Mom burnout symptoms

Identifying and Managing Mom Burnout Symptoms

Learn about mom burnout symptoms and how you can manage and take care of yourself as a mom.

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding yet demanding jobs out there. Despite all the joys that come with motherhood, moms are also vulnerable to “mom burnout”—a feeling of exhaustion and resentment due to an overload of parenting stress.

To prevent burnout from spiraling out of control, it is important to recognize the early signs and symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at what mom burnout looks like and how you can manage it.

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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Mom Burnout?


Mom burnout can manifest in many different ways, including physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Some common signs include:

  • Emotional exhaustion: Feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities as a mother or a professional (or both).
  • Physical fatigue: Constant tiredness or lack of energy, even after getting enough sleep.
  • Mental fog: Experiencing difficulty concentrating or making decisions. This can lead to forgetfulness or difficulty completing tasks.
  • Depression: Feeling down for an extended period of time; feeling like nothing you do matters; withdrawing from family/friends/activities that used to bring joy.
  • Anxiety: Being constantly on edge; having racing thoughts; feeling anxious about situations that would not normally cause worry.
  • Lack of self-care/interests: Neglecting your own needs or hobbies that bring you pleasure in favor of taking care of others first.
  • Relationship strain with family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Decreased libido
  • Increased negative thinking or critical self-talk

Mom burnout is a real issue that can lead to feelings of exhaustion, stress, and overwhelm.

Overstimulated mom toolkit 2

How Can I Manage My Mom Burnout Symptoms?

It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this experience—many mothers grapple with the same feelings from time to time—and it does not make you any less capable as a parent or professional.

Here are some tips for managing your mom burnout symptoms before they become unmanageable:


Set boundaries between work and home life — Make sure you don't take on more than you can handle! Have clear expectations for yourself so that your responsibilities don't become overwhelming.

Make time for yourself – Remember to take breaks throughout the day and make sure you have enough “me time” when needed. This could mean anything from meditating, exercising, reading a book, enjoying a hobby…you name it! Doing something just for yourself will help keep your sanity intact during times of high stress or chaos at home or work.

Be mindful – Take time every day to practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing exercises or yoga—these activities will help center and ground you during times when everything else feels chaotic or overwhelming.

Reach out – Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed! Whether it’s asking friends/family for babysitting help, joining online support groups with other moms who understand what you are going through, or seeking professional guidance from a therapist—reaching out is an important part of managing your mom burnout symptoms before they get worse.

Take care of your physical health: Eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep can help boost your energy levels and mood.

Practice self-compassion: Remind yourself that it's ok if things aren't perfect all the time – that is just part of being a parent.

Spend quality time with your children: Make sure to schedule in daily activities you can do together – like going for a walk, playing outside or having family game night.

Take a break from social media: This can help reduce stress and give you a chance to reconnect with yourself.

Show gratitude: Research shows that practicing gratitude on a daily basis can lead to increased happiness levels – write down 3 things you’re thankful for each day or keep track of the good moments in a journal.

How to Take Care of Yourself When you have Young Children

Taking care of yourself is an important part of being a parent, but it can be difficult to prioritize when you have young children. Here are some tips for fitting self-care into your life:

  • Find moments of peace: Even if it’s just five minutes here and there – take those moments to sit quietly, listen to music or practice deep breathing.
  • Schedule time for yourself: Set aside specific times each day when you can focus on activities that bring you joy, such as reading or exercising.
  • Take breaks from parenting: Ask friends or family members for help with childcare so that you can take a break from parenting and do something enjoyable.
  • Don't neglect your physical health: Eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are important factors when it comes to feeling energized and positive.
  • Practice mindfulness: Paying attention to the present moment with kindness and awareness can help manage stress levels.
Mom burnout symptoms, mom sitting at computer overwhelmed by all of her responsibilities.

How to Rediscover Yourself After Motherhood

Rediscovering yourself after becoming a mother is a journey – one that can be difficult, but worth it. Here are some ideas to help you on your journey:

  • Reflect on what’s changed: Take time to think about the changes motherhood has brought to your life and how you’ve grown since then.
  • Make time for yourself: Find activities that bring you joy and schedule in regular times each day to fit them into your life.
  • Connect with like-minded people: Join clubs or find online communities of other mothers who can relate to where you’re at in life and provide support.
  • Explore new interests: Try something new that you haven’t tried before and see if it resonates with you or helps you rediscover old passions.
  • Write about your experiences: Journaling can help process emotions and document the journey of self-discovery.

How to Let Go of Mom Guilt to Help your Mom Burnout

Mom guilt can be an all-too-familiar feeling for many mothers, but it doesn't have to stay that way. Here are some tips for letting go of mom guilt:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: It's normal to feel guilty from time to time – accept these emotions without judgement and try to understand where they’re coming from.
  • Have realistic expectations: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – accept that you won’t always be able to do everything perfectly.
  • Talk to someone: Talking about how you feel can help make the burden of mom guilt feel lighter. Reach out to a supportive friend or family member if you need.
  • Take care of yourself: Remember that taking care of yourself is essential and make time for activities that bring you joy, such as reading and exercise.
  • Focus on the positives: Remind yourself of the wonderful things motherhood brings into your life and focus on the moments of joy and connection with your child.

How to Identify your Triggers when it comes to Mom Burnout

Identifying your triggers can be helpful in managing stress and anxiety, as it allows you to anticipate when they may arise and plan for them. Here is a guide to help you identify your triggers to help your mom burnout.

  • Pay attention to emotions: Notice if there are any emotions or feelings that come up more often than others and try to identify the cause or trigger for those feelings.
  • Ask yourself questions: If certain events or situations make you feel anxious or down, ask yourself why that might be.
  • Explore your past experiences: Think about past events and experiences that have been emotionally impactful for you and how they may have shaped your reactions to current triggers in your life.
  • Keep a log: Write down what happens before you feel an emotion so that over time, patterns might become more clear.
  • Reach out for help: If you find it difficult to identify what’s triggering you, speaking with a professional counsellor can be beneficial.

How to Take a Break from Social Media to Help your Mom Burnout Symptoms

Taking a break from social media can help reduce stress and give you a chance to reconnect with yourself. Here are some tips for going on a social media detox:

  • Set an end date & set rules: Decide how long your detox will last and choose some rules to follow while on it, such as limiting screen time or avoiding using certain apps.
  • Know why you’re doing it: Have a clear idea of why you want to go on the detox – this could be to reduce stress, recharge, or reconnect in the real world.
  • Keep yourself entertained: Plan ahead and find activities that will replace time spent on social media – these could be reading books, exploring outdoors, meeting up with friends etc.
  • Block notifications: Turn off all push notifications from your devices so that you don’t get any reminders of what you're missing out on during your break.
  • Talk about it: Letting people know you're taking a detox can help hold yourself accountable – share your plans with supportive friends or family members if possible.

How to Find Mom Friends and Support to Help Manage your Mom Burnout Symptoms

Finding mom friends can be a great way to get support, share experiences, and have someone to talk to. Here’s how you can find new mom friends:

  • Reach out online: Look for Facebook groups or other online platforms specifically for moms in your area – these can make it easier to connect with people who are also looking for connections.
  • Join activities near you: Sign up for classes or events focused on mothers and children – this could be art classes, music lessons, book clubs etc.
  • Attend baby meet-ups: Look out for fun activities like ‘stroller walks' or ‘baby cafe’s' at parks or restaurants which are specifically organized to help mothers make connections.
  • Chat with neighbors: If you’re comfortable, start a conversation with the other moms who live around you – simply introducing yourself can open the door to new friendships.
  • Exchange numbers: Once you start talking regularly, feel free to exchange numbers so that you can easily stay in touch!

How to Look for a Therapist to Help you With your Mom Burnout Symptoms

Looking for a therapist can seem intimidating but it’s important to take the time and find someone that you feel comfortable with. Here are some tips on finding a therapist for moms:

  • Do your research: Take time to look around for mental health professionals near you that specialize in maternal therapy – ask your doctor or other healthcare professionals for recommendations if possible.
  • Ask questions: Before making any appointments, make sure you get an understanding of their background and approach – don’t be afraid to be picky and ask questions about the qualifications of potential counselors.
  • Look at reviews: Reviews from past clients can provide insight into what it might be like to work with them – use this information to help decide who to see.
  • Consider location & timing: Make sure the therapist's office is easy to access, so that it’s not too much of a hassle getting there – check their available hours as well so that it fits into your schedule.
  • Be honest & open up: When you meet with the therapist, remember to be honest and open up about how you're feeling – this will give them a better understanding of how they can adequately support you.
ultimate overstimulated mom toolkit

Books to Help you Manage Mom Burnout

Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim your Life and Raise Healthier Children in the Process by Dr. Sheryl Ziegler

The ultimate must-read handbook for the modern mother: a practical, and positive tool to help free women from the debilitating notion of being the “perfect mom,” filled with funny and all too relatable true-life stories and realistic suggestions to stop the burnout cycle, and protect our kids from the damage burnout can cause.

Over the last nineteen years working with families and children, Dr. Ziegler has devised a prescriptive program for addressing “mommy burnout”—teaching moms that they can learn to re-energize themselves and still feel good about their families and their lives. In this warm and empathetic guide, she examines this modern epidemic among mothers who put their children’s happiness above their own, and offers empowering, proven solutions for alleviating this condition, saving marriages and keeping kids happy in the process.

How to Stop Losing your Sh*t with your Kids: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Calmer, Happier Parent by Carla Naumburg

Stop the yelling, lose the guilt, and become a calmer, happier parent.
 

Drawing on evidence-based practices, here is an insight-packed and tip-filled plan for how to stop the parental meltdowns. Its compassionate, pragmatic approach will help readers feel less ashamed and more empowered to get their, ahem, act together instead of losing it.
 

In Conclusion

While caring for your family (and perhaps working full-time) may seem like too much at times, there are things that can be done to help alleviate any feelings of burnout before they spiral out of control.

By being mindful about taking care of yourself mentally and physically, setting clear boundaries between work and home life, making time each day just for yourself, and reaching out when needed, moms everywhere can find balance amidst the chaos. With these tips in mind, mothers everywhere will be better equipped to prevent mom burnout in their lives.

Additional Motherhood Resources for You

The Mental Load of Motherhood is Exhausting and Overwhelming: 10 Strategies to Help

The Invisible Load of Motherhood is Exhausting, What you Can do to Help

Understanding Mom Sensory Overload and Strategies to Help You Cope

The Overstimulated Mom and How to Help you Become Calm and Regulated

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