Feel like you’re on the edge of mom burnout? Think you’re on your own as a stressed-out mom? If you’re new to parenting, or even a seasoned mom with a few children under your belt, it’s never the walk in the park it’s portrayed to be.
While society tends to tell us that we are supposed to drift through motherhood looking calm serene and untroubled, that is never really the truth.
From being told we don’t know how to do things properly, to flying by the seats of your pants, a lot of moms try to keep a lid on that feeling of free fall.
Why? Because we don’t want to be judged. Being able to nurture and support a growing child is supposed to come naturally, isn’t it?
If only that were the case! The one thing to remember is, you won’t be the first one to have experienced whatever problem you are dealing with. And you most certainly won’t be the last. Mom burnout is a very real thing. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Mom Burnout Is Just Part Of Being A Parent
If you dare to admit it, despite the fact you no doubt adore your kids, they can, and will get on your nerves. Many many times. In fact, there will even be times when you roll your eyes and ask yourself, “What was I thinking when I decided to be a parent? Was I COMPLETELY mad?!”
Here’s what Tina Fey has to say:
“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”
Here’s the beauty of being a mom. As many times as you want to scream, shout and run away and hide from your children, there will be twice as many that they fill your life with love, laughter and joy.
And the thing to remember is when you feel like you want to reach for the vodka at 9 am (yep, many of us have been there) you are not alone. Many women have gone before you feeling just the same way.
How do you cope with mom burnout? We put together some of the funniest confessions from stressed-out moms. And we also explore the stressed-out reasons behind them. Join the club, it’s not an exclusive one and everyone is welcome!
5 Reasons You Know You’re A Burned Out Mom
“Once I also put my daughter's pants on without her diaper. Let's just say that did not end well.”
“I put my seven year old daughter’s leggings on, on top of her pajama shorts and she had to spend the entire day like that at school! When she got home she asked "mom, why did I have to wear two pairs of pants today?"
The reason you forget things is often because you’re stretched so mentally and physically you’re mind can’t remember things you have to do.
Wanting to Stay in Bed, All Day
“You know that horrible flu that’s been going around? I pretended I was sick two days longer than I really was so I could stay in bed and watch all ten episodes of Mr. Selfridge.”
“I remember rocking my husband's face in the middle of the night when I heard the baby stirring. He woke up pretty quickly screaming ‘NO!’ We had to move the baby to the nursery after that happened a few times.”
“I was getting really stressed out because I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. I turned the house upside down. It turns out they were in the refrigerator.”
Sleep is often thin on the ground when you’re in the first few months of parenthood. The bad news is, that while your sleep patterns might improve (no more nightfeeds) kids often like to get up early. And if you aren’t careful they’ll go to bed late. And that leaves you without getting some decent shuteye. Alternatively, you might be getting eight hours of sleep, and when the alarm goes off you just want to roll over and kiss goodbye to the day.
If you are waking up feeling tired, or don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, then these are signs you are physically and emotionally exhausted. Listen to what your body is telling you.
The Kids Are Just Sooo Annoying!
“When your kid says “I hate you,” and you want to say, ‘yeah, well, I don’t really like you all that much right now, either.’
“My confession is that I honestly hate playing with my toddler. I love that he plays and I would give him any toy on the planet if I thought it would enrich his life, but I dread those moments where he is like “mommy play with me.’ I can’t wait until he’s older and we can play board games. “
Yes, children can get on your nerves. Drawing on the wall? Non-stop crying? Not taking no for an answer? Refusing to eat? Check and check.
If you find you are snapping at your kids over something really small, then you need to take a deep breath. It’s a sign you could be getting overwhelmed emotionally.
Your Routines Are A Thing of the Past
“I like ice cream before bed… apparently my toddler does too… I’m not about to argue when I’m already spent for the day soooooooo ice cream before bed it is!”
“When your kid complains about doing chores and you want to say, “This is my payment for having you. Now get to work.”
“My father-in-law bought my 3-year-old a big bag of chocolate coins. Every morning he wakes up and asks for one. I’m not about that battle before my coffee, so he gets chocolate at 7 am.”
“When my kids say, ‘Mom can I have pop tarts for dinner?’ And I’m like, ‘sure go right ahead’ as I continue to shop online.”
“I absolutely loathe pretend play. Also, if hell is real, my hell is an infinite loop of baking with small children.I do both but sparingly, to save my own sanity. I will however make play doh sculptures all frigging day.”
Babies love a routine. And if you can get them into one, it’s going to make your and their life better. Kids love structure, and they can help you reduce wasting time. But sometimes, they just want to go their own way, don’t they?
If you were running a tight ship, but now the thought of getting your children’s breakfast on time fills you with dread then you know it’s time to act. If you are suffering from a lot of stress, it can affect your mental and physical health. And that is going to make it harder for you to be there for your children.
Using Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
“I had a couple of moments when my kids were younger where I cried in the closet . . . and ate chocolate.”
“I take my son to his class and tell him I need to make a work call from my car. Then I run to the bar at Whole Foods and chill out with a pint of DC Brau and an issue of Real Simple.”
“It is extremely important for me to have very good friends whom I can text things like, ‘I’m going to kill my children!’ and get a response like, ‘Me, too. Let’s get a drink later.’ Would not survive without them.”
Once a day I ‘go pee’ and pop a Xanax. My hubby doesn’t believe in mental illness. Like at all. So I see a Dr on the sly while grocery shopping.”
“I tell my kids ‘mommy has to go make a quick phone call’ and then I go take a puff from my THC/CBD pen. I have three chronic illnesses as well as mental health struggles, a uni student, and a single mom- I really need the relief lol.”
There’s nothing wrong with having a drink to unwind at the end of the day. But do you feel that sometimes your children are driving you to become the liquor store’s best customer? Or maybe you and chocolate have developed a very good relationship. Too good.
And while we joked above about wanting a vodka before 9 am, it is a real sign you are very stressed out. If you’ve gone from trying to relax with one glass of wine to a bottle, it’s time to take stock. Using substances can easily go from being a way to relax to become a crutch you can’t do without.