Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress and overwork. It can leave you feeling drained, overwhelmed, and unable to cope with daily tasks.
As a stay-at-home mom, burnout is a real danger. Juggling childcare, housework, and managing the finances can be extremely taxing, especially if you’re also trying to pursue other projects or interests at the same time.
Recognizing the signs of burnout is crucial in preventing it from taking over your life. Some common signs of burnout in stay-at-home moms include feeling irritable and impatient with family members, having trouble sleeping, feeling exhausted all the time, and losing interest in activities that used to bring joy.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take a step back and reassess your situation.
- Recognizing the signs of burnout is crucial in preventing it from taking over your life
- Burnout can leave you feeling drained, overwhelmed, and unable to cope with daily tasks
- It’s important to take a step back and reassess your situation if you’re experiencing any symptoms of burnout
Stay at Home Mom Burnout Signs & How to Address Them
Stay-at-home moms are prone to burnout for a variety of reasons. To help combat this, it’s important to recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to address them.
As a stay-at-home mom, I know firsthand how overwhelming and exhausting it can be to take care of kids 24/7.
It’s not uncommon to feel burnt out, and it’s important to recognize the signs of burnout before it becomes too much to handle. In this section, I will define what burnout is and differentiate it from stress.
According to Verywell Family, burnout is “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” It’s important to note that burnout is not the same as stress, which is a normal reaction to challenging situations. Burnout is a result of prolonged stress that has not been managed properly.
When you’re experiencing burnout, you may feel like you’re constantly running on empty. You may feel physically and emotionally drained, and you may lose interest in things that you used to enjoy. Burnout can also lead to irritability, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating.
Differentiating Stress and Burnout
While stress and burnout may seem similar, there are some key differences. Stress is a normal reaction to a challenging situation, and it can be managed with self-care and stress-reduction techniques. Burnout, on the other hand, is a result of prolonged stress that has not been managed properly.
Stress is often a temporary state, while burnout can be a long-term condition that requires more intensive treatment. It’s important to recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to manage it before it becomes too overwhelming.
In summary, burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It’s important to differentiate burnout from stress and recognize the signs of burnout before it becomes too much to handle.
Recognizing Signs of Burnout
As a stay-at-home mom, it’s common to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. However, it’s important to recognize when these feelings have crossed the line into burnout. Here are some signs to watch out for:
When I’m experiencing burnout, I often notice physical symptoms. These can include:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite or weight
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your stress levels.
Burnout can also manifest as emotional symptoms. These can include:
- Irritability or anger
- Anxiety or depression
- Feeling helpless or trapped
- Loss of enjoyment in activities you used to love
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
If you’re feeling any of these emotions regularly, it’s important to address the root cause of your stress.
Finally, burnout can affect our behavior. Look out for these signs:
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Neglecting responsibilities or hobbies
- Using food, alcohol, or drugs to cope
- Procrastinating or avoiding tasks
- Snapping at loved ones or children
If you’re exhibiting any of these behaviors, it’s important to take a break and prioritize your mental health.
Remember, experiencing some stress and overwhelm as a stay-at-home mom is normal. However, if you’re experiencing these symptoms regularly, it’s important to take action to prevent burnout.
Factors Contributing to Burnout
Although there are many factors that may contribute to burnout, here are some common ones for stay-at-home moms:
Lack of Social Interaction
Being a stay-at-home mom, especially during the first 6 – 12 months, can be isolating. You may not have as much adult interaction or socializing like you did prior to having children. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
I still remember the time I had with my third kid. She was born in the peak of COVID/19 restriction, so even going out was very limited. I felt really isolated and my mental health took a toll because of it.
Being a stay-at-home mom means that you are responsible for providing constant care and attention to your children 24/7, all year round.
This can be exhausting, especially if there’s no one else to help. Constant caregiving can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and drained.
Feeling Overworked & Undervalued
As a stay-at-home mom, you may feel like your work is never done – even if you worked around the clock, there would still be more to do! It’s easy to become overwhelmed and under appreciated when you don’t have anyone to share the workload with.
It’s also not unusual to feel like your work and efforts are going unrecognized and undervalued. It can be hard for family members or even society as a whole to truly appreciate all that you do as a stay-at-home mom.
It’s not uncommon for stay-at-home moms to feel like they should be able to do it all – be the perfect parent, have a clean and organized home, maintain relationships with friends and family, etc. I was in the same boat – I felt like I should be able to do it all, and when I couldn’t, I felt like a failure.
However, these unrealistic expectations can lead to feelings of guilt or inadequacy if you’re not able to meet them. It’s important to remember that it’s impossible to do it all perfectly, and it’s okay to ask for help or outsource some tasks.
Time Management Struggles
Managing a home and taking care of kids can be overwhelming, especially if you’re also trying to pursue other projects or interests. It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself and prioritize tasks, but this can be a challenge if you’re not used to managing your time effectively.
Time management struggles can lead to feelings of overwhelm and frustration, so it’s important to take the time to learn effective strategies for managing your time.
Lack of Personal Time
And finally, the lack of personal time for yourself can be a big contributor to burnout. You cannot pour from an empty cup, they said. Yet, it’s easy to neglect our own needs when there are so many other things we need to take care of.
When you stay at home to take care of your beloved ones, your schedule and time are often the last on your priority list. It’s not your fault, of course, but it seems like you have forgotten what it’s like to take a break and do something for yourself.
Effects of Burnout on Family Life
Burnout has a ripple effect on the entire family. When one parent is overwhelmed with stress, it can impact the whole family dynamic. Here are some ways that burnout can affect your family life:
Impact on Relationships
My husband and I had been through a tough time when I was struggling with both postpartum depression and burnout at the same time.
The constant irritability and overwhelm had taken a toll on our relationship. We were both exhausted, so it was hard to find the time or energy to spend quality time together. It was easy for me to get angry because of all the stress I was feeling, and this led to a lot of arguments.
Decreased Parenting Quality
Burnout can also lead to decreased parenting quality. When you’re so overwhelmed with stress, it’s hard to stay present and engaged with your children. You may be more likely to snap at them or lose patience quickly. Or, you may become emotionally distant and neglect their needs.
My kids had seen me in my worst state, and it was hard for them to see their mom like that. I felt guilty when I neglected their needs, but it was hard to pull myself out of that state.
Impact on Children’s Mental Health
Finally, burnout can affect your children’s mental health as well. The constant stress in the home environment can lead to feelings of anxiety or depression in your children.
It’s important to recognize the signs of burnout early and take action to prevent it. Burnout can have a serious impact on both you and your family, so taking care of yourself should always be a priority.
Preventing and Overcoming Burnout
Burnout is, luckily, preventable. Even if you’re already suffering from burnout, it’s totally possible to get back on track. Here are some tips to help prevent and overcome burnout:
First thing first, I personally see this as the most important step. Setting boundaries is essential for staying sane and having a balanced life.
It’s important to recognize what your limits are and prioritize your needs and emotional health. Make sure to set clear boundaries about what you will and won’t do, both with yourself and with other people.
By having clear boundaries, you’ll know when it’s time to take a break and recharge without feeling guilty. At the same time, other family members will also understand your needs better and be more respectful of your boundaries.
Self-care is essential for avoiding burnout. Taking time to do things that make you feel good and recharge your batteries is incredibly important.
This could be anything from a relaxing bath, reading a book, or going for a walk. It’s important to find what works for you and make sure to take some time each day just for yourself.
If you don’t really have time, don’t worry. Neither do I. But ten minutes of meditation, a relaxing bath without worrying about the next task on your to-do list or listening to your favorite music can already do wonders!
Seeking Professional Help
In some cases, the best thing you can do is to seek professional help. Talk therapy and counseling can be incredibly helpful in addressing issues like depression, anxiety, or burnout.
Counseling can provide a safe space for you to talk about your struggles and learn new strategies for managing stress and taking care of yourself. It’s also a great place to get emotional support from someone who understands what you’re going through.
Building a Support Network
This network can be anything from groups of mothers with kids at the same age living in your area, groups on Facebook where people can share their experiences, or even talking to close friends and family.
By having a good support system, you can get the emotional and practical support that is essential for overcoming and preventing burnout. It’s also important to remember that you’re not alone, and talking to someone who understands can make a world of difference.
It’s also great to be able to share your struggles and have someone who can relate and understand what you’re going through. Getting out of the house for a couple of hours to meet with friends is also beneficial – it gives you a break from your daily routine, and a chance to be around people who understand what you’re going through.
Before You Go
Mom burnout is real, and yet it’s often overlooked or dismissed as something that we just need to “get over”. Even though it has been two years since I have gone through my own burnout period, I still remember how hard it was.
Remember, burnout doesn’t mean you’re failing at your job as a mom! It simply means that you need to take a step back and prioritize your own needs. Taking care of yourself is essential for being able to take care of others, so don’t forget to put your own oxygen mask on first!
The best thing you can do is to be aware of the signs and take action as soon as possible. Make sure that you take care of yourself first and prioritize your mental health. The best way to prevent burnout in the first place is by taking action before it even starts: set boundaries, practice self-care, and build a strong support network.
Although there’s no one-size-fit-all solution for mom burnout, making small changes and being mindful of your own needs is the best way to start. Good luck on your journey to becoming a happier, more energized stay-at-home mom. Because you deserve it!