This is my face after spending 6+ hours at the airport with a two and four year old, after a week-long “relaxing” vacation. Drained, done, and SO ready to be home! I somehow held it together until we FINALLY got to the car around 11:30 p.m. Then the tears came rolling down my face. Exhaustion set in, both physical and emotional, and this momma was DONE!
This is burnout.
Although this is just one example - one very daunting and exhausting parenting experience - motherhood burnout encompasses so much more.
Signs that you may be experiencing motherhood burnout may include:
being "on edge" with those you love the most
having a shorter fuse, causing you to snap at the people you care about
feelings of intense rage and reacting in ways that make you feel shame and regret
experiencing "sensory overload", or feeling overstimulated
being "touched out", and avoiding any kind of physical connection
difficulty finding motivation to take on the challenges of the day
feeling like you are failing your children and/or partner
feeling vastly different from the parent you envisioned yourself being
These things are caused by an imbalance of resources, capacity, and stress levels, and can make a person feel disheartened by their own actions. Our society sends us messages of what the ideal mother looks like. These messages are setting unrealistic expectations, and highlighting intensive mothering, or perfectionism. The emotional and cognitive load can be unbearable at times, and can take a huge toll on our mental health.
Sound familiar? If this is you, you are not alone.
Ok, so now what?!
As mothers, we are not always great about taking care of ourselves. It's all about taking care of everyone else, right? But we need to make sure we are finding ways to protect space for ourselves, and start carving out time and space to recharge. This allows us to re-energize and feel more competent and less crazy. It also gives us time and space to evaluate what our support system looks like. It takes a village, right? So find your people! Find a support system that can help validate all the ways you are feeling, and start letting people help. Find ways to accept when things aren’t perfect, and embrace flexibility. And whatever you do, start taking care of YOU! Because what good are you to anyone else if you're not in a good headspace?!
Momma, if you are burnt out, please know that there is help available to you! Let us help you find your purpose, aside from your role as "mom". Together we can work to find ways for you to truly enjoy your children again, strengthen the connection with your family, and enhance your experiences throughout your motherhood journey.
Although we may not be able to achieve perfection, we do believe it's possible to enjoy life again. So give us a call and let us help you walk through this. Because together,
WE GOT THIS!
*Written by Kristin Bemis, PLPC