10 Essential Tips for Exhausted Mothers to Avoid Burnout

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Being a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it can also be incredibly exhausting. Between juggling work, household chores, and caring for your children, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and burnt out. However, it’s crucial for mothers to prioritise self-care and find ways to recharge their batteries. Here are so essential tips for exhausted mothers to avoid burnout.  

Set Realistic Expectations

As a tired mom, it’s easy to fall into the trap of unrealistic expectations. Let’s be honest, the pressure to be a perfect instagram mom, keep the house spotless, and excel at work can lead to mommy burnout. Recognising that being a good mom doesn’t mean doing everything perfectly is the first step. Embrace the concept of being a “good enough mother,” as coined by psychologist Rick Hanson. Understand that it’s okay to make mistakes and prioritise what truly matters in your family life.n Let’s be completly honest – most of these instagram pictures capture the highlights of someone’s day. They do not reveal the behind the scenes chaos, piles of laundry and toys scattered all over the place. People even photoshop plug sockets and radiators from their photos. The most effective way to manage burnout is to not try to be the perfect mom. Plan your daily routines around relaistic goals. There are certain things which need to be done every day, and others which are weekly tasks. There are also other jobs which can build up if you let them and so it’s easier to try and do some small things to try and reduce this in the long run. I try to never leave a room or go upstairs/ downstairs empty handed. That means that the toy clutter, toilet rolls, small piles of laundry and other random stuff that accumulates in piles on the stairs always finds its proper place in the home. If i don’t do this then i have to dedicate an hour on Saurday morning to this job which is an hour i would rather spend in bed. 

Prioritise Self-Care

Amidst the chaos of family life, it’s crucial to prioritise self-care as a tired mom. Carve out small pockets of personal time each day to recharge your batteries. The nice advice would be to state that  wether it’s enjoying a cup of coffee in peace, taking a short walk, or indulging in a hobby you love, do it becuase these little things can make a big difference in your emotional health and well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; it’s essential for being the best mom you can be. I also think that this extends to a generous proportion of carved out quality time for yourself. So the way i interpret this is to take myself off for a “mom holiday” – sometimes I am early when it comes to the school run and I enjoy sitting in my car and enjoying a drink. In the summer I will treat myself to an ice cream and go and sit on a park bench. I also enjoy trips to the theatre and heading out for food with friends. The overhwleming sense of resposnibilty as a mother is enough to lead to exertion. It’s almost impossible to have a bubble bath to yourself and the positive impact of giving yourself some time away is always going to be noticable. 

Establish Boundaries

Learning to set boundaries is vital for avoiding mom burnout. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood, but you don’t have to do it all alone. Communicate your needs to your family members and delegate tasks on the to-do list. Whether it’s asking your partner to help with household chores or enlisting the support of trusted friends or family members, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I’m more than happy to offer to look after a friends child whilst they get their hair done, or head out for date night as long as they return the favour. I didn’t always feel so comfortable with this with a new baby but now my son is older I’m much happier with him spending quality time with family members. The best thing anyone ever did for me was offer to hold my six week old baby whilst I had a shower. I’d been rocking an unwashed mom bun for that whole time, so after my shower I blowdryed my hair and had a nap. I’d been fighting that sleep cycle and the low enegry was starting to get to me so I really needed that support.  Just a single day of childcare as a single parent makes a huge difference to me, and these days I use the time on my hobbies or catching up with tasks on my to do list without the mental load of having to plan activities to keep a kid busy. there is nothing more soul destroying than coming out from deep cleaning the bathroom than seeing the aftermath of slime making in the kitchen. It really does take a village and every so often you might need to re-establish your boundaries and figure out what you are comfortable with. What this also means is that you’re refreshed and ready for the next day of motherhood. 

Delegate Responsibilities

As a busy mom, it’s impossible to do everything yourself. Delegate tasks and responsibilities to other family members, including your partner and older children. Encourage your children to help out around the house and teach them valuable life skills in the process. Remember, sharing the load not only lightens your burden but also fosters a sense of teamwork and responsibility within the family. Depending on your childs age you might be able to make some small changes. Little things like putting clothes in the washing basket, and sorting out socks can help. One thing big kids love being in charge of is cooking – even if you start them off with taking responsibility for cooking a frozen pizza, getting in to that kind of habit will help you in the long run. 

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation 

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In the hustle and bustle of daily life, finding moments of quiet time can be challenging but essential for avoiding parental burnout. Incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine to calm your nervous system and reduce stress. Take a few minutes each day to focus on the present moment, whether through deep breathing exercises, meditation apps, or simply enjoying a quiet moment alone. Cultivating a mindfulness practice can help you stay grounded and centered amidst the chaos of family life. Alternatively you can also take ten minutes out to play your favourite music on the loudest setting in your car and sing along a the top of your voice, or dance in your kitchen like no one is watching. I also quite like heading to the gym for workout classes. Anything which means you’re only thinking and foucsing on whats happening in the then and now, rather than worrying about planning the next non uniform day costume, packed lunches, birthday party gift and where the latest reading book might be.

Stay Active

  It sounds counter intuitive to suggest that sonmeone who is tired should do more, especially when you have such little time. It is true that regular exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health but also your mental well-being. Find activities that you enjoy and make them a priority in your daily routine. Whether it’s going for a run, attending a yoga class, or taking a dance break with your kids, find ways to incorporate physical activity into your day. I quite like to walk around the park when Arlo is playing on climbing frames. It’s better than sitting down and shivering on a bench being a spectator.  Exercise releases endorphins, which can boost your mood and energy levels, helping you tackle the demands of motherhood with renewed vitality. I signed up at the gym where he does his swimming lessons and so thats a nice way to get 20 minutes on the treadmill.

Connect with Other Moms

  Motherhood can be isolating at times, especially for new parents or stay-at-home moms. Reach out to other moms in your community or online to share experiences, offer support, and build friendships. Join parenting groups, attend playdates, or participate in mom-focused events to connect with like-minded individuals. Having mom friends who understand what you’re going through can provide invaluable emotional support and camaraderie on your parenting journey. Stay away from online forums and sanctimonius types who make you feel “less than”. Once you find your tribe of moms, you will be able to compare notes on all the emotional exhaustion and discuss the best things you can try to overcome it. I used to spend my maternity leave meeting up with my mom club in the cafe of a supermaket. We would take it in turns to go around and do our food shop whilst the babies all slept soundly in their prams. We would buy and share the packs of baby food and tackle baby led weaning together. It was always so much easier doing it with company and as an exhuasted mom the last thing I needed was judgement trying to juggle a weekly food shop and a newborn baby ways ended in disaster because of the mom fatigue I was facing. 

Get Quality Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a common experience for tired moms, especially during the postpartum period or when dealing with sleepless nights. However, prioritising sleep is essential for your physical and emotional health. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and establish a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom. Aim for a good night’s sleep by setting consistent sleep schedules and practicing good sleep hygiene habits. If sleep disturbances persist, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice from your healthcare provider. The best thing I ever did was get a decent sized matress from Simba Sleep. It’s one of the most important things you can invest in – Mainly because you end up sharing your bed with a child more often that you’d ever imagine so you might as well make space for them. Also because no one ever prepared me for how rubbish my back would feel. Even when older kids are long out of nappies you still have to carry a rucksack around on days out, and then also a scooter and sometimes even a weary kid. The back ache and muscle strain is real and no one ever mentions these health issues. Getting enough sleep should always be a priority, and I know that it’s easier said than done. Every time anyone ever said to me “sleep when they sleep” as one tired mama I didn’t know wether I wanted to laugh or cry. 

Nourish Your Body 

  It’s easy for me to say this as a food tecaher, but it is true. As a tired mom, it’s easy to prioritise your family’s needs over your own, including nutrition. Snacking on toddler foods or caving in to the quick and easy air fryer meals can be a slippery slope. Fueling your body with nutritious foods is essential for maintaining your energy levels and overall well-being. Focus on eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and limit your intake of caffeine and sugary drinks. Remember, taking care of your health is an investment in yourself and your family’s future. 

Seek Professional Help if Needed

 Despite your best efforts, there may be times when you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with the demands of motherhood. If you’re experiencing persistent feelings of exhaustion, sadness, or anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Reach out to a therapist, counselor, or healthcare provider who can offer support and guidance tailored to your individual needs. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and taking proactive steps to prioritise your mental health is essential for being the best mom you can be. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood, but you don’t have to do it all alone.  Postnatal or postpartum depression is real. It isn’t just the baby blues, nothing can prepare you for the lack of sleep you get in the first few months and then just when you think you might be figuring it all out, growth spurts, sleep regressions, teething and sicknesses come along and upset the routines. Keep in touch with your health visitors and also communicate your needs to the people around you.  I actually found the hardest transition for me was returning to work. Balancing the pressures there with childcare costs was ridiculous and the commute used to raise my blood pressure – I was forever worrying about being able to cut through rush hour traffic to be on time and so I spoke with my HR team at work to discuss flexible working. Arriving earlier in the morning to leave earler in the afternoon was a viable solution to help reduce the stress of the evening commute. 

At the end of the day, sometimes it doesnt feel like there are enough hours to get everything you need to do done as a mother. When you’re the one holding the family together it is really important to take good care of yourself to try and beat that burnout.

Last Updated on 4 months by Lavania Oluban

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