Sometimes, the state of your mental wellness can sneak up on you. Take a listen to what AllMomDoes podcast host Julie Lyles Carr realized had snuck up on her and how our new series on mental health and mental wellness can help you!
Purposely: Your life, God’s purpose. Listen at onpurposely.com.
Julie Lyles Carr: Hey, I’m Julie, host of the AllMomDoes podcasts. We have been on a mission for several seasons now as a podcast to really listen to your heart, to listen to the things that you’re struggling with, places you need encouragement, the things you’re excited about, the things you’re curious about and bring it to you in a way that you can listen when you’re in the pickup line, getting those kids from school, when you’re out for the walk, when you’re doing the chores around the house. I’m just so honored to be able to come alongside you in your parenting journey and your journey as a wife, as a mom, and as a fellow Sojourner in the journey of faith.
It’s just such an honor to be with you, and as part of our mission and the things that we’re wanting to be able to do and provide for you we have a series that we have launched about mental health and mental wellness. We’ve invited all kinds of amazing people from different walks of life, different expertises, different places that they work with people professionally to help all of us have better answers and some great ideas for how to live at our most healthy, our most whole, when it comes to the way that our minds work and the way that we think
I found myself as the world began opening back up as things with COVID and the pandemic began to kind of settle down. (Can we say that yet? Let’s assume we can.) I found something very interesting happening for me, and that was this: I literally had a sense of dread. Let me just call it what it felt like. It felt like dread that all of a sudden we were going to be launched back into all the activities, all the things, all of the scheduling, all of the nights of juggling all the stuff and trying to figure out how to get everybody everywhere and get everybody fed.
Does this sound familiar to you at all? Because in what should have been a season of thinking, “oh wow! Things are opening back up. We’re going to get back to some of the things that we love to do!” I instead have definitely felt the burden of, “oh yeah, the schedule and all the things and all of the strategizing and all of the busy and all of the hurry and all of the expectations.”
It really slammed into me in a way that I just was not expecting. And here’s what I began to unpack. See, as it turns out, I didn’t know it, I didn’t know it was happening in the midst of the pandemic. I didn’t recognize it prior to the pandemic, but now self-diagnosed, I think y’all, I had a raging case of burnout and I didn’t know it.
Now, obviously with our supersized family and kids the ages that they are and all of the things that go along with that – so, you know, it’s getting everybody to all of the extracurricular activities and it is hovering over all the schoolwork and making sure all that’s getting done. And it’s being at the work networking event in the evening on a night when you’d rather be home. You know, it’s, it’s all that stuff, right?
Well, prior to the pandemic I knew that I was unsettled. I knew that I was wrestling with some things. I knew that there were just a lot of things in my world that didn’t seem to be coming together well in my work world. And I, I just didn’t quite know what that was all about. I could definitely feel it. I could feel it physiologically, but I didn’t really have it mapped.
And then the pandemic happens. So everything comes to a halt and I have always enjoyed working from home, working remotely. That’s really more my jam. That’s how I spend most of my career. But it really felt good to not be having all kinds of activities in the evenings for kids. It felt really good to be released from some of the in-person kind of stuff that I typically was engaging in every week.
I hated to not be on the road, traveling and speaking, but it was also nice coming off the road. And so there were these emotions that sort of got put to the side a bit because I was able to take a breath and say, “Okay. You know, I was feeling a little strange and then the pandemic happens and then some things start kind of just falling a little more calmly into some places because we’re not running around as much.”
And I thought, “okay, problem solved. I’ve made some changes in my career. I’m doing some different things. I’ve got some new clients I’m working with. Things seem to be rocking along just fine.” And if you’ve been a listener for a while, you know that in the midst of the pandemic, we did three weddings for three of my kids and we also did two funerals for my grandmother and my mother who passed away three weeks apart in the fall of 2020. So it wasn’t that there wasn’t stuff happening because there was, but just lifting a little bit of the layer of expectation on being all the places seem to quell some of those feelings I’d been feeling prior to the pandemic.
And then what happened? Well, the world started opening back up and things with my career and things with expectations on the kids and then some of my younger kids saying, “okay, well now I want to sign up for this class and that class.” And one of my 15 year old twins is now doing jujitsu. So we were trying to make sure that we had him all the places.
And then one of my daughters went back to in-class college classes. And then one of my sons who is also still living here in the home, also found that his workload was far more out there and go, go, go. And once again, we were revving up into that space of busy, busy, hurry, hurry, go, go, go. And that’s the moment when I realized, oh, dear – I have been dealing with a protracted case of burnout for a long time.
Now, what do I mean by burnout? I’m still trying to educate myself on exactly what all this means, but here’s what I do know. 41% of all moms say that they are experiencing burnout. Right now. Today. And 51% of all what we call working moms. And you know, my feelings on this, I feel like all moms are working moms and I am not saying that to be cutesy, but I am saying women who also are doing work outside of the home in areas where they have expectations of employers, bosses, clients. Okay. So let’s, let’s look at it that way. Those women say 51% of them say, “oh yeah, I am in the throws of burnout.”
And I’m sure there are markers for understanding what burnout is, and I’m still coming into a place of completely educating myself on this and trying to figure it out, but here’s what I can tell you. I do know that it’s at the place where you feel like you have done all the things you can possibly do. And you just want things to come to a stop for a little bit. You start feeling disconnected from the things you’ve always been passionate about, and there may even be some resentment rolling around in there because you feel like you’re spinning so fast and you just don’t catch a break. It’s just the next thing to the next thing to the next thing to the next thing. And I feel like in my case, the pandemic created sort of this artificial stop to where I didn’t have to completely unpack my feelings about the hecticness of my life. And then I was able to kind of move into a season of pause and then I come popping out the other side. And guess what, friends? All those same expectations, all of that pressure, all of those scheduling things – that all still exists.
It’s one of my concerns for us coming out of the season of lockdown because I am concerned that we aren’t going to carry (and I’m concerned for myself that I’m not going to carry) the lessons of taking a pause, taking a beat, being a little bit more analytical about what I’m wanting to do, how I’m wanting to use my time. I’m concerned that I am at risk for rolling right back in to the same level of crazy busy that I was prior to going into the pandemic.
Does that resonate with you? Are you feeling that sense? I know, too, that where I have to be really careful is that – let’s face it – we give each other a lot of kudos for looking super busy. And not just looking super busy, being super busy. It’s interesting to me when I’m interviewed on other people’s podcasts, people are very kind and you know, when you’re going to be a guest on someone’s podcast or show you send your what’s called an EA press kit, like your biography or little notes on what you’ve done in the work you do and all of the things and people are always so kind to say, “Wow! Look at this, you know, the eight kids and the books and the business and the dah, dah, dah, dah.” And I appreciate it. I mean, obviously I’m the one sending that information so how hypocritical would it be for me to be like, “Oh, stop, no!” I mean, obviously this is the stuff we send each other and it’s the press kits that I get for a lot of the guests that you hear on the show, but here’s what I’ve learned. I have this really dual nature where I want you to to see the stuff I’ve been doing and accomplishing that’s, you know, if you follow something like the Enneagram or different personality style tests, that’s the performer in me.
That’s the one who wants to do good stuff, but there’s also this part of me that recognizes that sometimes that praise and the way that I’m perceived drives me past what should be a reasonable schedule and puts me at risk in this place of burnout. So as Rebecca and I, the show coordinator who does such a brilliant job, Rebecca and I have been together for five seasons for the show. She’s incredible, very grounding, very thoughtful, very intentional with her life. And as we’ve been talking through the series that we want to bring listeners from the things that you’ve indicated to us or areas that are pain points or things that you’re looking for solutions for, or things that are coming into your world, one of the things that she and I have been discussing is how to help listeners, how to help you hear solutions and hear from people who are all about your mental health and wellness. And in thinking about that, I thought “Wow. What are some of the things that I’ve been faced with that I’m seeking answers for?”
Because when I think we can be open about, “Hey, this is a season I’ve been in and I don’t exactly know what to do here, but you know what? I can find some people who can give us guidance. I can read some things that I think can help. I can seek some counsel on what to do.” That I think has such value. That to me, I know we often think of the scripture of iron sharpening iron as being something where we’re like honing our theological claws and we’re inspiring each other to live at a higher level and things like that – and I think that absolutely can all be part of that interpretation – but I also think iron sharpening iron is also about the soft places in us, the places where we are needing to just stand up and say, “Hey, I’m raising my hand. I need some help here. This is something I’m really struggling with. This is something I don’t completely understand yet. This is something I want to know more about. And I want to hear from people in the know how I can move forward in a way that best exemplifies the joy of Christ in my life.” Because I can tell you trying to be the woman of God that I want to be, and trying to bring the joy and compassion and heart and laughter and all the things that I want to bring to the table.
It’s very hard to do when you’re feeling real burned out. Now maybe for you, burnout is not the issue. Maybe you have a child who’s really grappling with anxiety. Maybe you have some things in your marriage that have really gone sideways. We know statistically that the lockdown period was extremely difficult on marriages. And maybe you’re looking for answers in that way. Maybe you’re seeking answers about your friendships. Maybe you are trying to decide what your “next” is supposed to be. And maybe you’re trying to learn more about how you can support, biologically physiologically, the health of your literal brain. Sometimes we talk about mind and spirit, but we forget that it is connected organically into how our brain works and what our brain health is. These are all the things that we’re going to be unpacking over the next several weeks in these episodes, because these are the questions that Rebecca and I have been grappling with.
These are the questions that we see showing up on the AllMomDoes platforms in the social media chat areas. We keep seeing people saying, “I’m needing tools. I’m feeling incredibly stressed, anxious, uncertain. My marriage is really, really wrestling. My parenting feels off-kilter, I’m struggling in my relationships with extended family and with friends.” This series I’m so excited about, and I’m here to learn right alongside you because I’m raising my hand.
There is some stuff in my world that I need to get some answers for, some solutions for, some hope for. I’m so excited and honored that we’ve been able to turn and really focus in to get really laser focused on helping provide information and hope for you when it comes to mental wellness, when it comes to mental health.
And let’s be honest, a lot of times in our faith communities, we’re really hesitant to talk about some of these issues. So I just want to invite you to come along. This is something that we’ve been working on for several months now. We’ve been really thinking through how we want to help you and equip you in these areas.
So I’m honored, I’m humbled that you would come alongside. I would love for you to say, you know, I want to check in with a couple of friends and tell them, come listen to the series. So just do me a solid, just text a couple of your friends and send them a link for the podcast and say, “Hey, go ahead and subscribe. Let’s all listen together. Let’s all get better. Let’s learn tools. Let’s come into this next season.” Now that we’re exiting, what has felt like an endless lockdown let’s head into the next season the healthiest and the best and the wiser because I don’t want to forget the lessons that we’ve been learning the last couple of years. And I don’t want to miss that I headed into the last couple of years already on fumes. So you may have been feeling that way too, and you want to apply the things that you’ve learned from this season we’ve been through with great information, guests, people who are experts in their field.
So listen up for next week’s episode as we launch into this series on mental health and mental wellness.
Shownotes? We’ve got show notes! Rebecca puts together incredible show notes each and every week with all the links that you’ve heard about, all of those great resources. So be sure and check it out. Also, we would love to see you on the socials. AllMomDoes is all over the place on the socials – on Facebook and on Instagram.
And you can also go to AllMomDoes.com for blog posts and all kinds of great resources. I’d love to connect with you too. I’m Julie Lyles Carr on all the places. J U L I E L Y L E S C A R R. Be sure to like, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And we would love it if you would share this episode with a couple of your friends, could you do that for us?
Just share it with a couple of your friends who you think would be blessed to have some great resources and tips and ideas for how they can also help make their mom life the best it can be. I’ll see you next time on the AllMomDoes podcast.