If you’re a mom and experiencing psychological and physical burnout, you’re not alone. It’s something that affects a huge number of women with children, including those who have loving and supportive partners.
That’s because it’s not just about the physical effort that having kids brings. It’s also about the psychological effects too. Unless your mind is in a good place all the time, it can slowly wear away at you, making you feel totally exhausted.
What To Do When The Pressure Of Being A Mum Gets To You
Here are some of the things that you can do when the pressure of being a mom gets to you.
Don’t Be A Mommy Martyr
Some moms who go into the job believe that they have to be a mommy martyr and sacrifice everything for their kids, even their own lives if necessary. But that approach actually undermines the whole job of being a mother.
Think about it. Imagine what happens if you’re stressed and overwhelmed all the time. You don’t feel like you can cope and you have to swallow all the difficulties you’re facing. You can’t just say to your kids that you’re tired or have had enough. Being a mommy martyr means always being there for them, no matter what their needs.
Unfortunately, all mommy martyrs eventually crash. It’s not their fault. They tried their hardest. But they didn’t consider themselves enough in the relationship. And that’s what ultimately led to their burnout.
If you feel like a mommy martyr, explore the emotional underpinnings of your approach. Where possible, try to rid yourself of guilt. You don’t have to be the perfect mom. Kids will be fine if you’re just “good enough.”
Take Long Walks
Taking a long walk can be a great way to reset your brain. You can do this with the kids themselves, or on your own – it doesn’t matter. What’s required is getting out into nature, enjoying the experience of moving your body, and doing something different. Wiping bottoms and clearing up toys is great, but you need some “you time.” Catch our drift?
Manage Your Diet
Some moms can get into a vicious downward spiral of increasing stress and falling levels of wellbeing. Their fears lead them to eat more and more junk which actually makes them feel worse.
It turns out that diet is one of the most effective migraine treatments. Adding ginger to your tea, for instance, can help combat stress-induced headaches and help you become more productive.
You can also avoid snacking in the evening by preloading on veggies – something that a lot of diet doctors advise. The idea is to eat as many delicious vegetables as you can before your main meal so that dessert afterward seems less appetizing.
Stop Comparing Yourself
New moms have a dreadful habit of comparing themselves to other mothers who seem to have it all “sorted.” They’re exercising every day, have beautiful kids, and never seem stressed. From your perspective, it looks like they’re living a perfect life.
Please note, though, that the act of comparing is actually unhelpful. Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter what somebody else is doing. All that counts is how you relate to your children. Remember, not all families are the same. So it might not be appropriate for you to go out jogging with the pram every morning. You might have other priorities.
You also don’t actually know what’s good for your children on a fundamental level. Sending them to endless after-school classes might seem like a good thing to do, but most kids just want a bit of peace in the evenings and to spend time with you.
Make Your Life About Fun
Instead of taking “fun time,” try to make your entire life about having fun. Remember, even though the culture says that being a mom is the toughest job in the world, that’s all perception. You don’t have to think about it as some dreadful chore if you don’t want to. You can see it as a vocation, a hobby, or even something that helps give your life meaning. Changing nappies is never glamorous, but it can be rewarding. As can watching your children grow, develop and turn into functional, healthy adults.
Do you sometimes feel like you have to do everything yourself? If so, you can always try delegating. Nothing is wrong with asking your friends, partners, and anyone else to share in some of the responsibilities of raising kids. They can always say no if they’re not up for it.
Delegating responsibility to kids also helps them to develop too. By putting them in charge of something, they feel like they have ownership over it, and actually want to help.
Sometimes a little reverse psychology can work wonders here. If you make chores seem like something that’s just for adults, kids will naturally want to prove to you that they can do them well. So instead of trying to force kids into tidying up, tell them that it’s a special privilege for adults. That way, they’ll be curious and able to find joy in the tasks, instead of feeling like they have to do it.
Approach Life More Simplistically
When you’re a mom, your life can feel incredibly full. You go through it, wondering how you’ll manage to pack everything that you want to do into the week.
Take some time to think about whether your life actually needs to be as full as you make it. Do you really need to attend a book club every Friday? Do you have to volunteer at the local Scout group every Monday? If not, then put it on the back burner. People will understand. Just get back into it when you have more time.
You can also try letting go of some of the internal pressures that you put on yourself. For instance, you might be getting stressed because you believe that you need to do the dishes before you go to bed. Is leaving them until the next morning really the disaster you imagine it to be? Wherever possible, let go.