“Bad girl mom” is not what you’re thinking. Sans a wild night out, cue my allowing my Little to watch television instead of doing homework, or opting to only wash laundry that doesn’t have to be ironed before wear. What this means the most is this: I’m running on fumes, and all the goals and daily tasks I know will only get done if I do them fall apart. Welcome to Mama Burnout. We’ve all been there. You’re lying if you say you haven’t.
When I think of times when I’ve suffered from Mama Burnout, I find myself not necessarily thinking about the days that I was the most tired, or the most frustrated.
No, I think about the feeling I experience outside the norm – and they’re bright red warning flags of an impending, major meltdown. Here are…
Six Clear Signs of Mama Burnout
- Every. Single. Dish. Is. Dirty. Again. You convince your family that pepperoni Hot Pockets and a can of whatever kind of vegetable you find in the pantry makes for a balanced dinner. Yep, you’ll just wash those dishes tomorrow.
- Your child wants to put his jacket on by himself when you’re running late. This independence is wonderful, but you feel the tears begin welling up as you watch him ever-so-carefully struggle to figure out his right sleeve from his left – all while the jacket is inside out.
- Your patience is gone. Like, erased, vanished, and disappeared to the nth degree.
- Your motivation for getting up in the morning, without hitting snooze four times, is that if you hurry, you may still be able to make it to Starbucks for a mega caffeine infusion before you’re too late for work.
- Sleep no longer works. Your nerves are just as bad as they would be after eight or nine hours of sleep (and that Starbucks run probably didn’t help).
- You drive off for an “errand” and cry in your car. Sometimes you even confront people in imaginary conversations and say the things you should have said.
How do you prevent this burnout mentality? Here are a few quick tips:
Have a girls’ night. Leave responsibility and check-lists at home, and let your hair down!
Eat well. Fuel your body for the energy you want to have.
Date your husband. Feeling like you’re 21 again for a fun date night out can make real life situations easier to tackle.
Be silly with your kids. Use your imagination with this one… and have fun.
Spend time alone. Pray, meditate, or rock in your backyard hammock. Whatever it is, do it by yourself.
Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Check out her blog at heartfullybuilt.com.