Ignoring the signs that you’re on the road to mom burnout could be at the cost of your physical and mental well-being.
As moms, we’re always looking out for everyone else. We’re the ones putting the oxygen masks on our kids despite being told to take care of ourselves first. That’s why it’s so important to recognize when you’re headed down a path that isn’t good for your health.
I hope you won’t end up here. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. But it’s good to be familiar with what to look out for so you can avoid or address mom burnout and get back to being the person you know and love.
After reviewing some of the signs, I’ll share ways to combat mom burnout. Save them in case you’re ever in need!
Tips are based on personal experience and should not be considered medical advice. Full disclaimer.
Signs of Mom Burnout
1. Everything and everyone is irritating you
Every little thing is getting under your skin. You’re losing your temper more than usual, yelling at your kid or partner at the drop of the hat. You’re frequently apologizing for how you acted, and you don’t feel like your usual self.
2. You feel you have so much to do that you don’t know where to start
Moms are busy people—that is to be expected. What’s concerning is if it gets to the point where thinking about everything that isn’t done yet is paralyzing. Your mental to-do list is a mile long and is keeping you from getting anywhere. Your mind is exhausted with everything on your plate. You might even have some physical symptoms, such as trouble sleeping or a weight pressing down on you.
3. You’re. So. Tired.
I mean, all moms are tired, right? But if you’re experiencing a persistent sluggishness and lack of energy that is affecting your ability to function, that is a sign of trouble.
4. You can’t remember the last time you felt truly lighthearted
Are you missing the joy motherhood used to bring you? If the last time you smiled or laughed feels like a distant memory, and you’ve got more clouds than sunshine, it’s time to get back to a better place.
5. You aren’t excited about much of anything
The days are blurring together. One doesn’t seem much different from the next. You might be getting by with the bare minimum, but nothing has you really jazzed anymore. Maybe you don’t even want to get out of bed.
If some of these sound familiar, it’s time to take action. Parenting can feel all-consuming, and it’s understandable to have times of overwhelm. But you can get back to living a life you enjoy.
Combatting Mom Burnout
So what do you do?
Take these signs as a cue that you need to give some attention to your mental health.
Make changes to lighten the load
Moms so often take on the lion’s share of the mental and physical work of parenting. If you’re the default parent in your household, can you redistribute some of the load? What tasks can you delegate to others? Let it be known that mom can’t do it all, and you need some help!
If spreading the work around doesn’t provide enough relief, can you let go of some tasks altogether?
Do you need to lower your expectations?
Look for ways to streamline your schedule so you can reduce stress and make more time for you in your day. Get creative or cut back on activities.
Make a plan for some fun
Give yourself something to look forward to. Have you planned your next vacation? What about a girl’s night or a day to yourself? Find something you can look forward to and put it on your calendar.
Do some fun things with your kids to help you feel the joy of parenting again. If you’re usually the “cruise director” in your family (finding and scheduling all the activities), is there anyone who can help play this role so you just get to show up and enjoy for once?
Also try these ways to inject joy into your day.
Add Self-Care ASAP
You need to start carving out regular time for you. Give yourself a little break. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Something that nourishes you, whether it be meditation, reading, or a hobby. See these self-care ideas.
Reconnect with yourself. What are your interests, goals, and passions outside of parenting? How can you bring some of those back into your life?
Reach Out for Help
Talk to a partner, friend, doctor, or therapist about how you’re feeling. It’s okay to say, “I’m not okay.” We all go through tough times. It doesn’t make you a weak person or a bad mother.
If you know something feels off, don’t ignore it. Reach out to someone you trust and tell them, “I’m having a hard time” or “I don’t feel like myself.” If you’re suffering from an episode of depression, there are options to help you get back on your feet.
Please know that by recognizing mom burnout and working on positive changes, there will be brighter days ahead. You can reduce overwhelm and get back to feeling enjoyment again. Take note of these signs and take action.
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