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Inside: Mom burnout is real! If you are struggling with this, you need to know that you are not alone! Here are the tips that can help you overcome mom burnout and reclaim your joy in motherhood.
Before becoming a mom I had an idealistic perception of motherhood. So the reality of how hard it is to be a mom hit me hard after my son was born.
When my son was a toddler I went through the most difficult period of my motherhood journey. I remember feeling completely defeated. I was looking at my beautiful child and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t able to enjoy motherhood as much as I thought I would.
At that time, being a mom felt exhausting and I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right. My energy was running low all the time. Any of my child’s tantrums made me feel emotionally drained. Instead of feeling happy and blessed to have such a wonderful son, I felt overwhelmed and alone.
One afternoon I asked my husband to come home earlier because I really needed some sleep after a night with too little sleep and a very busy day. He promised he will get home at 5 o’clock and I couldn’t wait to have time to rest for a couple of hours.
But then some unexpected meetings kept him at the office later than expected. At around 6 o’clock I got a message from him saying that he will probably be home after 7.
My son was jumping all around the house. I remember reading that message and feeling like those 2 additional hours of “running” around the house after my active toddler were too much for me to handle!
I might seem strange for you to read this if you never experienced mom burnout. But at that moment, I could literally feel my body ache. And I felt so hopeless!
Mom burnout is real!
That evening, after my husband finally got home, I went to the bedroom to get some sleep. But I couldn’t fall asleep. I kept thinking about why I felt so overwhelmed.
Why it felt so hard to be a mom? Why was I so tired all the time? How could I reclaim the joy of motherhood?
I knew my son deserved a happy mom. And I knew that I deserved to enjoy my son a lot more!
That is when I first read about mom burnout. I could recognize myself in all the common signs of mom burnout.
At first, I couldn’t believe that mom burnout was happening to me. But then I felt relieved to understand what was happening and know that I am not the only mom going through that struggle.
The first steps to overcoming mom burnout
The next day I started looking for ways to make things better.
I started by prioritizing rest. Anytime my husband was able to take care of our son, I would make sure that I get some rest. Having an honest discussion with my husband about how I was feeling made him aware that I needed more help. Luckily, he was able to take over some of my daily tasks and it meant a lot!
Also, I stopped wasting time on social media. The time I spent in front of screens only added more stress to my life (without me even noticing it). So I took a “technology break” and it felt great!
Then I tried to set regular meetings with a few friends. We just went for an hour to a nearby Starbucks and talked. Being able to get out of my “mom role” once a week had a wonderful impact on my emotional state.
Life changes to prevent mom burnout
These first steps were great for helping me regain my energy and joy. But I knew that I needed to make some changes in my life if I wanted to prevent mom burnout from happening again.
It took me some time to figure out what changes were necessary and how to implement them. But making these changes made a big difference in my life.
photo credit: Alena Ozerova / shutterstock.com
If you are dealing with mom burnout, I encourage you to make these changes in your life. They can help you overcome mom burnout and reclaim your joy!
1. Ask for help
I can’t emphasize enough how important this is! I know that finding help is not always easy.
What helped me the most was changing my mindset. I realized that my husband is not a “babysitter”. He is a parent just like me and it’s normal for us to split the tasks related to our son.
So I stopped feeling bad about asking for help. Being able to have some time for me on a regular basis made me a better mom and wife. And the fact that my husband spent time with our son created a wonderful bond between them.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you feel overwhelmed! It can make your life a lot easier!
2. Lower your expectations
One of the biggest mistakes that I made as a new mom was to put way too much pressure on myself! I felt like I needed to do anything right. I was tough on myself and this affected my emotional state in the long run.
It took me a while to realize that my child doesn’t need a “perfect” mom that sacrifices everything for motherhood. My child just needs a happy mom who enjoys life and motherhood!
If you have set high standards for yourself as a mom, try to make sure that they are really important for you and your child. If not, lower your expectations. Focus more on enjoying your child and less on having a perfectly clean house. Focus more on laughing and playing every day and less on doing laundry, preparing perfect dinners, being always in control.
3. Make time for self-care
Making time for self-care is not selfish! It’s a gift you give to yourself and your family!
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to mean long days at the spa or regular mom vacations (although those would be great too!).
For me, self-care means doing at least one thing every day that is just for me. Sometimes this means reading a chapter of a book in silence. Other times it means taking a bubble bath while listening to my favorite podcast.
If I’m very busy self-care only means 30 minutes of alone time after my son goes to sleep.
The easiest way to get started with making time for self-care is to create a daily habit of taking care of you. Set an alarm every day at an hour when it’s possible to have some alone time and spend 30 minutes doing something that makes you feel better.
4. Deal with mom guilt and don’t let it affect your emotional state
One of the often overlooked “enemies” of happy parenting is mom guilt. And it has a lot to do with mom burnout!
When you are tired or overwhelmed, you probably tend to be less patient with your kids. You have less energy to play with them. Maybe you yell more often or get angry for things that wouldn’t normally bother you. All these things can cause a lot of mom guilt.
And here is the truth about mom guilt: It only makes your life harder and creates more negative emotions that lead to more guilt.
This is why it’s very important to deal with mom guilt in a healthy way! If you struggle to let go of guilt and break this vicious cycle, here are some tips that will help you: How to let go of mom guilt and why you need to do this.
5. Simplify your life
This last tip is the one that can have the most impact on your life! Motherhood comes with many challenges and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times. But sometimes we tend to make things worse without realizing by overcomplicating our lives.
Here are some areas where you can simplify your life and make it easier to handle:
- creating a family meal plan instead of wondering every day what to cook for dinner
- decluttering your home using a simple process instead of spending hours cleaning the house over and over again (the same principle applies to decluttering kids’ toys)
- creating a set of family contributions for your kids instead of having endless power struggles to get them to help around the house
- setting a morning routine and a bedtime routine to eliminate the morning and evening chaos.
There are many other improvements that you can make depending on your situation! The best way to start is to think about the things that stress you out the most when it comes to your family life. Then find a way to improve those aspects of your life by simplifying them.
Dealing with mom burnout is hard! But I want you to know that you are not alone!
I hope that these tips will help you as much as they helped me and that you’ll find the right way to overcome mom burnout and reclaim your joy!
photo credit preview photo: 279photo Studio / shutterstock.com