Thursday, 28 July 2011

Burn-out Encouragement night topic

Here where we live, we are fortunate to have a large homeschooling community. Every month,  mothers are invited to get together to discuss an area of homeschooling.
This month was burn out. I can identify with burn out in others areas of my life. My job as a Midwife was wonderful, but very stressful. I worked Delivery Suite. You never knew what the shify would entail.
I had every symptom of burnout, but my time to move out of the unit for a 6 week break was 12 months away. WHAT!! I was desperate, so I organised with another midwife of exactly the same experience to work my 6 week roster, and I would do her roster in post natal.
The Lord had other plans, because I was sick before I could take my break. I had the Flu twice, and then Pertussis. I was very weak when I returned to work months later, but nurses soldier on, don't we. I looked at my Roster. Night duty, and 2 solid weeks. Argh. I welled up. In that moment, I knew I had to leave. The Midwife looking across at me, when I read my roster, could see how upset I was. I was struggling getting to work for reduced hours and getting out of bed on time. I was exhausted getting from the carpark to the unit. So how was I going to do 10 and half hour nights. And look after my family.
So what were my symptoms of burnout. It is a little embarrassing but... I dreaded every labouring women walking in the door. "If I hear another....". I didn't want to spend time getting to know the couple and the Mum to be. Totally unlike me, I couldn't see my way clear, everything was fussy regarding work. My clarity had gone. I knew this was not the best way to present myself in my area of work. This is why I knew it was the best thing for me, to have a break.
It never happened.
I left the next day. I didn't give my mandatory 4 weeks’ notice. I took extended sick leave. All my colleagues were totally shocked.
When I had recovered sufficiently,  I worked casual at the local Private Maternity Hospital.

So Burn out, I do know the signs. I may find myself stressed from time to time, but it is me creating the stress. Placing unfair expectations on Brid. So how do I deal with the stress. It might sound simple, but I take it The Lord.
I re-evaluated our school day. What was necessary and what was not.
A word used last night was 'slashing' curricula. I do that often. I felt guilty in the past, at times. Do others do this? And the answer is Yes they do. So if things aren't working we try a new direction, all the while learning.
At present we are using a resource. Stories of the Saints - CatholicHeritage Curriculum. Great resource, but we slash as we go. Brid is still learning. The resource covers all the key learning areas, and more. Therefore, if Brid is not happy doing a question, I access. "Is this worth it". More than not,  its better to have  harmony, enjoy the topic than drudge through it. Often we reap much more this way.
I wake up every morning wondering what God has install for us this day. I love homeschooling Brid, I love our lifestyle, I love the fact that my darling hubbie works from home, I love my family and I thank God for every opportunity, he places in my path.
This post did not follow the path I expected it would but it followed its own journey....
Two of my homeschooling friends, from the hunter, have written great posts on last night’s topic. Pop over and have a read.


Erin said...

What a blessing your group is. Slashing curriculum, umm guilty.

Leanne said...

Yes Erin, we are very Blessed. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.
A post close to my heart. It changed our life.
We began the journey of questioning ...

Renelle said...

I have found great comfort in the honesty of others and value people who are real and therefore vulnerable when they tell us the truth about how things can actually be in homeschooling. Nights like the encouragement nights are so important. I feel fortunate to have a great group surrounding me. Blessings, Renelle ps. I'm late but going to bed NOW!

Leanne said...

Thanks Renelle for your comment..Its in the honesty that we can have truth and open ourselves to each other..

Sue Elvis said...

This is a great post, Leanne. Thank you for sharing your nursing experiences. That's a side of you I'm not familiar with.

You have sounded very relaxed and joyful about homeschooling recently as if you and Brid are really enjoying your time together. God bless!

Leanne said...

Thanks sue, Yes My old midwifery career, which I totslly loved, but in secret I always wanted to be home with my babies. But thats the world I was in until...this incident of Burnout.
Yes Sue I am much more relaxed, enjoying every day-even the difficult ones. God Bless