There comes a point in every mom’s like when she feels like she just can’t give anymore. As a mom, the needs of your children come first and foremost, which means that your needs are usually put on the backburner, and sometimes, they are never attended to.
You feel exhausted, overwhelmed, emotional, guilty, stressed, anxious… In other words, you’re burned out. It happens to all of us at one point or another. It happened to me just yesterday, when my youngest son refused to take a nap and had a meltdown for two hours. He normally naps for two or more hours a day, which is prime work time for me.
Because he wouldn’t sleep, I was not able to get any of the work done that I had intended on doing, which meant missed deadlines and piled up my workload for the rest of the week. On top of being stressed about not being able to get my work done, I was beside myself because nothing I did would comfort my little man.
Not being able to comfort your child is one of the worst things for a mother. Needless to say, the rest of the day was a nightmare, and by the time my husband got home from work, I was completely burned out…
I know that I am not the only mother that gets burned out, so I wanted to find out how other women feel about being burned out, what makes them burned out, what happens when they get to that point, and what they do to overcome it. I spoke to 15 other moms about mom burnout. Here’s what they had to say….
14 “There's Too Much On My Plate!”
Jessica Z said that she knows she is getting burned out when she starts forgetting everything.
“When I start getting burned out, I start to forget absolutely everything. I forget to pack certain items in lunches, I forget that I put a load of laundry on and it sits there wet in the washing machine, I forget to turn on burners while I am trying to cook dinner… I think that there is just too much on my plate."
"I have too much to get done and my brain can’t process it all. When this happens, I start writing lists. They help a lot. However, even with the lists, I forget things. It drives me absolutely insane. When I start forgetting things, it’s a trickle-down effect and nothing gets done the way that it needs to. Mom burnout, you’ve got to love it.”
13 “I Can't Control My Frustration!”
When Trisha B starts getting burned out, she confessed that she starts to snap at everyone.
“When I am burned out, I start snapping at anyone or anything that gets in my path, my kids, my husband, my friends, even my dogs. And I’ll yell over the smallest thing, like my son not being able to zipper his coat (he just turned three and hasn’t mastered zippering yet, which I know, but I still snap at him.)"
"After I am a raging lunatic and I start to calm down, I reflect and realize that there wasn’t any need for me to snap at all. And then, of course, I feel horribly guilty because I yelled at everyone. I’m just so overtired and overworked, and I can’t control my frustration sometimes. I lash out, and I really hate it.”
12 “There's Too Much To Be Done”
Gerri B said that when she is burned out, she finds herself in a constant state of exhaustion.
“When there’s just too much going on and I have too much to do, I find myself constantly exhausted. I could get a great night of sleep and drink an entire pot of coffee, yet I am still exhausted. And the exhaustion is crippling. I am always yawning, rubbing my eyes and just feel totally drained. And when I am constantly tired, I start to freak out on people."
"You know how it is when you are always tired? You just start snapping at people and your patience is nil. Yep. That’s what happens to me when I am burned out. I don’t have energy to do anything, yet I still must find a way to keep on trucking. Being a mother… Who knew it would be so hard?”
11 “My Perfection Is Unsustainable”
Judy F, a stay-at-home mom of three, confessed that when she is burned out, she throws in the towel.
“I am usually ‘that mom’ you know, the Pinterest mom. I make elaborate dinners with organic ingredients, I make sure my kids always look their best and that I do, too. I go all out when it comes to craft projects… However, when I start to get burned out, I throw in the towel. I am no longer the “Pinterest” mom that I usually am."
"I guess you could say that I water down my mom routine. I buy fast food for dinner, skip a day or two of bathing my kids, let the laundry pile up, and craft projects consist of sticking stickers on a piece of paper. When I start getting like this, I know that I am burned out and that I need a break. “
10 “My Life Is Too Busy”
When Trudy G gets mom burnout, she confessed that she locks herself in her bathroom.
“I know it sounds awful, but when I start getting burned out, I’ll lock myself in the bathroom. I am a single mom, which means that I don’t get breaks very often. When the kids are in school, I am working, and when they are home, we are doing homework, running errands, playing. You know, doing all of the things that kids require."
"Sometimes, I just get so overwhelmed and I really just need to take 5 minutes to regroup myself. So, I’ll grab my phone or a book and lock myself in the bathroom and lock myself in the bathroom. I’ll even run the shower so that my kids think that’s what I’m doing and won’t bother me, but in reality, I am sitting there scrolling through my newsfeed or catching up on some reading.”
9 “I Try To Do Too Much For My Kids”
When Tracy R starts getting burned out, she said that she starts to withdraw herself.
“I am a very active mom. I am always hosting play dates, doing arts and crafts with my kids, building them forts and all of that fun stuff. However, when I start to feel like I am burning out, I will withdraw myself. By that, I mean that I’ll stop offering to host play dates for a few weeks, I’ll stop building forts and I’ll hardly do any arts and crafts."
"I pull myself in and stop putting so much energy into being a mom. I have to. If I don’t, I won’t survive. I need a break sometimes so that I can continue to be a good mom for my kids, and so that I can be happy for myself. I think all moms need to withdraw themselves from time-to-time. You can’t give all of yourself all of the time. It’s just not possible.”
8 “I Get Overwhelmed”
Tessa C said that when she starts getting burned out, she cries.
“I become this total blubbering mess and I cry over every little thing. My son can’t find his shoe? I cry. My daughter comes home with a project that I have to help her with for school? I cry. My husband says that he is going to be late coming home from work? I cry."
"Crying is what I do when I get totally overwhelmed, and when I am burned out, it’s because I am completely overwhelmed. I try to hide it from my kids, but sometimes, I can’t. The tears will just start rolling and I start whimpering."
"When they ask what’s wrong, I tell them that mommy is just really tired. The last thing that I want is for them to think I am crying because of them, I’m not. I’m crying because I am just totally overwhelmed.”
7 “I Don't Pamper Myself Enough”
Kerry V confessed that when she starts getting mommy burnout, she pours herself a glass of wine and eat chocolate.
“When I am at my wits end and feel like I am going to snap, I pour myself a nice glass of wine and grab a bag of chocolate and indulge myself. Hey, I need some pampering every now and again, and this is how I choose to pamper myself. The wine calms my nerves, and the chocolate just tastes so good that it makes me happy."
"My husband says that he can tell when I’ve had a bad day when he comes home and sees that I am drinking a glass of wine while the kids are still up and when I have chocolate smeared around my lips. I nod, pour myself another glass and grab another handful of chocolate.”
6 “There's Not Enough Time On My Own”
When Robyn F starts getting burned out, she says that she calls her mom and vents.
“It’s ironic, I guess, that I am calling my mother to vent when I am starting to feel burned out, but I know that she completely understands what I am talking about. She is a really good listener. She’ll let me unload and vent, and she offers some pretty good advice, too."
"When the burn out is at a max, she’ll even come over and grab the kids so that I can have a few hours to myself. In fact, she’ll bring me a DVD or a book, too! I am so thankful for my mom. She truly is my lifesaver. Goes to show you how important the job of a mother is.”
5 “My Kids Need So Much”
Gretchen T told me that when she starts getting mommy burnout, she starts cleaning everything.
“I don’t know why, but when I start to feel totally overwhelmed with all of the things that my kids need, I start to clean. It’s weird, I know, but cleaning makes me feel better. It calms me. When I start getting overwhelmed, I grab all of my cleaning supplies and get to work. I guess it’s a good thing to do. My house is spic and span and I feel a lot better."
"I guess it makes me feel like I have accomplished something when I feel like I can’t accomplish anything. I mean, there are worse things that I could do when I get burned out, cleaning is actually productive and benefits everyone!”
4 “Everything I Have Going On Makes Me Stressed”
When being a mom starts getting to be a little bit too much, Francesca B said that she takes a bath.
“When there is just way too much going on and I start feeling stressed out and anxious, I’ll pour myself a bath. When my husband gets home from work, I tell him that he’s in charge and I go lock myself in the bathroom. I pour my bath salts into the tub, draw a nice hot bath, light some candles, put on some soothing music and put my ice mask over my eyes."
"I’ll just sit there and soak, letting all of my worries melt away. I think that every mom needs to have a nice bathtub and that should permit herself to take a nice, long soak in it at least once a week. It’s amazing what it does for my soul!”
3 “I Get Burned Out When My Kids Stop Listening”
Vanessa Y said that she starts getting mommy burnout when her kids stop listening to her.
“I swear, sometimes I think my kids ears either stop working, or that they fall off! When I ask them to do something over and over again, and they just don’t listen, that’s when I get burned out. I get so tired of having to repeat myself a million times, and when everything I say seems to be falling on deaf ears."
"It is so frustrating! It’s like, O.M.G.!!! DO YOU EVEN HEAR ME?!?! Did you stop speaking our language? What is going on! When the listening stops, I lose it and start bugging out on them. And you know what? Sometimes, I will stop responding to them just to teach them a lesson! I want them to know what it feels like when they aren’t listening to me! Sheesh!”
2 “Bedtime Burns Me Out”
Vivian E told me that she gets mommy burnout every night at bedtime.
“Before I had kids, bedtime was one of the things that I was looking forward to the most. Setting up all of the routines. You know, reading books, brushing teeth, tucking in and having sweet and meaningful conversations before my little ones would drift off to dreamland. Yeah, that was such a beautiful picture that I painted."
"However, that is not reality in any way, shape or form. Bedtime is one of the most stressful times of the day. The kids go wild and I have to wrangle them in and wrestle them to get their PJs on and brush their teeth. Once they are all tucked in, I have to go back to their room what seems like 7,000 times before they fall asleep."
"They need 10 drinks of water each. They need another book. They need another kiss. They need to be tucked in again. All mommy wants to do is collapse on the couch and catch up on the shows she has DVRd, but after the bedtime debauchery, I usually am so frustrated and exhausted that I curl up and fall asleep.
1 “Dinner Time Is The Worst Time”
Heidi L told me that dinner time is the worst time of day in her house, and that it burns her out every night.
“Dinner time. That’s the time of day when I start to lose my mind. I have three kids, and all of them are picky eaters. My husband is a picky eater, too. I usually have to make four different dinners for each of them, which not only takes a tremendous amount of time, but it also makes a huge mess."
"And, what’s worse is that at least one of my kids will tell me that they don’t want to eat what I cooked. Excuse me?!? No you didn’t! On top of it all, I have to tell them to sit down, to eat, to stop playing with their food… It gets really old and it burns me out so much.”