These ten things contribute to mom burnout. We don’t want burnout. We want awesome. When we know the triggers we can learn how to avoid them. Here’s the list awesome mom.
1. Not taking time to rest. Listen sweet mom. I know that you have a to-do list that rivals google (I used to give the example of an encyclopedia, but quickly discovered that dated me and my 39.5 years old that I am. So now, now it’s simple google.) I know that you have more to keep up on than there is time in the day, but listen, if you don’t rest you will burn out. There is no ifs ands or buts about this statement. If you have little children try to rest when they rest. Seriously. There is no shame, guilt, or any of that with resting. When you rest you take care of you which makes you better for them.
2. Clinging to mom guilt. It’s there. I know it. We’ve got mom guilt over the times we’ve yelled when we said we never would. There is mom guilt for working or staying at home. There’s mom guilt over not doing a birthday party. There’s mom guilt for skipping bedtime and the routine (that one – I say – skip it now and then). But that mom guilt? It doesn’t need to be there. The mom guilt can lead to perfectionism which can lead to burn out. There is no perfect mom. Even if Pinterest gives us the illusion that there might be.
3. Not letting your kids be kids. Stand up straight, get back here, make your bed, no talking, don’t run off. Do you say those things? Don’t make a mess, don’t play with the glitter (ouch, tough one there for me), and on and on… Let your kids be kids. And for the times that they throw a tantrum in Target remember that you are not alone in that. Every single mom goes through those moments where they think where in the world did that child come from? So no guilt for those times either. Just let your kids be kids. Kids make messes. There will be handprints on the windows and the walls. Marker stains on the tables. Those things are normal.
4. Being over scheduled. Remember point one? I know you can choose tons of activities for you and your kids. But try not to do that. Please. An over scheduled life can only last for so long until the stress kicks in. Not just for you, but also for your kids. Sometimes less is more even if it seems counter culture. I recently read an article about kids and sports and being over scheduled and not diversifying their activities. Sometimes the craziness doesn’t allow space for the wonder moments of childhood.
5. Not accepting help. When you have a new baby I want you to accept help. I want you to say thank you and take the meals, cleaning, help with the other kids. Accepting help makes you a better giver. But, beyond that, I want you to be okay with both asking and accepting help. Motherhood was not meant to be a solo journey. Work together with your friends to divide duties, driving, and such. And when you need help so thank you.
6. Not giving yourself grace – meals, house, friends, expectations. Just like I always write – you’ll mess up. There is no perfect. You’ll forget to pack lunch for school or your kid’s clothes will be stained or you won’t have boots that fit. Those things happen. Your teenager could rebel, your house could be a mess (even though it was perfect 4.5 minutes earlier), and you might not want to make dinner. Real, real, real. Give yourself grace. Please?
7. Having too much stuff. Stuff equals management. Management equals stress. Stress equals burnout. I probably don’t need to go into more detail about this one, do I? Less is more, moms. Less is more. When a toy comes in then let one go. You want to be a mom. Not a manager of stuff.
8. Ignoring your feelings. I’m fine. That works sometimes. But all the time? No. If you need a friend or help or someone to listen to then reach out. Our feelings teach us about ourselves. When you feel overwhelm it’s an indicator that something in your life needs to shift. Maybe there is too much on your schedule. Maybe you need to just get outside and start to laugh again. Yes, yes, yes, laugh. It’s way too easy to be so busy that we forget to nurture ourselves. What is something that you love to do? Do that. Who makes you happy? Call them. Hug your kids.
9. Trying to suck the awesomeness out of every single moment. I think when that happens we get those creeping nagging thoughts thinking we’re not doing enough. Like we’re failing even when we’re trying. You know, trying isn’t failing. (Read Dear Mom Who Feels Like She is Failing for more thoughts.) Here’s the deal. You know it and I know it. Most of life isn’t filled with awesome Hallmark moments. Accept that. But also leave space in your day and posture to have those moments. Like letting the kids be kids and serving breakfast for dinner. Or staying up late. Or seeing a midnight premiere. Those are life moments.
10. Forgetting to be grateful and seeing the gigantic enormous life picture. What are you going to remember when you’re old? What will wish you had spent more time doing and less time doing? Those are things to try to spend time on. And sometimes it’s working hard and providing. Sometimes it’s cleaning even when they’re clamoring for another story. And sometimes it’s simply saying no or yes and sitting with them just being. Be grateful, sweet mother. Even if life isn’t perfect. For those days when you feel burnout I challenge you to write a list. A simple list. Three things. For two minutes. A Facebook update. Call a friend. But I simply want you to look at your day and not only discover what was wonderful but also what you did right.
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Burnout oftentimes leaves then. In fact, gratitude washes away much of the burnout.
For another favorite list post read 10 Things Happy Moms Don’t Do.
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