3 Warning Signs of Mommy Burnout
The Joy of Motherhood
There's nothing like seeing that little face for the first time. This brand new child is now dependent on you to raise them to be empathetic and capable members who contribute to society. It's a huge challenge and mothers so beautifully accept it. Any loving mom willingly vows to devote herself to this new life—constant sacrifice and selflessness for her child, and the reward is immeasurable. An overwhelming amount of love fills her heart when her child smiles.
These are beautiful moments mothers treasure.
Moments that take the breath out of our lungs.
But these moments aren't the only ones. There are also some negative moments. The kind that accompany toddler tantrums, massive blow outs, endless sibling quarrels, and wading though rivers of toys, dirty laundry and who knows what else (an old banana maybe?).
Many mothers are afraid to admit that these moments can sometimes be draining and eventually start to overshadow the good times.
When beautiful moments start to blur you can bet that you're beginning to burn out if you're not there already.
Mommy Burnout is a point in which you feel like you have nothing left to give despite the fact that that your child(ren) still require you to do so. It's seemingly permanent exhaustion, unhappiness, feelings of disappointment in yourself and with your life, and an overwhelming urge to just escape. Anywhere.
You find yourself being short tempered, disappointed with life, and maybe even bitter.
The Warning Signs
There are warning signs that begin to integrate into your everyday life that can cue you on when you're about to hit mommy burn out. Recognizing these can help you take the steps necessary to getting back on the right track and implementing some good self-care habits.
- You're waking up TIRED
- Taking care of your kids is beginning to feel like a chore
- You begin to expect awful days
Number one: Sleeping is supposed to be restful; a time for your body and recharge and do some basic damage repair from everyday life. If you're going to sleep at night exhausted and then waking up feeling as if you haven't slept at all, you might be approaching burnout. Your mind and body are sending you warning signals that sleep isn't enough and it's time to start adding in some additional self-care routines. You can do this by:
- Winding everyone down before bedtime. Avoid a chaotic rush to get everyone in bed. About an hour or two prior to bed time start quieting down the home, turning off electronics, doing quiet activities like coloring and reading, and indulging in some tea or milk.
- Getting to sleep at a decent hour. This might mean holding off on the dishes and cleaning, refusing to surf through your social network or requesting significant other puts the kids to bed that night.
- Easing into your day. It's rough to wake up and within two minutes try to meet the demands for breakfast, getting dressed and morning routines. Start requesting your children stay in their bed until you go get them, give yourself 10 minutes to lounge in bed and wake up or do a quick 5 minute yoga routine before starting the morning rush.
Number Two: While caring for your children can be a hassle every now and then, it might be a sign of burnout when every single day you're feeling like motherhood is a chore. The demands of motherhood are draining but you can easily drown in them if you're not careful. Try the following: z
- Helping them help themselves. Get into the habit of letting them put their own cloths on, placing their own dishes in the sink, and having pre-made snacks ready so you don't have to hop up every 10 minutes to prepare something. This one might take some time but in the long run will be beneficial. You'd be amazed at what your children can actually do without your assistance.
- Be forgiving. Your home won't always be amazingly clean and that's okay. Your kids will have melt downs in the store that will have you blushing. Some days you might not get to that educational craft you saw on pinterest. That's okay. Learn to let those go and move on. Don't be harsh or critical of yourself.
- Have fun. If you can't beat them, join them. Make sure you're enjoying time with them to break up the constant management. Something as simple as painting or walks to the park can be great bonding times. If your kid likes to get messy, look into some messy play ideas, stick them in the tub and go at it!
Number Three: If you're waking up ready and prepared for the day to be awful, soul sucking and just horribly draining you're close, or probably already, burned out. It's hard to avoid this, especially if you're child is being particularly challenging or life threw something unexpected at you, but mindset is important. The energy you output will surely return. Try this to help:
- Journal. It doesn't have to be your typical "dear diary" type journal, but a sketch journal or just a short snippet of emotional outlet will do. There are amazing journal prompts and formats to inspire you. This can help you identify and release what you're feeling- when you recognize it, you can better combat it.
- Words of Affirmation. You can have these little reminders posted randomly in places where you can see them, or download an app that gives you a different one per day. These can be great boosters in the morning and throughout the day when your brain is tempted to get into a negative rut.
- End your day on a good note. Even if your whole day was a train wreck, try ending your day on a positive note. Maybe watch your favorite comedy or steal some time in with your husband. By erasing negativity before bed you increase your chance of waking up with a clean slate.
Helping Them Help Themselves
It's important to know it's okay to become overwhelmed and it's okay to take time to care for you. There's no need to feel guilty for doing something for yourself.
There's a popular meme circulating about motherhood that says "if you're going crazy you're doing it right". I beg to differ. Parenting doesn't have to be a whirlwind of fighting for your sanity. The notion that we need to be going crazy in order to be a good parent is crazy.
Take time to care for yourself! A happier you makes a happier household anyway!
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