Mom Burnout is Realer Than Ever (3 Ways to Help Cope)

Hi. I’m a stay-at-home mother of two, and I’m tired.

No, not the usual I-need-to-take-a-nap tired, or the if-I-don’t-get-a-cup-of-coffee-right-this-second-i-will-flip-out tired. This is something different.

Multitasking and exhausted businesswoman throwing up a documents standing with her baby son during the work at the office

This is a mentally-exhausted-and-serious-problem kind of tired.

I say “serious” because recently there was an accident. And it probably wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t on the edge of a mental breakdown.

The details of the accident isn’t relevant to this, but I can assure you nothing bad happened and everyone is ok. However, the fact that an accident occurred IS relevant.

I recently read a great article from TODAY and came across the best way to put how we’re all feeling: “Mommy burnout is the emotional and physical exhaustion that you feel from the chronic stress of parenting. It’s feeling like you’re over your kid sometimes,” these words came from a pyschologist named Sheryl Ziegler. She continued to say, “No matter how much sleep you get, you’re always tired. And you resent your kids sometimes, which is a tough one. You feel a reduced sense of personal accomplishment — it’s a fancy way of feeling like you’re never doing a good job. The prolonged nature to it, like there’s no end in sight.” I really recommend you read the full article and watch the videos here.

I know nowadays moms are constantly sharing their parenthood experiences on social media and making them seem almost humorous. But cleaning the same room for twelve hours straight isn’t as funny as we make it out to be.

The thing is, if I hear my child whine ONE MORE TIME I’m not sure if my hand is going through a wall or if a cork is going into a screw (haha- get it? ‘cus like wine).

I don’t know what’s right, what’s up, or what’s down anymore. One article says to ignore your children when they’re throwing tantrums, another says to console them. So, what? You’re telling me I have to make that HUGE decision on which method is best? What if I make the wrong decision and my child turns out thinking she’s the Queen of England (kind of scared because sometimes I feel like she might actually think that).

If this is what normal life looks like, then PEACE OUT because this isn’t living. I feel like prisoner in my own home (ugh, that sounds so harsh, but sometimes it’s the truth!).

Currently, my two-year-old is throwing a HUGE tantrum and screaming in my ear because I didn’t turn on the right TV show that she wanted. And I know what you’re thinking “Just get off your butt and switch the show to whatever she wants.” Well the problem with that is, she isn’t old enough to speak to me about what she wants. So, I can spend hours picking a show and listening to her say “nu-uh” a hundred trillion times and shave my head, or I can just put something on and deal with her whining for a hundred and one trillion times. So, either way, it’s a lose/lose situation for just about everybody.

As of recently, every day you can find me crying from stress and the inability to be more than one person. If only, amiright? If only we can duplicate ourselves and have two of us here to take care of the kids.

If your life is anything like mine, then your partner is gone most days all.day.long.  And you can vent to your partner about your awful day, but the truth of the matter is they’re never going to understand what your life at home with the kids is like. They will never understand. Not until they go through it ALONE (like you).

If you came to my house, more than likely you would hear “Mama, Mama, Maaamaaa,” for hours straight, followed by constant whining. Do you know what that does to a person? Give me the mentally strongest person in the world and put them in my spot. I bet they couldn’t handle ONE day of it. And this is my 400+ day of  doing this. So, yeah, I’m burnt out. And you might be to. Let’s find out!

You might be suffering from “mom-burnout” if:

  • you are just done for the day and it’s only 10 A.M. In other words, you don’t want any other problems to come your way because you definitely aren’t going to be able to handle them the RIGHT way.
  • you have given up on parenting and let your kids roam free and do what they want (hey, no shame, I have those days, too!).
  • you’re yelling more than usual– maybe you’re yelling at your children for something that isn’t even their fault (ugh, sorry babeis I love you so much).
  • you’re more irritated than usual and are starting to throw your own tantrums.
  • you count down the hours until your kids’ bed time from the moment your eyes open in the morning.

Real quick, I would just like to say that I am in no way shape or form a doctor. This is just MY personal experience as a burnt out mother.

If any of those “symptoms” are too familiar, then you might want to take a step back and figure out if you are on the verge of becoming burnt out.

As a mother, we are constantly being told how we must enjoy these early years of our children’s lives or else we will seriously regret it in the future when they’re old and want nothing to do with us. BUT it’s SO hard to enjoy these times.

It seems no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, everything always ends in whining and a complete tantrum. Whatever I do is simply not enough for my two year old. I know I’m not supposed to yell, and she’s only throwing tantrums because “she is having trouble expressing herself,” but this is a lot. And there doesn’t seem like there’s a right and real way to handle it.

It’s no fair that I am being forced to “miss out” on my toddlers early years because I’m constantly stressing out and lecturing. It’s not fair.

So, next time someone tells me to enjoy the early years, my response will be simple, yet real: I’m trying.

And that’s all I can do. Is try, and try a little more.

For now, I’m sticking to a few rules to keep myself afloat and from hitting this burnout feeling again in the future.

Rule #1: When I feel there is starting to be too much on my plate, I’m going to reevaluate why I’m feeling that way and drop whatever plans or obligations that aren’t a necessity.

Rule #2: Every day I am going to do something for myself. It could be small, medium, or something big, like painting a picture or ordering my favorite dessert/takeout.

Rule #3 (and this one’s my favorite!): Ask for help. If one day I’m feeling overwhelmed, I will head over to a parent’s or grandparent’s house to give myself an extra pair of hands. Don’t be afraid to let loved ones know what your feeling; it helps to get things off your chest!

We all love our children so much, but sometimes, they wear us down to our core. And it’s not healthy. Of course it’s not their fault– but it’s not our fault either. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have a fix-all plan for us burnt out mothers, but I hope that by following my 3 rule plan, we can feel at least a tad bit like ourselves again.

Good luck Mamas & remember, we’re all in this together

More Like This:

Every Mom Needs to Hear this Right Now
9 True Things About the First Year of Motherhood
A Letter to Myself: You are a Good Mom
No, Mama, You’re Not Failing. It’s Just Really Hard
To the One Who Made Me a Mom

 

 

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