3 Tips To Help You Bounce Back From Mom Burnout

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Are you suffering from exhaustion, irritability, sleep depravity, listlessness, and more — especially regarding family interactions? You could be dealing with mom burnout. Mom burnout is a non-clinical term but a valid feeling that resonates with many mothers today.  

A recent study by The Ohio State University examined issues associated with parental burnout, especially for those juggling jobs, kids, and the effects of the pandemic. It found that 66% of parents reported feeling burned out and that conditions were exacerbated amongst women. 

While dads can certainly experience burnout, mom burnout seems to be particularly common. We spoke about the subject with Muffy Mendoza, founder of Brown Mamas; a community started in the Pittsburgh area. She’s a mother of three and currently helps Black mothers support and learn from each other. Here’s what she has to say.

Photo Credit: Leah Johns, Leah Loves That Photography

Signs of Mom Burnout

According to the Ohio State University study, signs of mom burnout include emotional detachment, feeling overwhelmed, or more anxious or depressed than usual. That said, it could take some time for these symptoms to settle in and even be noticeable. “I suffered from mom burnout after three years of entrepreneurship and homeschooling back in 2015,” Mendoza tells CircleAround. “Moms are always on, so it may be difficult to recognize mom burnout at the very beginning.” 

Changes in social interactions with others can be a sign you are dealing with mom burnout, too. “I became uncharacteristically snippy,” Mendoza says. “Comments that I would normally just brush off my shoulders became irresistible to respond to.”

You might constantly be tired and cranky, and your sleep feels disrupted. “I went from getting 6 to 8 hours per night to being unable to shut my mind off,” Mendoza explains. “I'd go to bed at my normal time and wake up within three hours unable to return to sleep. It was brutal.”

3 Tips To Help You Navigate Mom Burnout  

If you feel your mental health is impacted by mom burnout, consider consulting a healthcare professional. Mendoza also offers additional tips for dealing with mom burnout, which she says have helped many in the Brown Mamas community. 

1Be Okay With Slowing Down

Moms are expected to “do it all” regarding personal organization, social expectations, and career elevation. But there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish “everything.”

“The breakdown will come if you continue at a quick pace,” Mendoza explains. “The question is, do you want to be able to navigate the halt, or do you want to crash?” It may feel counterintuitive or unproductive, but slowing down your everyday routine may provide space for the relief you need.

2Get Anchored

It can often feel like you’re spiraling while experiencing mom burnout; Mendoza suggests finding ways to feel grounded, especially with activities or routines you can do alone.

“Can you start listening to an audiobook or music, eating a specific meal, or taking a daily walk to center YOURSELF in your life? Mom burnout is all about forgetting that you are the most important person in your life. When you don't take care of yourself, all else will fail,” she says. 

3Get Comfortable With Canceling

“What is your calendar looking like?” Mendoza poses. “Is it filled with too many interactions, or is there nothing on it? Are you managing your time well or not at all? Too many blocks on your calendar mean you are spending all of your physical, mental, and emotional energy with everyone else with nothing to give back to yourself.”  

The solution? Cancel, delay, reschedule or restructure. “I tend to schedule meetings at the same time every day, freeing up my schedule in the morning or afternoon,” Mendoza says.  “Start using your calendar to delegate time for yourself within it.”

The Bottom Line

You’re not alone if you feel like you’re experiencing mom burnout. Try some of these strategies to help you get your life back and be there for your family and yourself. If possible, consider taking some PTO at work to give yourself a break you deserve. 

Tags: Mental Health, Motherhood, parenting

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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