The newest data shows burnt out moms are more stressed than ever before and it’s taking a mental toll.
Research out of Canada shows more than 40% of new moms are dealing with depression symptoms. That’s compared to 15% before the pandemic. Anxiety symptoms have increased in new moms more than 40%.
That’s why I wanted to offer some advice and support for all of you burnt out moms dealing with motherhood fatigue and burnout.
I hope these tangible tools help your journey as a burnt out mom. Before we get to them I emphatically want you to know you are doing enough and you are exactly the mother your child/children need.
Put Your Kids in the Car and Take a Drive
Hey, I told you these would be tangible tips. Put those tiny little stinkers in a car, strap them in and turn on the music.
When my kids are nonstop fighting, nonstop hitting, climbing counters and jumping off couches – they’re going in the car where they are strapped in (you may need to arrange them in away that they won’t be able to touch each other).
I know there’s a lot of advice about taking the moment in the car to talk and connect with your kids or teach them new things. But when I’m dealing with exhaustion – those kids are going in the car and I’m cranking up the music.
Let Go of What You’re Okay with Letting Go Of
As a burnt out mom, sometimes we are trying to do everything. I’m sorry – did I just type “sometimes?” Okay, all the time we’re trying to do everything.
The key here is to let some of the “everything” go.
In my house, I know I cannot deal with stuff on the wood floors. It makes me irate when there are toys in the wood floors.
Okay, that’s my line in the sand.
What about what I can deal with? I can deal with dirty dishes.
This will be different for everyone, but start by letting go of the things that don’t make your brain want to explode.
I think as moms we take on ‘Okay, I have to have my entire house clean, I need to teach my kids as well. I need to provide food. Oh yeah, I’m working from home too. I’m going crazy, my kids are crazy. We’re in a pandemic!”
It’s too much to do everything.
If we can find what does not impact our mental health when we ignore it for a moment, then it gives us a little freedom from the overwhelm and to-do list.
Redefine What Motherhood Is
I also believe we forget what motherhood is. Motherhood is raising children, loving children, caring for children, teaching children how to be loving and caring adults.
Motherhood is NOT doing the dishes. Motherhood is NOT doing the laundry.
I share on the podcast, “It’s really easy to get exhausted within motherhood when we pile on a whole bunch of household responsibilities that are not actually part of motherhood.”
“Whether you can keep your house clean or not has nothing to do with how good of a mom you are.”
When we redefine what motherhood includes it can help us out of the overwhelm and the burnt out mom feeling. To deal with this, start delegating.
That means sharing responsibilities with your partner – and even your children.
Take the Moment to Enjoy Your Kids
When I’m feeling really overwhelmed in motherhood, I’ve noticed it’s because I’ve been expecting my children to do tasks for hours on end. Homework assignments, chores, picking up their coats, taking a shower, etc.
I forget to sit down with them and just be.
When we make sure to take that moment to enjoy our children where they are – it gives us a moment to sit in the present of what we love about being a parent.
It’s so important to make sure to get out of the to-do lists with our kids and enjoy the being with our kids – and our genuine love for our children.
Self care is not taking hours on end for yourself. Self care is not spending thousands and thousands of dollars on yourself.
You can do those things for yourself under the umbrella of self-care, but it is not required to take care of your soul.
It’s stressful when you’re a mom and the world is shouting at you “Take self-care, take self-care!” And you’re a burnt out mom saying “I’m trying to take self-care, but I have all of these other tasks I need to complete.”
It’s almost like getting the advice as a new mom – “sleep when the baby sleeps.” It’s not helpful. I can’t sleep!
Self-care becomes something that is not rejuvenating and life-giving. It becomes something that is on the to-do list that is impossible to accomplish.
It also creates animosity in motherhood where you feel owed something and you have this realization “I’M NOT GETTING THIS! WHY AM I NOT GETTING THIS?!”
You can become angry at your children.
So what do we need to do?
We redefine self-care to something that takes care of our souls. Take care of our minds. Change the way we talk to ourselves. Find five minutes of peace instead of dropping $100 at a 60 minute massage. (I wrote a whole list of ways to find five minutes of peace when you’re in the thick of it.)
Do those things when you can, sure.
But when you can’t – take care of yourself by starting with your thoughts.
Self care can be:
- 5 minutes meditating
- 10 minutes on the elliptical
- Taking a walk with your children
- Letting your kids watch TV while you exercise
- Being kind to yourself when you look in the mirror
Self care needs to be something that fits into your life. Don’t let it overwhelm you with a huge expectation of what it’s supposed to be based on social media accounts.
Do Something You’re Proud of
Motherhood is great. It’s an incredible title and a huge responsibility.
However, as a burnt out mom when we don’t take time to do something we’re proud of that makes us proud of OURSELVES.
It’s important to find something that makes us see our own progress.
Start with setting a goal. It can be as small as painting a picture and as large as running a marathon.
Then make sure you take the time to recognize your successes and growth.
I share on the podcast “It helps you as you go through life that you’re valuable as your own human, not just as a vessel that takes care of other humans. Then when you’re an empty-nester you still remember your worth because you never lost your worth in motherhood in the first place.”
- I love this episode with Jennifer Borget about cherishing motherhood
- Check out this episode about leaning into motherhood and loving it
- How to be a fun mom when you’re totally not one here