Sick-n-Tired of Being Stupid


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It can be fixed.

In that sense, I no longer recognize myself. The participants reported feeling trapped in horrible feelings, not knowing how to escape although they had so much wanted to. The participants reported feeling that they did not deserve to be a mother. To think that myself and my life were a failure made me feel too uncomfortable. I cannot speak about it. I cannot speak that out, of course Because I am so ashamed of it of course [ Along with the sense of shame and sometimes as a consequence of it, the participants reported a great sense of loneliness. As illustrated above, asking for help was not easy, thus adding to the burden that one is alone to cope with all kinds of expectations and responsibilities.

So I preferred to keep it to myself, because I could not put my experience into words. As I was not able to speak about it, he did not know how to help. At this stage, the participants tended to keep thinking that they would fail to get things right, rather than being aware that they were not right, making it impossible for them to ask for help.

There was something wrong with me, but I never thought that I should have gone to a psychologist to talk about it. The participants tended to feel guilty even before being exhausted, at the time when they were still over-investing their maternal role. But this would make me feel guilty Feeling so much guilty is horrible. But the worst of all is that it is not other people that make you feel guilty… you are the one to create your own guilt.

It is so much contrary to what I think an ideal parent should be. As pointed out earlier, at this stage, the mothers did not perceive their children as a source of joy and motivation anymore. Because it is widely accepted in our society that a mother should not leave her child sitting in front of the television. From being circumscribed and specifically related to one particular situation, the feeling of guilt evolved to becoming more general, unrelated to a specific situation, and all pervasive.

As reported in our study by five mothers who had experienced it, the experience of parental exhaustion is complex and painful. From being happily and deliberately overinvolved, the mothers in our sample gradually developed a sense of being overwhelmed by the pressure that they perceived was being put on them. This in turn led to both physical and emotional exhaustion. At this stage, the mothers lacked the necessary resources to cope with the stress of parenthood.

They reported feeling drained out and empty. Maintaining their role and responsibilities toward their normal house chores and their children became impossible. Not only did they emotionally distance themselves from their children, they sometimes lost control — verbally or physically — with them, which added even more to their distress. A sense of guilt, shame, and loneliness were central to their experience of exhaustion, as was the fear they had to harm their children and to be judged.

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As our results have shown, the fear of not being a good enough mother is central to the experience of maternal burn-out. Winnicott thus acknowledged that every family is unique and that most mothers, while doing their best but not everything for their children, do a good enough job in taking care of their children, provided they are able to relate positively to their children, i. By contrast, the mothers in our study were more concerned with aspects of doing something for rather than being with their children, with a focus on preparing for their future as adults, which would make them lose track of the quality of the present moment.

The mothers in our sample were well aware of the concept of positive parenting, which they spontaneously referred to when describing how they would set high standards and expectations regarding their role as a mother. The concept of good enough mother , in this context, seems interesting to recall, in order to help mothers lower their ideal goals Hoghughi and Speight, Knowing that being perfectionist is associated with an increased vulnerability to stress Hewitt et al.

Our results confirm that there are common features across the experiences of parental burnout and job burnout, such as a state of extreme fatigue, an emotional distancing from self and others, and a sense of incompetence. Whereas in situations of job burnout, people may be put on sick leave or quit their job, there is no such way out in situations of parental burnout. The responsibility of being a mother remains present no matter the level of stress and exhaustion that is experienced. The bond that mothers have to their children, although harmed and extremely fragile in practice, yet remains symbolically.

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Unlike in situations of burnout in families with sick children, none of the mothers we have encountered has complained about objective features of their children or their family situation that would be external factors through which they would explain why they broke down. Instead, they reported developing attitudes of self-blame while pointing to their own personality and identity as a mother to explain the painful situation in which they described themselves both as victims and perpetrators.

Interestingly, none of the women encountered in our study reported to regret motherhood. Instead, motherhood remained a central feature in their valued self-definition, even as they got exhausted, with the consequence that they would struggle to enhance their performance as mothers rather than wishing to go back to former social roles, when they had not yet become a mother.

However, to consciously develop regret toward motherhood, i. As such, it has not been explicitly explored during the research process, and none of the mothers came up with the suggestion that they might experience regret to be mothers. Biographic disruptions and reconstructions occur over the life span with every meaningful and stressful life event, be it positive or negative, which requires and adaptive process and challenges the sense of self.

Parenthood is particularly challenging to that respect and multiple transitions are experienced as the children grow up and change. Self and identity are complex issues, which have been defined in different ways by different authors. According to Sedikides and Brewer , people engage in processes of self-definition by building up on 3 interrelated and co-existing self-representations, i. Our results suggest that exhausted mothers are challenged in all these three dimensions of self.

As a result of parental burnout, it seems that all these dimensions are challenged, leading to a sense of loss of self, which has been painfully expressed by the participants in our study. Following definitions from theories of job burnout, parental burnout may be understood as occurring when resources are lacking and demands exceeding.

Yet, it might be that resources are present but the mothers fail to perceive them or are reluctant to ask for help. On the one hand, mothers in such situations may be surrounded by relatives who are unaware of their distress or who feel helpless. On the other hand, they might also have inner resources which they fail to access because of a lack of self-esteem, too much fatigue or because they are not sufficiently equipped emotionally. It is likely that to identify, understand, use, express, and manage their emotions is not easy for them. As our interviews have shown, encouraging them to express their emotions and having creative strategies to deal with their stress and the various emotions that go through them are a good way to help them regain self-confidence and a sense of personal accomplishment related to their role as a mother.

Although little is known about the outcomes of parental burnout on the physical, mental, and social health of the concerned children, there is sufficient evidence that children of stressed parents are at increased risk of neglect and abuse Whipple and Webster-Stratton, ; Petfield et al.

This risk calls for primary prevention interventions, to avoid that the children of exhausted mothers are neglected or abused. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to give voice to very vulnerable mothers who have experienced parental burnout. We opted for a qualitative inductive method, meaning that we bracketed all a priori knowledge in the phase of data collection and data analysis so as to encourage the participants to voice their own concerns and their unique needs, in a non- judgmental way.

Moreover, the two-step interview process allowed for a more in-depth understanding and co-interpretation with the participants themselves of their own accounts.


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These features make our results trustworthy and credible, according to standards in qualitative methodology Mays and Pope, Although these results are not generalizable given the small number of interviewees, they are probably transferable to other situations, and may relevantly be applied to help design interventions to prevent or repair situations of parental burnout. Applicability of findings to other similar situations is precisely what IPA aims for, rather than generalizability Holt and Slade, As is typical in qualitative research, our understanding of the phenomenon under study has generated new questions that deserve further attention.

First, it seems from the accounts of our participants, that the situation of parental burnout is not that of a sudden collapse which would occur overnight. On the contrary, before reaching a stage of extreme exhaustion, the participants in our study recalled how they had tried to resist and hold on, again and again.

The commonalities associated with different stages in this process deserve further investigation.

Another question which remains unanswered after our study is that of the role of a particular child within the family. The participants in our study have not said much about their children and the family dynamics they are part of. Yet, some of the accounts seem to suggest that in some situations one particular child in a family could be perceived as more stressful and therefore more directly associated with the maternal breakdown.

As suggested by the mothers themselves, some explanations for this might be sought in their own family history and more particularly their relationship with their own mother. This calls for individualized care, to help the mothers make sense of their own history. Last but not least, due to the characteristics of our research design, the perspective of fathers on the burnout of their partners or their own exhaustion, could not be sought.

Their opinion obviously deserves to be unfolded in a separate study. Written informed consent was obtained from every participant before each of the two interviews, in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. SH designed the study, conducted the interviews, piloted the analysis, and drafted the manuscript.


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  • Parental Burnout: When Exhausted Mothers Open Up.

IA supervised the methodology, discussed preliminary results with SH, commented on the first draft of the manuscript, and drafted the discussion of the article. Both SH and IA approved the final manuscript. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Is Already Shaping Up to Be Another Festival of Stupid

Journal List Front Psychol v. Synonyms for tired annoyed bored distressed drained exasperated fatigued irritated overworked sleepy stale beat collapsing consumed drooping empty enervated fagged faint finished flagging irked jaded overtaxed prostrated spent wasted worn all in asleep broken-down burned out dead on one's feet dog-tired done for done in droopy drowsy fed up haggard narcoleptic petered out played out pooped run-down sick of tuckered out worn out MOST RELEVANT. Rested at Pintumbra, as there was good feed for our tired and hungry horses.

You must see that I am not in the least tired, only a little dazzled by the sun. You will not feel bored or that you're not understanding what's happening.

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And that's the definition of the new age commercial cinema. Pannu is currently promoting her next project, Game Over , which is being touted as the country's first home-invasion thriller.

Women are getting sick and tired of being portrayed as stupid and dumb: Taapsee Pannu

In the film, the actor portrays Swapna, a wheelchair confined video game programmer who battles a home invasion. She would not call the film a "damsel in distress" story, but a concept she has consistently tried to avoid. Yes, there are women who are probably not obviously confident. But it's not like they are dumb. So I couldn't identify with most of those roles and that is why I didn't do it. Especially now, when women are venturing out into big positions and careers," she adds. Pannu says women are also fed up of being portrayed as "dumb and stupid" on screen.

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