What is mom burnout?
Mom burn out is when as a women with children, you take on too much and overextend yourself for a prolonged period of time. Being productive can give us feelings of fulfillment but keep an eye out for the below mom burnout symptoms, because they can creep up on you if being productive leads to over production.
As a mom, self care is super important when juggling multiple balls on a daily basis. There is a popular quote going around that states “Self Care is not Selfish” and I think that is really important to say to oneself every day as a mantra.
Society sends subtle and not so subtle messages to women that a good moms gives all of themselves to their children. TV shows 2 types of moms, one that is the stay at home and has no life outside of the family, and the other who is the career women who neglects their kids.
It’s no wonder that moms experiences symptoms of burn out when there are no realistic role models for what motherhood can look like.
The 5 stages of burnout
Inviting a new baby home is so exciting. We’ve been warned about the tiredness, although it’s often talked about as a phase to push through. The adrenaline that comes with keeping a little human alive maintains us during the early stages of parenthood, but the honeymoon phase is quite short if self care gets neglected.
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But burnout is not only for new parents and can happen at anytime in someone life. As soon as we start to continuously over extend ourselves, there is a chance of mom burnout to occur. It might feel exciting at first and well worth it, but eventually neglecting to refuel, can lead you down a dangerous rabbit hole.
Onset of stress:
You are starting to get worried over the lack of sleep. At this point you might have surpassed what others consider normal for your baby to wake at night. As a new parent, we are not clearly explained that some babies might not sleep through the night well through toddler hood. The onset of stress is the first red flag that unfortunately we often neglect.
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At this point you have the choice to step back and make a change in your life. If you choose to try to push through it in hopes that things will get better soon, there is a chance you are paving the way to mom burnout. The longer you wait to make positive change in your life, the harder it will be to dig yourself out.
Once heightened stress becomes part of your every day, you might be entering a state of chronic stress. The real indicator to this is that motivation for activities you once enjoyed start feeling more like an obligation. Your mood starts to decline and you notice yourself become more emotional.
As a new mom, this can express itself with being more irritable, arguing with your partner and starting to doubt yourself as a mom. Unfortunately this last part is a societal problem which misrepresents what a good mom looks like.
I think many of us tend to live in this state of chronic stress. Especially when we set too high of expectation on ourselves. If every day seems like a race to the finish and you stay up too late every night trying to complete tasks, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. As a mom, this is really common when trying to balance a career and being present in your child’s life. Or as a stay at home mom feeling too much pressure to live up to a certain expectation of perfection.
Once you enter the stage of burnout, it is often not possible to push through anymore on will alone. Everyone’s threshold is different and the stages of burnout are not linear. You might fluctuate between stages but if you don’t make real change, the cycle will remain the same. Burnout is so common among parents because inviting a child into the family is a major life change and it requires real adjustments to take place.
This is the point where you stop certain activities completely due to feeling tiered and unmotivated. You might stop taking your kids to activities, stop taking care of yourself and possibly zone out for most of the day. If you are not able to get out of the stage of burnout it is really important to seek help. Either speak to your partner, or a close friend, or reach out to a therapist. Personally, I’d do all three.
As if burnout wasn’t bad enough, our bodies can actually get used to this state. Anything that becomes a habit is super difficult to get out of. We are now used to overextending ourselves and it will take real intention to change the cycle.
If you are in a state of habitual burnout, it is really important to seek help. Burn out can lead to real health issues and should not be taken lightly. As a mom, remember that taking care of yourself is the first step to taking care of your children. Not only are you setting up a precedent for them, but you will be happier parent around your children if self care is practiced.
If you find yourself always feeling burnt out and there is never any relief coming your way, it is critical to make a change. Read more below for tips on how moms can make small daily changes to bring themselves out of a state of habitual burnout.
20 mom burnout symptoms
- Spending time with your child is no longer pleasurable.
- You find yourself yelling more.
- Feelings of overwhelm fill your day.
- There doesn’t seem to be anything to look forward to.
- Practicing daily self care has gone out the window. (Showering, brushing teeth, wearing clean-ish clothing).
- You can’t wait for the day to be over.
- Your whole body has felt tiered for an elongated time.
- All workout routine has stopped.
- You are not at your normal body weight: either lost a ton of weight or gained.
- Caffeinated drinks are taking over your day in order to function.
- You regularly say mean things to the ones you love and later regret it.
- The days are starting to blur together.
- You’ve lost track of what makes you happy.
- It’s hard to keep you temper in check
- You are no longer keeping in contact with you friends.
- You are getting sick really often.
- Experiencing ailments that are not normal per your medical history.
- Forgetfulness on a daily basis
- High level of anxiety.
- Increased alcohol consumption.
What you can do to reduce mom burnout
To reduce mom burnout you have to take some things off your plate. Those things can be both physical errands but will also include mental expectations you have set for yourself.
In a 24-hour period you should aim for the following:
- 1-2 hour window that is just yours with no kids
- at least 6 hours of sleep
- include a short morning self care routine. (for ex. shower, brush teeth, fresh clothing).
- Have at least one meal a day that is complete (carbs / protein / veggies / fruit)
- most important: have one thing a day to look forward to! (this can be buying yourself a coffee, watching an episode of a show you like, reading a book).
There is so much more you can do, but start slowly. Pick one of these ideas at a time to not overwhelm yourself. The goal here is to do less with intention, not more. Hopefully this post has helped you recognize what mom burnout symptoms may look like so that you can spot them in your life or that of a friend.
==> Read these 7 Tips to overcome working mom exhaustion and live a happier life<==
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