Social media has a lot to answer for!
Being a proofing ground for comparison and inadequacy, it’s no wonder so many moms (mums) are feeling burnt out by not being good enough, ‘doing enough’ or ‘keeping a lid on enough’.
(OK, enough of the enoughs now)
I’m a UK based mum but I write mom in the American tone today.
For no other reason than to remain consistent – as ‘mom burnout’ has more internet searches than ‘mum burnout’. And I want to help as many mums (moms) as possible.
Now onto the main topic.
I’ll be sharing the best tips on how to avoid and recover from mom burnout (based on science, well-being knowledge and personal experiences)
What I wish to say is if you’re feeling burnt out right now, you must address it.
Face it head-on.
That means acknowledging it’s happening rather than burying your head in the sand.
Chronic stress builds up over time. It’s relentless. And it happens when you take on too much.
But mama, this is you through and through, no? Trying to do everything and be everything to everyone. Am I right?
Best way forward
Let’s not get into your past hiccups here, but instead, focus on moving forward.
There’s no point in dwelling over split milk.
Parental burnout happens for many reasons, but the key to overcoming it is to STOP.
Stop doing everything and take some time out.
Work on seeing yourself as a good enough mother, even without doing all the things.
Stop being in constant drive mode and give yourself time to relax in the evenings when the kids sleep.
Stop allowing physical exhaustion to be your norm.
Let’s begin with the mess. Many moms struggle with the mess side of motherhood.
Whether it’s because we’ve grown up in an overly sterile house as kids or perhaps seen too many show homes on Instagram?
The important thing is that mess + kids = a guaranteed certainty.
So work on being OK with this.
You put so much pressure on yourself to keep the house constantly tidy and clean, when in fact, you ought to question why you feel the need to?
Sure, we all want a tidy house when we have visitors. But every day?
Please. Allow yourself some grace.
Perhaps make a new rule under your roof that you’ll tidy once the kids are in bed?
As an end to the day sort of thing. I do this, and love the feeling of completeness.
(I’ve gotten over the fact that I need a clean house 24/7)
Whenever feelings of perfectionism rise in me, I squish them down and remind myself that a house with kids is a messy house!
The main way to avoid mom burnout is to give yourself time with yourself. Self care and self love.
Now, believe me, I get it.
The kids need looking after. And they take up all your time (same here.)
So this is why you’ve got to embrace early mornings and late evenings.
I write this blog (as an example) at 6am in the morning and 10pm at night on a Monday and Tuesday every week.
It’s one of the most common questions I get. “When do I get the time?!”
The thing is, I’m so strict and devoted to giving myself this time that nothing will let it slip.
Other things I prioritise for myself are reading or watching a nice movie, or a glass of wine in the garden with the hubby.
Family life is so busy.
That’s why you have more control over your early mornings and late evenings because you have fewer interruptions and more peace – so make the most of it!
From personal experience, I remind myself to escape the house at least once a day.
Usually it’s more than that.
We’re lucky to have a wonderful playpark that the kids know and love nearby.
I’ve not yet read a book while they’re playing there, mind you, as they’re at that age where a wobble here or there could lead to a trip to A&E.
But y’know – future goals!
The mental load of being a mom is HUGE lets be frank.
Yet a break from the house will offer you respite from this.
Offering yourself a chance to meet your own needs is crucial – whether it’s a walk, a talk on the phone with someone or a 5 minute sit down with a cup of coffee.
From a science perspective, being outdoors exposes you to powerful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which all plants and trees emit.
Some believe this is why being in nature has such a calming effect on us.
The good news (great news really!) is regardless whether you’re a stay home mom (mum) or a working mom, there’s a never-ending list of ways to overcome or avoid burnout.
Burnout is serious and can lead to postpartum depression, anxiety, physical exhaustion, as well as other mental health struggles.
My best advice if you are burnt out right now (and you’d know it if you are) is to drop everything and get support.
Whether it’s support from your partner, family, parents, friends, GP – you need a break, and you must take that break.
Even a two hour visit to the town on your own would do you the world of good but really, get a medical opinion if it’s affecting your day-to-day life and parenting abilities.
When I suffered burnout last year I visibly broke down in tears with my head in my hands.
My husband was horrified and swiftly booked us a weekend away so I could escape the myriad of business activities I’d got myself into.
My burnout happened from trying to do too many things and not giving myself enough time.
I’d just had our second baby and was in the rapid scaling stage of my business – it took its toll, big style.
Little things made a massive difference. back then.
Allowing my hubby to make me a cup of tea rather than me making it myself.
Letting him play with the babies while I took a long bath with some nice bubbles and essential oils. And a little bit of alone time here and there got me back on track.
Symptoms of mom burnout
Just incase you’re wondering, here’s a list of possible symptoms (by no means all)
- Chronic exhaustion and stress which doesn’t go away
- Feeling drained and miserable
- Persistent I’m not good enough feelings
- Foggy head
- Inability to think straight
- Very, very tired
- Fretful, jittery and anxious
Be on the lookout for these symptoms and get help if you’re suffering.
Also, read my other blog posts – there’s a whole wellbeing section which will help you help yourself.
Happier moms are social moms if you ask me!
Of course, you may not want to be social, but having a social network of caring women by your side is essential (if you ask me!)
As part of a healthy lifestyle where society promotes healthy eating and exercise – to me, having friends is equally important.
Involve yourself in local support groups and tots groups where you can talk and listen to others.
Particulary as stay-at-home moms, socialising is necessary to avoid loneliness and isolation. One of the best things I did was join toddler groups when my first baby was born.
I hope you find this post valuable and informative? Pop a comment and let me know. Do look after yourself. Your health matters!