Karen Fondink is making a children’s book about her burnout (Jill)

Karen not only wrote the scripts, but also provided the illustrations. © Mark Peters


For about six years now, Karen Fondink, 43, has had a generational life in check Boom explosion calm. “After years of resolutely pushing my limits, I ended up burnout. I went from a caring mom, teacher, and friend to a burnout.” Karen just launched a children’s book dedicated to young children Bats Boom suddenly stopped Introduction on the topic. Because how do you explain to your little son or daughter that your dad or dad is overworked.

Mark Peters

Karen has been through hell. “In the past, slowing down was out of the question for me. I thought that one day there would be fatigue, but you don’t really think about it. Then it was time. For weeks on end I would sleep in my bed or on the couch, resting. And that with two children of the age of 10 and 7 years old were running around the house. My husband and parents took all the tasks from me. How guilty I felt. I had to take care of my family, not the other way around. “

Together with her trainer, Karen went searching for things that could give her energy. “Personally, I have only thought of doing things to make others happy, but perhaps that thought puts too much pressure on your shoulders. Then we come to painting. I went to the Academy and there I discovered my love for pastels.” When Karen got out of the hole, the idea of ​​doing something with the painting grew.

The main characters are trains. © Repro Mark Peters

Karlijntje Little Train

Karen has launched a line of custom greeting cards and graphics called “Snoetjes full of freckles” where animals are central. But she couldn’t stop there.

“I’m also a kindergarten teacher. There isn’t much in the market to provide child-sized answers to kids who have questions about burnout.” That came Bats Boom suddenly stopped established. “It’s become a picture book in which Karlijntje is the main character. Karlijnjtje is a sweet and handy little steam train. She’s always going above and beyond and wants to do good for everyone. She can’t and doesn’t dare stop herself. That’s why the station master pulls on the brakes” .

Through colorful drawings and fun nursery rhymes, Karen shows kids what it feels like to be overwhelmed. They also discover steps you can take to regain some flexibility. “It’s been a long time since I created the booklet. I’ve tried to highlight the different stages you’re going through. I’ve also started talking about this with people who’ve been through the same thing. Many things are recognizable. For example, you often wear a mask to make the outside world believe With something, but it’s your family who has to suffer.”

Karen’s preschoolers were the first judges. © Mark Peters

Kindergarten debate

Karen is now back in Kindergarten 3 and her kids at school were the first to judge prints and rhymes last year. The booklet also includes questions. For example, whether it would be a good idea to carry on, even if you were very tired. It was remarkable that in a class with twenty children I got nineteen yes and one girl answered firmly with “no.” Turns out her mother was also suffering from burnout. Even in the third kindergarten class, there is some kind of discussion.”

© Repro Mark Peters

According to Karen, her book is suitable for children from 5 years old. “The younger it gets, the more difficult it is, because the children are still holding on to themselves and it is difficult for them to put themselves in someone else’s position. My booklet is therefore intended for parents looking for some support, but it may also be useful for colleagues who want to work with the topic in class. I am currently working on a teaching package specifically for this purpose.”

The booklet consists of three parts. “First, there is some explanation about the origin of the book and the best way to start with it. There are discussion questions for each drawing and for each verse. Finally, at the back of the book are tips for working together in case you are overstimulated.”

© Repro Mark Peters

The author wants to market more picture books to young children in the near future. Actually, they were almost ready Bats Boom, and suddenly stopped But this book had to be the first. “Isn’t she going to overdrive again?” -I can hear your thinking. But this is not true. I have learned to rest in time. Making others happy remains one of my life goals. With a book like this I can do without having to work myself.”

Bats Boom, and suddenly stopped It costs 18 euros and can be ordered via Karen Vandoninck’s website: www.snoetjesvolsproetjes.com

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