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Keep Frustration from Turning into Burnout


No matter what you do, whether in homeschooling, work, or any other venture in life, there will be times when you face frustration.

Frustration is that feeling that arises when you’re thwarted in your ability to achieve something. You have an expectation, but it just doesn’t happen. If you’re like most moms, you’re probably nodding right now and thinking, “Yep! Frustration comes my way at least once a day!”

How to Keep Frustration from Turning into Burnout

Frustration may be a natural part of life, especially life as a mom. But, when we let it build too much, frustration turns into burnout, the feeling that you just can’t do any of it any more. Here are some suggestions for nipping frustration in the bud before it becomes burnout:

Expecting Too Much of Yourself

When you aren’t able to get your to-do list finished each day, the Christmas tree is still up in February, or the closet you wanted to clean out four months ago keeps calling your name every time you pass it, you are probably expecting more of yourself than can be accomplished in the normal routine of each day and week. It’s time to stop and consider your prioritization methods. While other demands might seem more immediately pressing than putting away the Christmas decorations or cleaning the closet, there comes a point where you need to set aside the normal daily tasks, like getting through the school plan, and focus on prioritizing the things that are increasing your frustration. When all is said and done, you’re more likely to get through the to-do list and enjoy more productive school days once you tackle that big project that has been frustrating and sidetracking you.

Expecting Too Much of Others

Your kids aren’t finishing their assignments, your husband hasn’t gotten around to that half-finished project you have to look at every day, and the dog won’t stop doing his business in the house. It’s easy to only see the incompletion and mess, and that causes frustration to build. What’s harder to see is that, behind every struggle, there is a reason. Your husband is as backed up as you are on balancing routine and the extras, your kids are struggling with interruptions that keep them from finishing, and a week of cold rain is just not fun for a dog trying to do his business.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the chaos, problem-solve how to deal with the underlying cause. Find a way to tidy up and maybe even mask your husband’s project while it’s in an interim phase. Figure out what’s delaying or interrupting your kids. Re-evaluate boundaries or environment or take the time to help them catch up on assignments. And remember, the sun will come out again, and the dog will be willing to go back outside! A change in perspective regarding what the real problem is—and a plan and strategy for solving the problem—goes a long way toward avoiding the frustration that leads to burnout.

Expecting Too Much of the Day

It’s a great thing to find fulfillment in tackling each day well and completing a project or task. But, it’s also important to remember that life is not fully in your control. The unexpected happens, schedules get sidetracked, and to-do lists have to be left undone.

Interruptions are an inevitable part of life, but when they become the norm, you have let life get the best of you. It’s time to reconsider your boundaries! Re-evaluate what you expect of each day, what you’re saying yes to, and what forces your priorities to be put on the back burner. Reclaim the ability to let your schedule work for you before its control over you sends you all the way to a state of burnout.

Burnout is real, no matter what your personality type. But, if you’re a task-oriented go-getter, it can especially be your undoing if you don’t regularly take the time to evaluate and adjust.

What else can you learn about your personality? Take our Planner Personality Quiz and find out!

With five kids in their teen and early adult years, Rebecca shares the many ups and downs of parenting, homeschooling, and keeping it all together. As the Well Planned Gal she mentors women towards the goal of discovering the uniqueness Christ has created in them and their family and how to best organize and plan for the journey they will travel.