothing to do with the high number of deaths in the science, author, and celebrity communities. Okay, very little anyway. My very first ever childhood celebrity crush died this year and I’m very torn up about it, still. (Feel free to comment with a guess as to who it was, I’m not admitting anything)

My niece was born in May, early, with a congenital diaphragm hernia (which means her diaphragm didn’t form properly and part of her intestines was poking up and pushing her heart over towards the center of her chest) and she had to have surgery within 48 hours of her birth.  I lost my job in June. A week later my husband’s grandmother died. My sister-in-law made the trip halfway across the country with a 1 year old and a 1 week old to be there for the funeral. My cousin had a growth removed from her neck (not cancer, thank god).

And none of that is the root of the problem.

I’m burning out.

I’m working as a ghostwriter writing fiction on contract. I write some ten thousand words a week most weeks. Some weeks more. In the meanwhile I’m trying to get a novel and 2 novellas done for 2017 release (before October so they’ll be available for C4 next year). I also released a novella and a children’s book this fall.

I’m raising two kids. My husband got switched to afternoons (4pm-12am) which has thrown my sleep schedule out of whack. And my work schedule. And has my kids on edge because Dad’s not home for dinner anymore.

The house. The kids. The writing. Groceries. School events. Hair cuts. Appointments. I’m going CRAZY!

I know. I signed up for this when I had kids. I get that. It’s all a part of motherhood. And I love it. As I write this my kids are sleeping over at my grandmother’s and I miss them. Even though they’d already be in bed. I miss reading to them before bed. I miss filling water bottles and chasing them to bed with threats of “if you’re not in bed I’m going to eat you for dessert!” while they giggle and dive for the covers. I miss sticky kisses. Even when I’m pulling my hair out in frustration I love them. I miss them. So is it any wonder that I have not spent more than 48 hours away from my children at a shot in the last 7 years?

And it wasn’t even a vacation. I was working and my grandmother would take them camping overnight. Send them off Tuesday before work, pick them up Wednesday after work. That’s the longest I have been without my children in 7 years.

Not my husband though. No. When his niece was born he flew halfway across the country on a long weekend to visit his sister and the new baby. They went camping. I stayed home and entertained 2 kids. And when he took a week off for Christmas this year I was excited to do family stuff – like the zoo and skating. No. He decided to go see his brother halfway across the country for 4 days. And I stayed home through a blizzard and entertained 2 kids.

Took me a lot of crying and soul searching to figure it out but I’m losing myself to motherhood. I’m losing Casey. I’m stubbornly wearing what I love, even though I have stretch marks. Crop tops, short shorts, crazy hair colours, bold make-up, high heels – you’re not stopping me. I don’t want to be frumpy at 30. I’m writing. Chasing my dream. And yet I’m losing myself.

A friend told me “you need to take a vacation. Go to that place you always wanted to see. No husband, no kids. Just go.” And all I could think was “I don’t remember where that place is.”

If you gave me a plane ticket that could take me anywhere I’d have no idea where to go. I’ve forgotten half my dreams it seems. I’ve let my world cave in.

So I’m sitting here a day before the end of the year wondering how I’ll make it through another year of being defined as a mother. I think it will take a little more thinking.

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