Do you know that feeling where your mind feels like it’s constantly in Drive? You wake up, make breakfast, get the kids ready for school, drop them off, get ready for work, or start your morning routine with the babies, you pick the big kids up from school, help with homework, go to practice, come home cook dinner, then bath time, now bedtime, and so on and so on. It feels like a lot because it is A-LOT.
There are times in motherhood when the daily checklist starts building up and then everything we do for the kids and the house just feels like they are piling up around us.
It becomes a bit too much.
Burnout is real, and it’s normal, especially in a wfm/stay-at-home environment… But I’m also here to share that it doesn’t have to be.
And if you are anything like me, you try to take everything on as if you’re some superhero! Which if I’ll say so myself, I always get humbly reminded I am not.
Signs of Burnout:
- Exshuation – Being extremely fatigued both mentally and physically is usually the first indication that you’re close to burnout.
- Mood Change/Negative Attitude – Increased irritability, possible anger, isolation, or disconnecting with people around you.
- Lack of Self-Care – Ignoring your basic needs so that you can take care of everyone else. Not giving yourself breaks or downtime.
- Decreased Sleep – Trouble falling to sleep, waking up frequently throughout the night, or tossing and turning more often than usual.
- Physical Pains – Increase or frequent headaches and migraines, digestive issues, or muscle pains.
So how can stop or prevent burnout?
It’s simple, pack up all your things and leave your family. (JUST KIDDING!)
Preventing motherhood burnout involves self-care, support, and balance. Prioritizing time for yourself, seeking help from family or friends, considering therapy, and setting realistic expectations can all help reduce the feeling of burnout.
Don’t skip out on self-care
Prioritizing self-care is one of the main ways behind preventing burnout. Often we’re doing so much for everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves. Whether it’s working out, reading a book, writing in your journal, or even just taking a nap, take the much-needed time to yourself to recharge, regroup, and most importantly relax.
Set Realistic Expectations
I will be the first to say, this image in our head of where we can take on all of the family’s tasks without a break is unrealistic. Having a home that looks like no one lives in it is unrealistic. Cooking 5-course meals in an hour is unrealistic. We have to stop thinking we’re bad moms because we can’t do everything all the time. It’s impossible and makes us feel like giving it our all isn’t enough.
But it is enough. You are enough.
The laundry doesn’t have to be washed and folded all on the same day. Dinner time just needs to be spent with each other. And taking a break from the kids doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Setting realistic expectations helps lift the burden we place on ourselves to be everything to everybody.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s extremely vital to your well-being to make sure you have a support system to help you through rough patches. Asking family, friends, and partners for help when you need it can alleviate the feeling of you having to take care of everything by yourself.
Connecting with other moms going through the same thing can also provide you with emotional support and remind you that you’re not alone.
Manage your time
One of the most effective ways to help burnout is to start managing your time and prioritizing what’s necessary and what can wait. Organizing tasks and creating a to-do list allow you to focus on what truly matters and manage your time more effectively. And it’s okay to adjust your priorities as circumstances change.
Find Joy in Motherhood
There is JOY in living in the moment with your kids especially while they are still young. Remembering that this time we get with them cannot be replaced. Take the time to cuddle a bit more, laugh at their silly jokes, or teach them how to bake something. Creating these everyday memories with your kiddos is what motherhood is all about.
But don’t forget that you’re also more than just a Mom, you’re YOU. You are allowed to pursue hobbies and interests outside of parenting without any guilt.
When to reach out to a professional
It’s important to reach out to your doctor or therapist when dealing with parental burnout if you experience:
- Persistent Symptoms: If feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion, or low mood persist for an extended period despite efforts to manage them.
- Intense Anxiety or Depression: If you’re experiencing intense anxiety, depression, or thoughts of harming yourself or others.
- Impact on Daily Life: When burnout begins affecting your ability to perform daily tasks, fulfill parental responsibilities, or engage in enjoyable activities.
- Difficulty Coping: If you’re struggling to cope with your feelings and emotions on your own.
- Social Isolation: If you’re withdrawing from social interactions and support systems.
- Decline in Parenting Quality: When your ability to provide care for your children is compromised due to burnout.
- Unresolved Grief: If you’re dealing with unresolved grief, trauma, or other past experiences that contribute to burnout.
Your doctor or therapist can provide professional guidance, coping strategies, and support tailored to your situation. It’s always better to reach out sooner rather than later to address burnout before it escalates.
Your well-being matters just as much as your role as a mother. Taking steps to prevent burnout isn’t selfish – it’s a necessary investment in yourself and your family. By prioritizing self-care, seeking support, and finding joy in both your role as a parent and your passions, you’re not only creating a healthier environment for yourself but also setting a positive example for your children.
A balanced and fulfilling motherhood journey is within reach, and with each small step you take, you’re making a difference in your own life and the lives of those you love.
XOXO – A Busy Mama