Yup! That's a Sign of Mom Burnout


Mom burnout is definitely a topic that has been getting a lot of buzz lately, especially given the challenges we've all been facing throughout the pandemic. If you feel like you’ve been running on fumes, you are not alone. The feeling like we are over extended and mentally exhausted as a result is totally normal! Sometimes it’s obvious when we are burnt out, but sometimes those signs can sneak up on us. Here are just a few signs to look out for!

Mom Rage

Here’s What it Looks Like

Picture this: You just finished shuffling everyone and their things out the door, your hands overfilled with all the extras that everyone forgot to grab (water bottles, keys, phone, the baby’s toy). With your help, everyone is buckled in and you begin to back out of your driveway when you hear “I forgot my (insert ridiculous thing here)” from the back seat. You slam on the brake, throw the car into park, let out an exasperated sigh or swear word (hi, me too!). You slam the car door for effect as you make your way back to the house for the aforementioned ridiculous thing. It’s a small thing, but it just became a BIG THING. And before you know it, you’re back in the car, but you’ve become full-on Momzilla, complete with angry laser eyes and an explosive speech about how the voice in the back seat made everyone late with their carelessness!
Seems familiar?

Here’s What to Know

Mom rage is rooted in a lot of things, but oftentimes, the common factor is that you are stretched too thin! When you feel like your arms, your lives, are already heavy from being full of too many things, then having “one more thing” enter into your space can trigger an intense emotional outburst.

Here’s Where to Start

So what can you do differently? Acknowledge that you can’t do everything, can't carry everything.

Drop something that you’re carrying. That can be the water bottle, the thing on your calendar, or the impulse to go back and grab the thing that someone else forgot. Any one of these is a thing in your space that takes up your resources.

Everything is a MESS and you don’t know where to start

Here’s What it Looks Like

I can ALWAYS tell how burned out I am by the condition of my car. Now, I have 4 kids and we spend a lot of time in my car, so I have learned that it’s never going to be completely crumb free. But, when the cupholders are full of sticky trash and I can’t even see the floor anymore, that’s usually what I feel like on the inside.

What’s that thing for you? Your car, your desk, your purse, your house?

Here’s What To Know

Sometimes when everything around you feels so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start, it’s completely paralyzing. So you procrastinate the day away, because you feel doomed by the idea that nothing will get finished.

Here’s Where To Start

Set a 10 minute timer. Giving yourself a time limit to get something started is better than giving yourself a limit to get it finished. If you are like me, you may function on the urgency of being up against a clock. That urgency doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you aren’t complete with your 10 loads of laundry in 10 minutes, but it is enough of a mental kickstarter to get you going and build the momentum to finish a task. You’d be surprised how much better even doing a little bit feels and you may find that you keep going long after the timer goes off.

You resent the shit out of your spouse

Here’s What it Looks Like

Do you ever hear yourself saying “Why am I the only one who does anything around here?” Or do you ever feel like your husband gets to live life the same way he did before kids while you feel like you gave up so much of yourself? When you’re at the point of resenting your spouse, it’s because there has been a build up of negative feelings of imbalance. Having a grudge toward your spouse because of their lack of support is a big ol’ neon sign that you’re burned out!

Here’s What To Know

One of the keys to overcoming resentment of your spouse is to have a good line of communication. That statement sucks, right? Because if all you needed to do was tell your husband to help you, you wouldn’t be reading this. And also because you’ve probably done that a thousand times!

But here’s the thing… men are pretty obtuse. They don’t think the same as women and they don’t usually pick up on nuance. And if we are coming at them when we are in the middle of a burnout, we probably aren’t coming at them in an effective way.

Here’s Where To Start

Schedule a time to tell your husband how you feel. Frame it in a way that doesn’t place blame on him, so he doesn’t feel on the defensive. Allow him to hear you and then give him an opportunity to respond (it may surprise you!). Once all of the opinions are out in the air, focus on a solution! Guide him to understanding what you need, so that he can meet those needs.

Mom Guilt

Here’s What It Is

We are constantly inundated with the “shoulds'' of motherhood. What or how we “should” feed our newborn babies, what bedtimes “should” be, how much screen time we “should'' let our kids be exposed to, and what extracurriculars our kids “should” be involved in. This leaves us feeling like we are not meeting the expectations of motherhood, imposed to us by society, our foremothers, ourselves.

It’s easy to get burned out trying to do it the way everyone else thinks you “should”.

Here’s What To Know

Mom guilt is a very real feeling for all moms. We all want to do what’s best for our kids, but when life doesn’t meet our expectations, then bring on the mom guilt! While none of us experiences it exactly the same, it usually is rooted in feelings of being inadequate, unsure, exhausted or embarrassed.

Here’s Where To Start

The great thing about motherhood is that you get to decide what it looks like for you and your family.

Mother in a way that makes you feel confident. Let go of the expectations imposed by your mother, by instagram, or even yourself! There are so many “gurus” who tell you that the only way to be a “good mom” is to do it their way. Well, what’s wrong with your way? Sure, we all have things we want to be doing better (let’s be honest, it’s why you’re even reading this blog post, right?), but it’s ok when what works for one mama isn’t what works for you. AAAND it’s ok to give yourself grace to just be “good enough”. Lower your Expectations in these high burnout times.

The  reality is, as moms, we juggle a lot of the mental load and unseen work of our families. Hitting points of burnout is a really common truth for all of us and not always avoidable. It can sneak up on us unexpectedly, but recognizing some of these signs and using these tips may help you identify burnout before it becomes overwhelming.

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