4 Signs of Mommy Burnout & How to Actually Break the Cycle
If someone calls you mommy, chances are, you’ve battled with mom burnout, one time or another.
Sadly, it happens to moms way more than it should.
So why do moms find themselves trapped in burnout mode so often?
I believe mommy burnout happens because we care too much.
We care too much about how well we take care of and love our children.
We care too much about not making mistakes and failing as a mom.
We care too much about getting it all done.
The Root of Mom Burnout
And all that care isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it’s birthed out of the love we have for our family. But there is a warning in Scripture that clearly tells us not to be “Care-FULL” or anxious for anything.
That’s because all that “care” wears away our peace and joy and leads us straight into the dry valley of mom-guilt.
And I’ve wandered aimlessly in that place for far too long!
And let’s face it, even on a good day, motherhood is tough! It’s also wonderful… but still really hard.
That’s why moms can hit the burnout wall in a nanosecond.
We don’t need to walk around like Mombies… just trying to make it through each day. There’s a better way!
The Total Guide to Being a Calmer Mom
Before you dive into this post, I want to let you know that at the bottom of this page is my full video teaching on the topic of mom burnout and how to break free! And here are tips to help avoid burnout in your mom life.
Be sure to also grab my FREE Calm Mom Blueprint that is helping so many moms feel less overwhelmed with mom life. Grab it here or click the image below.
So, let’s break this down.
4 Surprising Signs of Mommy Burnout
Here are four signs that you might be experiencing or headed for Mommy Burnout Mode also known as Survival Mode and some real-life tips on how to get out.
Sign #1 – You have more than the occasional yelling blow-up at your kids
We’ve all been there… As you’re navigating your way through little-people-chaos, you’re running super late for an appointment and as you’re rushing everyone out the door – one of them accidentally spills the milk that another one of your angels left out on the counter.
A setup for a mommy meltdown!
Now, there are times when that scenario would have totally frustrated me but everyone would have walked out unscathed.
But there are other days (help me Jesus!) that I could have alerted the entire neighborhood to our little debacle.
And I’ve come to learn that 9 times out of 10 when I go into full-on fit mode, it’s because I’m experiencing or headed for Mommy Burnout.
This is when I need to step back and try to see the situation for what it really is – spilled milk.
Stress is a magnifier and is how we can magically turn those molehills into ice-capped mountains!
And when I’m stressed about anything, I’m a whole lot more touchy than I would be otherwise.
So, instead of letting stressful situations fester, I’ve learned to deal with them quickly as best I can to keep them from affecting all the other areas of my life. Like my home life!
Related: Why Mom Anger is Always More About Us and Not Our Kids
Sign #2 – Your house is in a constant state of disarray
Let me just say this – I’m not the mom who’s going to judge or shame another mom for the condition of her home. I have 3 kids, and one of them is a 2-year-old boy. Enough said there.
I just know from personal experience, when I’m burnt out, housework really gets the best of me. I feel like I’m always running behind the mess instead of controlling it.
If you’ve totally abandoned your usual cleaning and tidying schedule… you may be in or headed for burnout.
My advice isn’t to run around and catch up on all the laundry hills. Nope!
It’s to take a day off from doing ALL cleaning. I know that probably sounds a little counterintuitive because we’re talking about how you haven’t been cleaning.
But trust, me it’s not! Whether or not you’ve actually been physically cleaning, I know you’ve been mentally cleaning.
Looking at all the mess and feeling overwhelmed.
Taking an intentional day off to mentally and physically rest will help you recharge so you can start off small tomorrow. #BabySteps
These mindset shifts will save your sanity!
Sign #3 – You find yourself feeling lonely but fight against the urge to connect with friends/family
When we’re in Survival Mode and overwhelmed with life, it’s easy to get sucked into a cycle of isolation and depression. We tell ourselves – no one else is going through what I’m going through.
We let the shame of our situation keep us on an island with no one to talk to but our own critical voice. And that’s the worst voice we can hear when we’re vulnerable and depressed.
Reaching out to a friend and being honest about where you are is extremely important.
You may be thinking, “I don’t really have any friends.”
No worries, a lot of women struggle with friendships after becoming a mother for A LOT of reasons. I know I did, and still do!
Reaching out and making the effort to connect is the first step. Without trying to sound cliche, if you start really looking for relationships, you’ll be surprised how they were there all along.
Sign #4 – Your health isn’t a priority in your daily actions
You may know your health is important; but your exercise, water, sleep, and good food simply aren’t happening. You find yourself snacking ALL DAY – and I’m not talking about carrot sticks and hummus!
You’re exhausted and your sleep is out of whack. You either sleep too much and never feel rested, or you’re dealing with insomnia. You’re not just tired but EXHAUSTED all. the. time.
We’ve all heard it – stress can cause many things to go crazy in our minds and bodies. So, it’s no surprise that we’d feel sluggish and rundown when we’re headed for burnout.
But when we outright abandon the healthy habits we know we should be doing, we’re only making the problem bigger.
A healthy lifestyle is the fuel you need to keep going strong.
So, make a commitment to reconnect with the healthy habits that slipped away. No condemnation! Just get back on the horse. Call that friend and get an accountability partner.
In addition to healthy eating, sleeping, and exercising – having a regular check-up with our doctor is NECESSARY!
Especially the older, and more fabulous we get. 😉
**If you’re not feeling great physically, get it checked out just to be sure there’s not a medical reason for your exhaustion.**
How to Bounce Back Fast!
You are simply too precious to your family, and to this world to allow yourself to live in full-on Burnout Mommy Mode!
The source of most feelings of burnout stems from stress, anxiety, or mom-guilt.
In order to fully release those feelings – the Bible tells us to cast the whole of that CARE onto Christ who cares for us affectionately.
We can rest in the #Truth that we have a Savior who loves us and cares about every moment and area of our lives.
When life gets crazy, we are commanded to release our concern to the One who can work it out.
And that requires us to tap into something else â€“ FAITH.
Sometimes just knowing we’re not alone is comfort enough.
And we’ve ALL been there!
We also need to identify the source of burnout. Are you doing too much all at once? Are you trying to combine your work at home activities with the kids busy time (I did this one a lot and it’s a disaster!)? Are you ignoring your health?
When you understand the source, you can then objectively take a step back and see what needs to be changed.
Here are some other practical things you can do to quickly ease the mommy burn out and get you back to your place of peace.
Take a Break
I mentioned this earlier in reference to your housework. But when I say take a break here, I mean stop “fixing” everything and just relax. I know that’s easier said than done, but I know if you can figure everything else out with such mommy Macgyver magic, I know you can find a way to give yourself a break.
That means for a day leave the dishes, don’t give the kids a bath, grab takeout for dinner, and put the kids to bed early. Now I get that you’ve been in burnout and may have already been doing all those things. I get it! But this time you’re making the choice to do it, not as an act of defeat but as an act of rest. There is a difference!
Ask for Help
Of all the things on this list, this one may be the hardest… at least it is for me! But I’ve grown to understand how important relying on your support system really is. There was a time when I would NEVER ask for help. I think that’s sad and I hope you don’t do the same. We all need help in every area of our lives and our #Momlife is no exception.
Help can come in many forms such as ordering your groceries online through a service like Amazon Fresh instead of dragging the kids into the Temple of Doom AKA Wal-Mart. Or that help could be dropping the kids off at a trusted friend or family member for a day… or two.
Start Working Your Passion
One of the reasons I was feeling burnt out a few years back is because I was doing things for everyone else… taking care of my husband and kids, working an unfulfilling job to pay bills, and any other thing I “needed” to do. In my heart, I had a passion to write and connect with other moms but I had TERRIBLE confidence issues and simply didn’t think I had the time to do anything else.
Very long story short, I decided to put my passion on my daily schedule and over time a new life was born… seriously. This blog and so many other things I’m doing today were born out of that decision. And burn out for me was dramatically decreased because passion has a way of inspiring you to move forward every day in a new exciting way.
Give Yourself Permission
Finally, I want to urge you to give yourself a healthy dose of grace and also permission to be imperfect. You are a mom so that means you’re already doing more than most! It’s just a fact. So acknowledge that motherhood is hard – not just for you – but for ALL moms… including me. And that’s par for the course when raising strong-willed, opinionated, tiny humans.
The simple fact that you’re reading this post tells me you’re an awesome mom! So give yourself a pat on the back, a fist bump, and a big hug. You got this!
When was the last time you were in Burnout Mommy Mode and how did you get out?
Leave a comment below, so we can all encourage each other!
Below is my full video teaching on the topic of Mom-Burnout. Enjoy!