Do you feel like you might explode at any moment? Is your family walking on eggshells around you while you feel like you might pull out your hair? You’re entering motherhood burnout, a downward spiral no one likes to experience.
Most mothers experience burnout from time to time, but you might not know what’s called. You simply feel ready to break down at any moment, and everything feels so overwhelming. It’s like a mountain is in front of you that you need to clean, but you’re too mentally and physically exhausted to do it, and you just want to scream.
The good thing is that it’s normal to feel burned out; everyone feels this way from time to time. With the right tricks, burnout will feel like a thing of the pass, and you’ll feel ready to conquer the world.
What is Motherhood Burnout?
Moms spend all day taking care of everyone else. We get our kids up, feed them breakfast, wash clothes, make sure the toddler doesn’t set the house on fire, and hope we find a few minutes to breathe by ourselves.
Recharging our batteries is often the last thing on our agenda, but when we don’t stop and focus on ourselves, we enter something called motherhood burnout.
It looks different for all mamas, but I bet you know what I mean.
The day starts off, and you feel wrong. You don’t feel like yourself, and all you want is some alone time, but the kids don’t get the memo. You’re grumpy and irritated; you yell about everything your kids do and wonder if your head will explode anytime soon.
Mommy Burnout Appears Out of Nowhere
Sometimes, we have rough patches, like when our kids are sick and everyone is miserable, but burnout is different.
It’s all the little things added together to make you feel like you’re burned out and tired of being a mother right now.
You lost tons of sleep when your babies were little, and let’s be honest, that doesn’t always get better when you have a toddler.
You’re isolated and not spending enough time with your friends.
Working moms have to balance a work week, or you might be working at home or surviving being a homemaker.
Don’t forget; you have to be a spouse as well.
Your baby is teething, your toddler is going through a sleep regression, and your preschooler complains about being bored all. the. year.
It’s Not That We Don’t Love Being a Mom
Listen, going through motherhood burnout doesn’t mean you don’t love being a mama. We all know that being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs in the entire world, but it’s thankless.
So many things happen behind the scenes to make a household and family run smoothly, and it’s not like your toddler will thank you for washing their sheets and clothing.
After weeks and months of giving everything to my kids and family, I start to wonder about myself – what about me? Somewhere inside of me, there is the same girl who used to party and focused solely on myself.
I went through postpartum depression and anxiety, so I know this feels different.
The best way to describe mothering burnout is that it feels like the emotional and physical exhaustion from constant parenting.
The 4 Signs of Mom Burn Out
So, how do you tell mommy burnout from normal frustration or even postpartum depression?
Four signs help let you know that you have something going on that is causing you to feel burned out.
1. Yelling and Blowing Up More Than Normal
We’re human, so the occasional break downs and yelling happens, no matter how much we try. Some days, everything goes wrong, and you end up yelling at your kids.
However, there are days when I think my family should head for the hills because I’m going into full-on mommy burnout or freak out.
So, when you find that you’re yelling way more often that usual, it might be because you are heading into burnout mode.
2. Your House is a Disaster
Cleaning isn’t anyone’s favorite thing in the whole world, but if you’re feeling so overwhelmed that you stop cleaning entirely, it may be because you’re feeling burned out.
When I’m in that burnt out mode, it’s because I’m running behind everywhere, and that makes me feel nuts.
Don’t try to go into crazy cleaning mode; you need a day off from everything and time to breathe. Then, you can get back into your typical daily routine and schedule.
3. You’re Lonely But Don’t Want to Connect
Do you ever feel like you’re so lonely but have no desire to put in the effort to connect with family or friends?
When you feel overwhelmed, you get into the cycle of isolation and depression, and you don’t want to connect with people who you love. It often feels like a chore to go hang out with friends, or you assume that no one understand what we’re experiencing.
Now is the time to reach out to your friends for support!
4. You Forget about Your Health
Everyone knows that health is important, but when you’re not paying attention to how you’re treating your body because you’re so overwhelmed, you might be in the burnout mode.
I love to exercise; you’ll see on my Instagram stories that I love different fitness classes. It makes me feel good about myself, but when I’m super overwhelmed with life, I don’t make it a big priority to take care of my body.
9 Tips to Survive Motherhood Burnout
Going through motherhood burnout isn’t abnormal; I think most mothers feel this way from time to time.
1. Ask for Help More Often
When you’re feeling burned out by motherhood, the first thing you need to do is start asking for more help.
That might mean telling your spouse that you need more help around the house or hiring someone to come clean the house every two weeks. Don’t let anyone tell you that’s shameful – we have to do whatever it takes to survive.
It’s easy to feel like we shouldn’t ask for help; I feel like society makes me feel like I should be able to do it all myself. However, thinking that way is not healthy nor is it true.
Let me give you the go-ahead to
- Order dinner out as much as your budget allows
- Order groceries online
- Let your family take your kids to give you a break
- Hire the neighbor kid to cut the grass
- Ask friends to babysit when needed
Whatever it is that you feel like will help you in that moment is what you SHOULD do.
2. Stop Isolating Yourself
Friendships matter. Relationships with other people matter. We have to stop isolating ourselves and feeling guilty for pursuing friendships that aren’t in our home.
Stay connected with your friends. Grab coffee together without your kids. Take a girls’ weekend and getaway for a few days.
Isolating yourself will lead to feelings of depression and being closed off. It’s so important that you get connected with your community and find a support system that makes you feel good.
3. Work on Your Passions
Doing things only for your family is a sure-fire way to make sure yourself feel burned out and crazy. We take care of everyone else, but it’s crucial to make time for you to work on your passions.
We all have different passions!
You might love reading, knitting, writing, painting, or anything. Finding something you’re passionate about is a huge deal, and it will help you feel happier.
4. It’s Okay to Lower Expectations
You don’t have to do everything or be the most amazing Pinterest mother ever. All your family truly needs is love, and as long as you’re making their basic needs, everything else is extra.
We want to go above and beyond for our kids; we love our kids, and for many people, that’s part of your love language. However, sometimes, you have to step back and take a look at the extra pressure you’re putting on yourself and re-evaluate why you’re doing that.
Focus on what is most important rather than what you think you SHOULD be doing.
In fact, therapists tell you that you need to remove “SHOULD” from your vocabulary entirely. Anytime you put expectations on yourself or anyone else, you’re setting yourself up for some serious feelings of failure.
5. Practice Self-Care
Before I had kids, I did all kinds of things that made me relax and happy like binging ridiculous “reality” TV shows – were the even reality if they lived in a staged house together in a brand new city? Probably not.
When you have kids, your reality changes, but what shouldn’t change is taking time each day to do something that relaxes you. If you start and end the day stressed, you’ll end up with motherhood burnout faster than you might think.
6. Stop Comparing Yourself!
Have you ever thought about the damage it does when you compare yourself to other people, especially other parents? It affects us on a seriously deep level.
I know when I went through postpartum depression, comparison never helped me.
It’s easy to think about moms you know and imagine that their lives are perfect. That mama might have double the kids you have and all of the kids are always adorable when you see them. However, you have NO idea what happens behind the scenes.
7. Limit Your Time on Social Media
One of the places where we end up comparing ourselves the most is on social media. When we scroll through Facebook or Instagram, all we see is the best of a person’s day.
Social media is the frontline of someone else’s life.
How often do people share that their dining room table is overflowing with junk that needs to be put elsewhere? Do people really share when their toddlers had tantrums all day long?
You don’t have to completely cut out social media, but I suggest putting limits on the time that you send. I use the downtime feature on my iPhone to put a cap on the time I can spend on each app.
8. Stay Intimate with Your Partner
I’m not just talking about sex, even though that’s important for many people depending on their love language.
Being intimate means spending time together, communicating, and making time for each other. I often say my husband is my best friend because we talk about everything and have so much fun together.
Have fun with your spouse. Go on dates together or have dates at home. You’ll feel so much better!
9. Take Care of Your Body
Another thing that we often do is neglect our bodies, but mama, you have to take care of yourself!
Make it a priority to get enough sleep each day. I know; you want to stay up and binge Netflix. Sometimes, that’s okay, but most of the time, you need to get to bed and take care of your body.
You also need to make time to exercise regularly throughout the week, even if you aren’t a big fan of exercising. Make sure you drink enough water as well!
Motherhood burnout is no fun, but taking steps to relax and focus on yourself is the first step to feeling like yourself. Then, focus on figuring out ways to take things off your plate to prevent burning out again in the future.