Are you struggling with stay at home mom burnout? Parenting 24/7 is tough and can leave you feeling physically, mentally, and emotional exhausted.
Between running a household, caring for your children, and often working on side hustles to make extra cash, it’s no wonder so many of us eventually suffer from burnout.
However unlikely this seems when we’re just starting out as stay at home moms, it’s important that we learn how to identify it and deal with it before things get too out of hand!
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In This Guide:
Stay At Home Mom Burnout Signs
As moms we often hide our weariness as we take care of everyone else, but it is important that we do not ignore the signs.
First, What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion due to excessive stress.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of burnout:
- Feeling exhausted and low energy
- Problems sleeping
- Feeling very emotional and having trouble controlling your emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety
- Feeling resentful or cynical
- Difficulty concentrating
- Physical pains
- Withdrawing from loved ones
Keep in mind that this list doesn’t cover everything and burnout may look different for you.
Because burnout shares some similar signs with depression and anxiety and can also lead to these mental health issues, it should be taken seriously and addressed.
Why Do Stay at Home Moms Experience Burnout?
There are lots of reasons why stay at home moms experience burnout, but a few include the lack of sleep so common for parents, the isolation of being home with young children all day, and feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caregiving and internal and external pressures of parenting.
Bottom line, parenting is really stressful.
How To Deal With Mom Burnout
So perhaps you recognize yourself in those signs of burnout, what should you do about it?
When you’re already overwhelmed, a long list of more things you should do is just too much. I get that. So I’ll try to keep it simple.
1 | Get More Sleep
It sounds so simple, but since lack of sleep is such a huge problem for parents it gets to be at the top of the list. Everything is harder when you’re exhausted.
Make sleep a priority.
As a mom of three kids who do not sleep, I know how hard this one little thing can be and also how important it is too.
Make the effort to get more sleep, whether it’s by going to bed earlier or napping. If your baby keeps you up at night, check out these tips for getting more sleep.
2 | Cut Out Stressors
Are certain areas of parenting causing you the most stress? If you can identify the most stressful things, you can try to alleviate some of the strain by fixing them or finding ways to work around them.
This is definitely much easier said than done. And since it is so personal to each individual it’s hard to really offer solutions.
As far as general advice, examine your biggest stressors. Can you drop it completely? Get someone to help? Can you make a change to avoid it?
This could mean lowering expectations for ourselves with things like cleaning or kid’s activities.
This is about survival mode. So if you need to skip the vacuuming, use paper plates, or forget the screen time limits until you feel like you can handle it, then do that. It’s ok. Remember, these solutions don’t need to be permanent.
For many one income families, finances are a huge stressor. Help manage this by sticking to a strict budget. Take a hard look at your income and expenses to find any areas you can change. I have some great tips for budgeting as a stay at home mom, you can read them here.
Check your social media use too and evaluate whether its’ making you feel better or worse. Social media can add more stress and pressure to our lives as we compare our real lives to the carefully curated lives of others. It’s also a huge time suck on our already super limited time. If you find these aren’t helping you, try to limit your time, take a digital break, or even delete the apps.
Also, learn to say no. Don’t take on new obligations while you’re already struggling.
3 | Take A Break
Get some time away from your children. The constant nature of parenting makes it difficult to ever relax. There is always something that needs to be done, diapers, dishes, laundry, it never ends.
If you can, get out of the house and spend time in nature or with friends.
If you can’t get away, give yourself permission to take an actual break at home. Let yourself skip the chores every once in a while and rest or…
Do Something That Brings You Joy
Make time for you to do something you love and that will help you manage your stress.
Activities that will benefit your physical or mental health are ideal, like being active, getting outdoors, or meditation.
But hey, if those aren’t your thing, don’t create another chore for yourself or it will just bring you more stress. Your time is limited so find something that works for you.
Maybe journaling, puzzles, drawing, reading, or gardening are more your speed.
If nothing comes to mind, check out my list of over 40 hobbies that are perfect for stay at home moms.
4 | Lean On Your Support System
Use your support system, like your partner, family, and friends to help you through this.
If you don’t already have a strong support system, work on building one. I say that as though it’s easy, but often it isn’t. Look to online support groups, join local moms group, and start chatting with the other moms at the playground. Strong relationships are so important, they are worth the time and effort.
Why, you might ask, do you need them? Well, I’ll tell you…
Despite being surrounded by little people, isolation is a huge problem for stay at home moms and contributes to feeling burned out. Connecting with others is important for our mental and emotional health.
You might find other moms with similar struggles to commiserate with, vent to, and help lift each other up.
Remember that you’re not alone and others care about you. Try to connect with someone everyday, even if it’s just a text.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Your support system is vital when you need advice, childcare, or help around the house. Let these people support you so you can care for yourself, like sleeping, doing a hobby, getting a work out.
If you need more help with the kids or household chores, ask your partner to be more involved. See if the grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends can lend a hand with childcare so you can get a break.
If you’re still working on building relationships and don’t have these people available, hire a sitter or mother’s helper if you can swing it. Also, look for a mom friend who could trade off babysitting with you.
Finally, sometimes our support system needs to include a mental health professional. Burnout can lead to serious mental health issues. It’s essential that you can talk about your feelings and an unbiased third party can help you come up with better ways to manage your stress.
5 | No Shame
Do not feel bad about taking care of yourself. Do not feel bad about getting more sleep or exercising or reading a book. You deserve to be happy and healthy and you should not apologize for that.
Taking care of ourselves can be surprisingly hard. It can feel selfish, even though it isn’t. We need to care for ourselves so that we can care for our families.
Avoiding Stay At Home Mom Burnout
If you aren’t dealing with stay at home mom burnout, being proactive about prevention can help you avoid it.
The same ways of dealing with burnout above can also help avoid mom burnout, but you may not need them all.
I also have tips to help avoid burnout and be happy as a stay at home mom (you can find them here).
Having a solid routine can also help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Check out my tips for creating a stay at home mom schedule with examples to get you started.
So now that you know how to deal with stay at home mom burnout, we hope you’ll have brighter days ahead!
Did we miss anything? How do you handle burnout as a stay at home mom? Share your tips in the comments!