3 Causes of Mom Burnout

It’s not just all that hard work and those daily battles wearing you out.

You NEED time for yourself. You know you do.

And sometimes, you even get a little — but not nearly as much as you wish or need.

Mostly you are just really busy being that person everyone else relies on so much.

And when your time away is over and you return to the family, you feel good — for about an hour.

But once the daily battles begin again you are back to feeling zapped and overwhelmed.

I know. I’ve been there.

The symptoms of an overwhelmed mama aren’t pretty. We snap a lot at those we love. We fall into bed long before the night’s work is finished with nothing more than a dream about doing something kind for ourselves. We rush through all the motions, doing everything we have to do.

And at the end of the day, we wonder where in the world the day went? Did I even enjoy it?

Why does this happen to good moms?

Let’s face it, our reality is much more complicated now in the modern world. Too much technology. Too much information. Less support. More responsibilities. And way more expectations. Not to mention all those parenting responsibilities. Meal Planning. Schedules. Homework. Laundry.

But I don’t think any of that is really making us feel burned out and overwhelmed.

I think we’re causing it ourselves.

I have been researching and talking with hundreds of mamas over the past two years, and the reasons for the burnout vary greatly, but all they all seem to come back to these three things.

  1. We are constantly striving for perfection. The idea of the perfect house, the perfect career, the perfect DIY project, the perfectly behaved children and, of course, the perfectly smart children. Not to mention the perfect marriage. The perfect curb appeal outside. It’s really no wonder we’re exhausted.
  2. We are always planning and researching to the point of sheer indecisiveness. There are more than 2 million hits on Google for the answer to “How to Potty Train a Child.” And that’s just one phase for one child. Modern moms are dealing with modern-day technology inundation that easily takes over our entire brain at most hours of the day. I am tired just thinking about it.
  3. We are attached to other people’s happiness. This is such a huge issue for women — pleasers by nature. Why does this cause burnout? Because we are putting all of our energy, time and passion into making sure other people are happy and smiling and feeling special — leaving very little time, energy and passion for our own happiness.

What does this mean? It means that we have to start letting go of the visions we create about our life in our head and just start living. It means we must realize that our happiness should absolutely come first. And it means making a concerted effort to trust ourselves to know what is best for us and for our children.

Have you noticed a time when you felt overwhelmed or exhausted while trying to solve a parenting problem or challenge?

Published on: December 31, 2013
About the Author
Photo of Shawn Fink

Shawn Fink is a mom of twin girls and the founder of The Abundant Mama Project and the author of The Playful Family e-book. She is on a mission to inspire busy mamas around the world to slow down and start being more present, playful and peaceful.

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