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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Every Moment Burnout

This week there’s been some reflections on how things are going right now. Laura sometimes notices these things before I do. It is (humorously) annoying and lovely. But it did cause us both to reflect.

Last year there were some really tricky new parent moments, so increasingly I made sure I took over as ‘lead parent’ the instant I could; as soon as I was in from work or finished upstairs (when working from home). It’s also meant I’ve tried to make sure I mostly have Henry over the weekend to lessen the load on Laura, who has Henry every weekday.

However, since then because of a range of things, Laura is now bossing parent time and doesn’t need the same support/ me taking over as much as before. But I’m struggling to step back. (I think) I can be a pretty good care giver, but stepping down is tricky. I feel the need to be ready to step in again at any minute, meaning I kind of never stop. I’m either in a ‘lead’ role or assuming I will be at any moment.

Through other conversations we have also talked about (again for a few reasons) the possibility of Henry being our only child. This has kind of added to my ‘every moment-ness’.

I have found myself reflecting on each day, each moment being the only moment we will ever have with Henry at this age, in this moment; and potentially the only moment we will ever have with a child at this point. Which has fed into me feeling so invested in capturing and making the most of each moment, but also so worried about missing out on each and every moment.

I know I can’t be there for everything. There will be some things I miss; particularly when I’m at work. Which makes those moments I am there even more valuable.

While part of that is (in my opinion) just being a parent, Laura is right I’m burning out in the process of always working or trying to be lead parent. Add to that the constant worry and stress of what if this or that happens. Not to mention my general depressive brain that tells me we are all going to die every time we get in the car, cross the road or there’s some other everyday situation.

Taking a break is not an easy thing for me, at any time. But I’ve really not done that more than two maybe three times since June last year. As Laura said, is it any wonder I’m finding things tricky and brain busy at the moment.

Making a change to regularly include some rest time in my week will be a gradual process, but one that’s needed; so I can make the most of the time I do have with Henry (and Laura too).

I’m much keener to be the care giver than the receiver, I think likely past trauma maybe informing that desire to be able to do everything all the time and not rely on anyone at anytime. Because either they will demand something in return or leave. Resulting in me deciding I’d rather struggle doing everything and protect myself from the consequences of accepting any support.

I’m hoping, and placing quite a lot (more than I should) of hope on my reaction to Henry going to nursery and getting used to him being with someone other than us on a regular basis. Because currently I do really want him to always be with at least one of us, we have such little time before the world starts to open up for him and he’s not just our little boy. He’ll start to be his own little self with some independence from us. And that is wonderful, but soo scary and emotional to just even think about. There’s going to be a lot of tears than day! There’s a few now just thinking about it!

I do hope though that helps me, not do less, but be a little less hyper focused on every single moment. I’m definitely still learning this parenting thing, and as always I am ecstatic and just happy that I have the privilege of doing this with the always lovely and wonderful Laura, who does try to look after me, even though I rarely let her.


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