The Angelicscalliwags Challenge: Part Two

So what does a hyperactive do when faced with burn out?


I know that the traditional route of taking an absolute holiday won’t fix it for me.  In fact it will most probably frustrate me.  That said, I asked a blogger friend of mine what she thought and  her reply was very wise.  Now I’m not.  Wise that is.  So anybody throwing a bit of wisdom my way is, understandably, greatly appreciated.  This wise blogger said to me to take the summer off, as it is better to rest a sprained ankle than to keep using it and do permanent damage.

So how does one take a break without taking a break?  How does one rest an ankle?  By taking the pressure off.  In this case the weight of the body.  In my case I am burnt out from home-schooling.  I know this because for the first time ever I don’t want to do it, think about it or buy resources for it.  Nada.  I want nothing to do with it.  Okay, maybe I should have taken a break before this, to stop it from going this far.  But that wasn’t a possibility.  We’ve gone through a tough year with the cancer and a baby who cried day and night for two years.  It has only been a few weeks since B2 has slept through and stopped her incessant crying.  Up until then we had as a family pulled together and just got through the days and the nights best we could.  Now things have calmed and we all feel exhausted.

However, I know I would go stark raving mad if I had to rest up.  No, I need (and I do believe it is a need) something to get my teeth into.  But not home schooling. Not at the moment.  So as I stated in a previous post, in 7 weeks time when all our planned school work is completed I am taking a two month break from everything related to school.  During this 7 weeks I refuse to give anything less than my best, which is exactly what my children deserve, exhausted or not.

So what does this girl do when faced with burn out?  Get myself a new project, that’s what!  And it is this project that has got me (and Gary, to a lesser extent – he’s not losing sleep over it!) excited.  Because of the cancer, Gary and I took the decision at the beginning of the year to pay off our mortgage in 5 years time.  This means we hope to have it paid off by Christmas 2017.  We will then be completely debt free.  Already we have cut back and more than doubled our payments, but I think we could be doing more.  And if we did more, I think we might, possibly be able to pay it back sooner, maybe even by the time Gary turns 40.  So we’re setting goals and working out things we can cut down on and cut out.  I’m certain there is wiggle room in our budget.  And that is my project- project wiggle room!  Oh the fun!  I am very excited, some might say hyperactively so!

What has me even more enthusiastic (if that is at all possible) is that we have included the whole family.  It is our family project and the children have completely done us proud by their reaction.  They have come up with loads of ideas and are very willing to forego many things (some essentials-we’re not buying any clothes for the next 8 months and maybe beyond).  They have come up with many ideas to save money and many ideas to make money.  My heart is warm and bubbling over.  I will be sharing each weekend and any encouragement you can give will be gratefully received!!


  1. Of COURSE! It makes complete sense now. Make a PROJECT of it!!! Reminds me of a wise friend of mine who, despairing of my extreme nature, suggested I could try being “extremely moderate”. It kind of worked in many areas of my life 🙂 You sound wonderfully enthused, I’m so pleased. As they say – a change is as good as a rest!

  2. Brilliant! I love that you’ve involved the whole family. And may I just add that if one of my kids cried for two years straight (let alone the other things you’re dealing with) they’d have to lock me up with some very strong medication.

    I hope you’ll share some of your budget-cutting projects as they come up. I’d love to see! Have you read The Tightwad Gazette?

    1. Yes. I probably need to reread it. I may even get the children to read it – maybe a bed time read aloud?!! And yes, I will definitely be sharing. I hope everyone will share ideas with me too.

  3. Claire, I can so relate to so many things you said. I know that feeling of the world stopping and tunnel vision setting in when someone gives you THAT diagnosis. I was on treatment for 2 years. I know what it is like to have a baby that just cries and cries and never sleeps. We got through that and only recently we have a little man – almost 5 – who sleeps well. He still occasionally gets by on 6 hours… wakes up at 1h00 am and then I am shattered as I am on my own with him. My husband’s contract in the Middle East ends in September only. We have seen each other 6 weeks in the last 17 months. You are amazing at what you do! And MY advice…. do what you need to do to get through this period intact… physically, mentally, emotionally… I make sure I get on a treadmill and run a hole in it for 50 minutes… that’s what I do. We are Mommies… not machines. You project sounds brilliant!! Go “Project Wiggle Room”…!! Whoop whoop! Cheering you on from the other side of the world!

    1. Thanks Liezel! Any ideas you have please share. We could do with all the help we can get!
      I bet you can’t wait for your husband to return. I’d miss Gary crazily if he was gone for even a day!!

    1. Is that on computer? I have a cd of his which we intend to listen to. Is the show different? I like him, so that sounds interesting.
      Well done you for paying your house off! What did you do to celebrate? We’ve got lots of ideas whizzing around….

  4. Wow, that’s a very good project to sink your teeth into, especially when you need to take a break from homeschooling. I’ll be very interested to hear of your ideas. 🙂

      1. Teaching children about financial management is crucial. Go for it! Just don’t wear yourself out. 🙂

  5. thank you claire, you are such a blessing for me through your blog, I have been there too homeschooling my 5, no full night of sleep for 8 years…and burnout too…I can so relate to your situation and I will definitely pray foryou… I too need always something going on and at almost 54 i am starting university again…Try to take every bit of time you can to restfor a while I used to sleep when my husband was home for a little while…other times I had the kids stay in their room and the little one sleeping for their nap so I could rest for at least an hour… sometimes I slept, sometimes I just rested and took a little free time… other time the church we were in organized some meals for us every day for the main meal , my husband picked it on his way home and it gave me a rest too …be creative to find some rest…much love from Switzerland Myriam

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Myriam.
      Good for you for starting university again. Are you still home schooling? I think it might just about kill me if I had to study at the same time as home school!

  6. I finished homeschooling in 2010 but I am still working to help others homeschool in french as it is not common at all here, I hope I can help more in the future with my studies…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.