Mommy Burnout: It’s Real & What You Can Do About It
The ideas I had in my head of motherhood before kids was of happy trips to the park, warm summer days, cuddling, teaching them how to ride a bike…you know, all the good things. It never occurred to me that there would be hard days, blowouts, tantrums, cleaning up poop constantly. Lets just say reality hit me like a ton of bricks in the face. Suddenly you are wondering what in the world you ever did before kids.
Of course I enjoyed the newborn days of sleepy babies and long walks while they napped in the stroller…and then they are screaming at the top of their longs before nap time.
I cherished the early words they tried to bable along with every time they called me mama…and then they started yelling no.
As our kids grow and change, so do we. Losing your patients and snapping at your kids over little things not only wears on your kiddos but also yourself. It can have you start asking yourself what is wrong with me? Why am I losing my shit? Is this really that big of a deal? This is what I would classify as “Mom Burnout” the dictionary doesn’t have this defined but I’m going to tell you what it should say.
“MOM BURNOUT: The mother of children who is dead tired, worn out, overwhelmed and has no time for herself. She sleeps with one ear on listening for awake children; wears materials made of stretch or spandex only; eats standing up or in the front seat of her car in less than 30 seconds; makes multiple meals and snacks every day, cleans, picks-up, entertains, plays, comforts, cuddles, nurses, folds, washes, rocks a child every waking moment of each and every single day. Selfishly takes care of everyone around her, but herself. She’s superwoman, but she’s dog tired and having mommy burnout means that this wonder woman has hit the threshold where she needs help and changes have to be made because the hamster wheel has to stop.
Being a mom is hard. Harder than I thought.
There is NO reason to feel guilty or ashamed because you feel burnt out because truth be told, being a parent is exhausting. You are constantly being pulled in all different directions. It really is the best and hardest job all at the same time.
You aren’t only a mom but a driver, meal maker, doctor, playmate, sleeping buddy, and safety net. While the list goes on and on for the daily tasks that need to be done, we’re expected to maintain our home, plan activities, and socialize our children (and then some).
(I don’t know about you but just reading that list made me feel like I needed a nap)
Having mommy burnout does NOT make you a bad mom, it makes you human. However realizing you are coming to your breaking point before you lose your shit is key. Here are a few things I started to change once I noticed I was slipping into my own mom funk.
Create a daily routine and stick with it.
Create a schedule both you and your children can stick with.
Having a routine of eating schedules, nap time, play time, will not only help you manage what needs to be done but also help set expectations for your kiddos. Children thrive when they have a daily schedule that works and keeps sleep and eating times consistent from day to day.
Revamp your morning or evening (or both) routine.
When you wake up in the morning, or go to bed at night feeling worn down because you don’t have much left to fill your own tank, it might be time to change up your personal routine.
Feeling exhausted by 5PM, not having energy to make it to bedtime after a long day with my kiddos is all too familiar. To make matters worse I’d look around and see that there is a pile of laundry, dirty kitchen, a million dishes to do, and still needing to make dinner and bath time.
Changing up your routine and knowing that it doesn’t all have to be done or perfect helps me a ton!
Let kids entertain themselves.
Today, there is a misconception that we have to be entertaining out kids 24/7.
STOP THIS. Erase this misconception from your brain. It is more than okay to let your kids sit and entertain themselves. This is how they learn and create. How are they going to be able to be creative if you are always hovering over, or constantly entertaining them?
Get out of the house.
If you are in a rut, step outside. Changing your environment from the same ole’ day to day routine can help immensely in your mood.
This doesn’t have to be a extravagant outing, it can be as simple as taking a walk or scheduling a play date. Your kids will appreciate the change of scenery just as much as you will!
Take pride in getting ready.
Helping get out of your pants requires real clothes…not the workout clothes that look like you could have slept in them. Take time to shower, do your hair and makeup, even if it’s just mascara. If you look good you feel good. Spending a little time on yourself goes a long way.
Find something you love to do.
What did you love to do BEFORE YOU HAD KIDS? Reading, running, movies, singing in a choir or crafting?
Now that you have a routine and know when you’ll have time for you or when you hire a babysitter, incorporate things you love into your personal time. It may be as simple as going to your favorite coffee spot for a cup or two of uninterrupted you time, or signing up for a new class.
Most importantly, remember to go easy on yourself.
Know this, the feelings of burnout won’t last forever.
You are doing the best you can and that’s all your children need but you have to take care of yourself as well. You are important, your family sustains itself and functions because of all that you do all day long.