Being a mom is tiring, especially with such pressure placed on the modern-day mother. Think about it for a moment: Mom’s are expected to take care of the children, their families, cook three meals a day, wait hand on foot for their children, and sometimes partners, be emotionally available 24/7 and breastfeed for an entire year.
But that’s just the beginning.
This is not sustainable, the expectations are placed too high on the pressures of moms in everyday society. Often, many moms have their own responsibilities too, outside of family time; perhaps meeting friends, in some cases working a full-time job, pursuing a passion, or exercising five days a week.
As you can imagine, and perhaps have experienced or are currently experiencing, moms are often left feeling empty and deflated, not just at the end of each day but at the beginning too.
If left with too high of expectations and going full-speed each and every day with little time for rest, you’re going to reach what is called: Mom burnout.
This article will explain what mom burnout is, the symptoms of it, and finally how to recover from it, helping you bounce back to crushing daily chores and finding time for YOU.
What is mom burnout?
According to the World Health Organization, burnout is defined as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. However, it does not have to be work-related. Burnout too, can exist in any area of life, for example being a mom.
Symptoms of work burnout include:
● Feelings of depletion or exhaustion
● Negative feelings or cynicism towards one’s job
● Reduced professional efficacy
Let’s relate these symptoms back to mom burnout.
Symptoms of mom burnout include:
● Negative feelings or cynicism towards being a parent
● Reduced productivity
● Feeling tired, “not bothered”, or “hopeless” daily
● Problems sleeping
● Headaches & body aches
● Lack of motivation
● Constantly feeling drained or exhausted
As you can see, there is a whole cocktail of mom burnout symptoms. As a parent, you’ve likely experienced one, if not multiple of these. However, only if these are consistent could you be experiencing mom burnout.
So, how do you recover from this? How do you re-gain that motivation, catch up on sleep, and no-longer feel drained and exhausted every hour of every day?
How to recover from mom burnout
To understand the extent of your burnout, or whether you’re experiencing it in the first place, we recommend creating a list of daily tasks you undergo. This list can be as simple as waking the kids up, doing the shopping, cooking dinner, and putting the kids back to bed. The more accurate and in-depth the list, the easier it is to pinpoint burnout, putting together an actionable plan to stop it in its tracks.
Once you’ve created your list, it’s worth looking at this from an “outside-in perspective”. If this was another parent, would you think they were doing too much? If the answer is yes, you’re likely experiencing mom burnout.
One way to reduce this load and re-gain energy is to ask for help. If possible (and while it isn’t always), ask your partner whether they can take over some of the daily tasks, helping you to recover and feel yourself, once again.
If that’s not an option, perhaps you could ask a grandparent, or if your burnout is particularly bad, it may be worth hiring a nanny or a babysitter a couple of days a week.
Find time for yourself
The reason many moms experience burnout is they’re finding no time for themselves. Each and every day their lives are centered around their children: doing what they want to do, looking after them, and waiting on them hand and foot.
That’s okay, that’s parenting.
However, a great way to reduce burnout is to find time for yourself, even if it’s as little as one hour a day. Do something you enjoy, sit in peace, go for a nap, perform a workout, or go for a run. Do something for you, something you appreciate and want to do.
Finding the time for yourself allows you to renew your energy and re-gain motivation not only for things you love and have put off but towards parenting once again.
Be realistic and focus on what really matters
It’s not feasible to perform one hundred jobs a day, so why are you trying to do it? Most regular jobs are capped at forty hours a week - do you know why that is? To prevent burnout and increase motivation in the workplace.
While you can’t treat parenting like a 9-5, you can set aside tasks for another day. Whether it’s doing the dishes, hoovering the floor, sticking the fifth load of washing on, or wiping down the surfaces.
You’re only human - sometimes, setting things aside and doing these another day is the perfect way to let loose, to sustain and regain that energy and motivation that was lost, finding more time for yourself, relaxing, and recovering from mom burnout.
Finally, it’s important to practice self-care. No matter how big or small, find something you enjoy and do this every day. No exceptions.
And we’re not talking a bottom of the list task either, this should be top of your list, something you do without fail. This can something as simple as a quick walk, a run, reading a book, watching television, or face-timing a friend.
Mom burnout is real, it’s tough, exhausting, and at times has us questioning what on earth we’re doing.
Don’t feel mom guilt about this. This is simply a way of your body telling you, you need to re-energize, to re-gain motivation. The best way to do this is to let go of smaller tasks that can wait another day, to find time for yourself, and to practice self-care, something we certainly do not do enough of.
About the Author
Kelly Hater has over 15 years of coaching experience along with a B.S. in Health Promotion specialized in Exercise Science.
She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout, providing a clear, decisive plan that leads her clients on a path of success. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming struggles herself. Get the accountability needed to take action. BOOK A FREE CALL