One thing is certain – we love our kids more than anything in the world, and we are doing everything in our power to make their lives as good as possible. But this doesn't change the fact that raising children is one of the hardest jobs a person can have. Kids bring a lot of joy and excitement, but they can also be a handful! Many parents believe that it is most difficult when you have a baby and that as kids grow and become more independent, things get easier. Unfortunately, things can change AND still be difficult. The older the kids are, the more things you have to think about – schoolwork, homework, taking and bringing them back to school, sports practices, or other extracurricular activities, etc.
In this kind of situation, it would be surprising if you don’t experience mom burnout at some point in time. Hearing about burnout can cause you worry, but we are here to tell you that it is not a "problem" per se. It is quite normal, and most moms experience to some degree. What is the problem, however, is that we live in a society that doesn't allow women to take care of themselves in general, let alone when they are mothers. Traditionally, patriarchy, or in other words, a system of domination by men (or a system that is entirely subservient to the interests and needs of men) has insisted on the concept of a "superhuman" mother. She is supposed to be able to do everything perfectly to satisfy the needs of the child at all times. Her role in society is to be a mother, and thus she needs to sacrifice everything to be perfect in this role. And above all, she needs to be able to do it entirely by herself! For many reasons, the many roles a mother must fulfill can oftentimes lead to burnout.
What does "burnout" mean and how does it apply to motherhood? By definition, burnout is a state in which you feel extreme mental and physical exhaustion because you have been exposed to severe stress for an extended period of time. It is very common among first responders, caregivers, psychologists, etc. So how is that connected to being a mother?
Well, you see motherhood is a 24/7 care-based job. You have a myriad of tasks, responsibilities, and duties as a mother. And you are often do this without any breaks or time for yourself. When talking about mom burnout symptoms, you need to know that exhaustion is the first thing you should be aware of. You may even feel fatigued all the time, regardless of how much sleep you get and even find yourself thinking only about the next time you can sleep again.
Let's discuss some other signs and symptoms of mom burnout and address some of the ways to recover as well.
This is a common symptom of mom burnout, but even for moms who have partners or husbands. Think about it – have you ever found yourself spending time looking for glasses while they were peacefully sitting on top of your head the entire time? It is perfectly normal to experience forgetfulness. There are so many things to take care of, it is to be expected that you are going to forget some things that may not be considered very important. But when forgetfulness becomes so severe that you start forgetting when you need to pick up kids from school or when they have a recital, then you might have a real problem. If you are forgetting important things like this, then you could be experiencing burnout.
Different things work for different people. Something that can be useful is to write down all the duties and obligations. Experts believe that creating an agenda or using apps to organize everything can provide your mind with the clarity needed to prepare for each day.
Your kid is already big enough to sleep through the night, which means that you can do it as well. Right? But despite being able to sleep a full eight or even more hours, you don't stop feeling exhausted! In this case, we are talking about something other than everyday tiredness. When you experience burnout, both your mind and your body are excessively tired, and there is no amount of sleep that is going to fix it. Some people refer to it as an "emotional exhaustion", which is the result of stress. This causes poor sleep, lack of energy, and lack of motivation. It is something that can happen to any moml, but it is even more visible as the manifestation of homeschool mom burnout or special needs mom burn out.
Regardless of how busy you are as a mom, don't forget that it is essential for you to take good care of yourself. Keep in mind that only when you are fulfilled and in good condition, can you be the best version of yourself for you children and family. So, forget all about what you heard before and put yourself in first. Try to squeeze in things that give you energy and allow you to rest. Exercising with things like weighted jump rope can be super energizing and make you feel much better.
As you know, caring for children can be challenging at times. And the older they are, the more complicated things can become. They don’t want to eat veggies, pick up the toys, they insist on staying up late, and so on. That kind of behavior can be frustrating in every situation, but especially when you are preparing for an important meeting or when you are late for work, etc. In these situations, it is not uncommon to snap at your child. However, if you find that you are snapping much more and it is making you worry or feel guilty, then you are experiencing revenge burnout. It can also include snapping at your partner if you are under the impression that they are not involved enough or at all in your children's lives.
Avoid falling into the concept of a perfect mom and accept that you need support from other people. If you are in a relationship or married, remind your partner/husband that they are their children as well and that they have the same responsibilities as you do. If you are a single mom, ask your friends and relatives to help you out – they can take the kids to their place or the park when you are preparing for important things at work, etc.
We know that having mom burnout and feeling continually exhausted is super frustrating. Women who feel this way often think that there is something wrong with them and that they are failing as mothers. We hope that this helps you realize that this is not the case. It is essential to know that things don't have to be this way.
Rachel Burns is an experienced copywriter and photographer with a design diploma. She works with startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers and companies from around the world. In addition to writing articles and promotional materials, she enjoys hiking, reading, cooking and spending time with her family.
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