Hi Mama, if you are feeling the below symptoms,
You are tired ALL the time.
You are impatient and irritable.
You resent your children or partner.
You never feel accomplished.
You are cynical towards your partner or friends.
You feel like you are failing as a mother.
You might be suffering from burnout.
When you keep giving yourself to everyone else, looking after everyone else's needs before your own and leaving very little energy for yourself, eventually you will feel frustrated and burnout. As much as we want to be the supermom, we have to realise that we cannot always be the supermom.
How can you possibly pour from an empty cup?
It's essential for us to dig deep to the root causes of mom burnout- perhaps you don't feel good enough and need to prove and validate your self-worth by being perfect and overworking yourself? Or maybe your mother is a supermom, and you feel like you have to do the same? Or perhaps you don't know how to say "No" to others? E.g. When a colleague asks if you can take a call on the weekend, you agree to it even though you planned not to do any work.
Can you be honest and ask yourself, why you feel like your needs don't matter? Take some time to reflect. Whatever the causes may be, let's look at how you can avoid mom burnout.
Here are six tips for you to consider:
1. Maintain boundaries
A friend shared that she had to help her in-laws do some work and her ex-boss called her to ask for help. She felt frustrated that she didn't have the time to work on her own business. In this case, she might not be able to reject her in-laws, but she could say "No" to her ex-boss and tell him that she has no time to help him at the moment. Or maybe it's your neighbour who keeps asking you to look after her kid while she runs errands. Or are you taking work calls on the weekends? Who and what can you say "No" to today?
2. Take care of yourself.
Learn to look after yourself and your needs first, only then can you help others after you put on your oxygen mask. Setting up a sustainable self-care routine is paramount in making sure that you are happy. Remember, a happy mom is a happy family. If you keep getting annoyed at your partner, it's time you evaluate what is bothering you. Do you need more help from him? Do you need more time alone on the weekends? Start by scheduling in regular downtime to be by yourself. What brings you joy? Is it crafting something creative or curling up on the couch to read a book? By the way, going shopping on your own is not exactly "me" time.
3. Connect with other mothers regularly
We are social creatures. We need human interaction to know that we are not alone in this messy motherhood journey and get emotional support. Whether you connect online or face-to-face, it's crucial to have a safe space to rant and get our emotions out without judgments.
Sometimes it's also good to hear different ways of doing things and share ideas with other mothers. I certainly learned a lot from spending time with other mothers. Go on coffee dates with mama friends without your kids or spend an hour on a video call with a friend without distractions.
4. Avoid anything that causes stress.
Ok, I'm just going to say it out. I stopped watching the news because it gives me anxiety, and it makes me worry about my future and my kids' future. Now I get bits and pieces of news information from my husband and friends. Maybe for you, it's limiting social media if it's making you compare yourself to other mothers or stop hanging out with that mother who keeps bragging about her kid's achievements.
5. Be gentle on yourself.
Someone shared with me recently that she felt terrible for letting her kids watch TV. And I told her that she needs to be gentle on herself. It's the middle of winter, raining all the time, and we are in semi-lockdown, a little more screen time during this period will not kill your kids if it buys you some sanity to drink your coffee in peace. Notice the negative self-talk you have in your head "I should be doing this..." Every time you have negative self-talk thought, write it down in your journal. Something cathartic happens when you write how you feel on paper.
6. Ask for help!
Now, this is a big one. Learn to ask for help from your partner and friends. I know you think you can do it all because it appears like every mom seems to be doing fine or maybe your mom did it all too. But there is no shame in admitting that you need help. Asking for help does not make you weak; it makes you a human being! We all need help sometimes, and that is what friends and family are there. Build a village where you can rely on others from time to time.
Which of these tips can you start using today?
Remember your needs matter too, Mama.
If you are feeling overstretched and need help to find balance, reach out to me and book a call online here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes it takes another person to give you a new perspective on how you can look at things.