I know that although motherhood is such a beautiful blessing, it can feel like a curse. Especially, when life throws some crappy curve balls our way sometimes.
I have had mamas share with me in moments of pain that they regret their decision to become a parent or wish life could be different. These moms were feeling completely stressed out, overwhelmed, and burnt out.
And I know they are not alone.
Maybe you are suffering from mom burnout too.
Do you find yourself regularly hiding in the bathroom just to get a moment of peace and quiet?
Maybe you find yourself sitting outside your child’s bedroom with tears streaming down your face because parenting is just so hard.
Do you find yourself often counting down the minutes until bedtime? Or turning to Do wine or scrolling through social media to escape your reality?
Have you found yourself yelling at your young child only to be met with big innocent, tear-filled eyes?
Does your heart break because you are constantly pulled by the demands of home and work and rarely have time for joy? Have you felt completely numb to the demands of home and work – frozen, unable to care any longer?
Do you long for days past? Like you are just done. Or you have nothing left to give?
You are a good mom.
I want you to know that I see you and that you are a good mom. I have been in some of those moments too. It brings on so many feels of guilt and shame. Making you question if you are enough.
ps. You are enough!
Not only are you enough but you are a good mom and you are exactly who your child needs – when you are available to be who you were created to be.
Moms have so many demands on them from caring for a beautiful, warm home to finding success in a career, and raising bright, well-behaved children. Oh and being a sexy, engaged wife on top of that.
And sometimes these demands and/or expectations around these things are just too much.
And that's ok.
I want you to know that not only do I want to acknowledge your feelings of anger, disappointment, sadness, stress, and overwhelm, but I also want to let you know that there is hope.
That things don’t have to feel this way. Motherhood doesn’t stop being hard but when we come from a place of calm, clarity, and abundance, motherhood brings us joy.
There are ways to make motherhood simple (not easy) but simple – and intentional.
I want you to humor me for a minute and imagine what life could look like if you didn’t feel this way. Write down what would look and feel different.
For me, I would…
- No longer get anxious Sunday night as I anticipate a draining and full week.
- Have energy to get on the floor and play with my kids.
- Be able to look at a messy kitchen and say, “its ok i’ll do it later” knowing me time comes first.
- Feel joy and see the good in life
- Be able to respond calmly to my children when there is conflict
- Go to bed feeling at peace
Now it’s your turn…
“Mamas want to feel peace in their homes, connection to their kids, mental space for what matters, owner of her own life, and feel good about self & parenting” – Allie Cassaza
SO WHAT IS MOM BURNOUT?
According to The World Health Organization, Burnout isn’t a medical condition or a disease. It is a syndrome resulting from chronic stress.
It’s characterized by three things:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job (or role)
- Reduce professional efficiency
Emily & Amelia Nagoski discuss these 3 components using language that connected me with.
- Emotional exhaustion: the fatigue that comes from caring too much, for too long. (I think as moms we are susceptible to this as we are constantly ‘on’ when raising our little peanuts. We just have nothing left to give).
- Depersonalization: the depletion of empathy, care, and compassion.( I think this applies to both care for ourselves and others. We start to lose motivation).
- Decreased sense of accomplishment: an unconquerable sense of futility: feeling that nothing you do makes any difference. (#housework I think as moms it is easy to feel stuck in the mundane tasks around housework, cooking, cleaning etc. Anyone else feel like groundhog day when they tidy the living room only to be destroyed the moment you turn your back or the endless amount of dishes to be washed?
Allie Cassaza summarizes it nicely by saying, “burnout becomes about when too much of your life is draining and not enough is fulfilling, then a sense of hopelessness can take over.”
SIGNS OF MOM BURNOUT
- Exhausted all the time
- You can’t focus
- Everything sets you off (triggered easily)
- Negative world view (rose coloured glasses)
- Your body feels it (ahces, tired, sore, headache, stomach ache)
- Not motivated/ loss of interest
- Cry (or feel totally numb like you have no tears left)
- Can’t sleep (sleep all day and still feel tired)
- Change in appetite
- Weight gain/loss
- Feel like you’re stuck in a cycle of getting nothing done but feeling so busy and overwhelmed and then guilty about not meeting expectations
Did you know that about 97% of Millennial mothers reported feeling burned out by motherhood at least some of the time? (State of Motherhood Survey)
*Mental Health tip – depression can sometimes feel a lot like mom burnout and mom burnout can lead to depression. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of depression please get professional help!
5 SIMPLES STEPS TOWARDS HEALING FROM MOM BURNOUT
- Acknowledge – there is no shame in saying that you are struggling (especially when 97% of millennial moms have!) I want to remind you that burnout comes from chronic stress. This means you need to focus on tackling stress. See my ultimate blog post all about stress.
- Move your body – moving your body is the #1 stress reducer and sleep enhancer. Moving your body can include yoga, exercise, walking, dancing, and even progressive muscle relaxation techniques.
- Drink more water! As moms it is so hard to stay hydrated. I am working on this right now. I try to fill up my water bottle full every morning with the goal of having it empty by bedtime. Water cleanses the body.
- Affirmations – speak truth into your life. When we experience mom burnout our outlook on life and ourselves becomes quite negative. Instead fill your mind and home with words of affirmation, verses, and positive quotes.
- Ask for help! Again there is no shame in needing help. It truly takes a village to raise children and mothers. The job of mom, wife, employee/boss, and homemaker are too much for 1 person. It is ok to ask for help. I encourage you to hire a clearing service even if 1/month or every other month or to trade childcare with a friend so you each get a day or afternoon off.
Although these are just 5 steps to help you get started. I have a blog post to follow all about healing from Mom Burnout AND a new resource, “Mothering With Intention Workbook” which you can grab for free below! #inthistogether
Always rooting for you,
xoxo Sarah (@thewholehearted.mom)
A workbook to help guide you through the first steps to becoming a wholehearted mom
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