Mama Burnout :: Back to School

Mama Burnout :: Back to School

You know that feeling when your kids are going to be late to school and your adrenaline is pumping?!

Yelling at everyone to get their shoes on and PLEASE brush your teeth. Just to load them up with the breakfast in the car, and toothbrushes loaded with toothpaste so they can just brush in the parking lot when you get there.

Or maybe you’re going to be the very last one in the car line and you’re racing to get there in time to then drive all over creation to after school activities, which you will also be desperately trying not to be late for as well.

It never failed that on these busy days, my 3 year old would have to pee so bad just 30 seconds after driving away from the school that I would have to pull over so he could pee in some poor soul’s yard. I would cringe and then zip out of there as fast as I could.

This feeling Mamas, of big spikes in cortisol and ultimately epinephrine (aka fight or flight), throughout the day is not your friend. Your body is ready to sprint away from a tiger, but you are actually looking at your phone in carline. All that energy and glucose you just got is sitting there leaving you jittery and anxious. 

Last year, I was in the midst of deep work on personal development with a couple of different coaches, when I realized how much of my day was spent in the desperate race against the clock. These big bursts of cortisol throughout the day were leaving me fried by 6 pm. So I took stock for a minute of what was happening. (1) I was trying to accomplish way too many tasks in a day. After all, I was trying to re-prioritize myself and get in that self care! (2) I was not allowing enough time to get where I needed to go. This is especially true with young children that have zero sense of urgency.

So it was time to pivot. I wrote down my ideal daily routine from the top down and the bottom up. I had to rework this a few times to be totally realistic about what could be accomplished. Then I wrote it out for my kids too. Wow that was enlightening. I needed to wake them up a full 20 minutes earlier, for instance. In some areas I only needed to make 5-10 minute tweaks. It seems so obvious, but most of us are running around like a chicken with our head cut off and we can’t understand why we are exhausted, gaining weight and our hormones are all out of whack. Managing our lifestyle has major impact on the complexity of our intertwined nervous and endocrine systems.

So, there I was, making my micro changes like the life coach (and every other habit book) said to, and sure enough, I was calmer. Taking deep breaths as I drove to pick up and activities. Even with various after school moodiness and starvation, I managed to maintain some inner peace. 

Dear Mama, as we go back to school this fall, I hope you can take stock of your routine and schedule and create a rhythm that allows you to maintain your inner peace more often.

About the author

Amy LaRue is a Mama to 3 precious children; Maisy (8), Emmie (6) and Bodie (5) and a wife of 13 years to her amazing husband, Errol. She is always seeking knowledge and tweaking her routine so that her family thrives in body, mind and especially in spirit. When she is not momming, she consults with women virtually to help them accomplish their goals of holistic hormonal health and optimal wellness. Amy earned her doctorate in naturopathic medicine 10 years ago in Portland, Oregon at the National University of Natural Medicine and her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics/Pre-med from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 2003.  She currently holds her license as a Naturopathic Doctor in Vermont. She moved back home to the South (MS) 5 years ago after pursuing her dreams in the northwest (Jackson Hole, WY –> Portland, OR –> Bend, OR) for 15 years. She misses the mountains and beauty of the west but is loving small town beach life and all the culture and music New Orleans has to offer just a short drive away.


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