Mom Burnout: Motherhood Monday
This one is going to be personal and honestly, I’m putting myself in a pretty vulnerable place to share, but I feel like this needs to be talked about more because I believe I’m not the only one out there feeling it. Mom burnout. In the last few months, life has beaten me down and burned me out. I’ve been exhausted, unable to keep commitments, short with my kids, unexcited about events, unmotivated for work or exercise and finding joy in pretty much nothing. I’ve been pouring from an empty vessel, and it hasn’t been good for anyone. Between raising two little ones, working a part time job, running a business, housework, kids activities, and everything else in between, I’m emotionally empty. I noticed it a while ago and figured it was just a season and it would pass. I figured if I kept going, it would just get easier. But the season just kept going, until one day, I realized the problem wasn’t life – it was me. It was how I approached my every day. All the things I shoved into life and all the distractions I’ve set up for myself.
Out of the blue this week someone recommended a podcast to me, and the second episode I listened to was about the epidemic of mom burnout. I cried listening to it. Emily Ley was being interviewed and had just written a book called “When Less Becomes More” all about simplifying your life and being more present with your kids. In the podcast she talked about how she looked at her care-free, kind-hearted, happy little girl and didn’t want her happy little girl to look at her and think that was her future. She didn’t want her daughter to think growing up and being a mom meant being stressed, frazzled, and upset. I immediately bought it on audible and have been listening to it every free moment.
Mamas, you NEED this book. Every word she’s written feels like it was written directly for my soul. And it’s making me realize that all the things I take on, all the things I stuff my day full with, really doesn’t matter and doesn’t NEED to happen. What matters is my children. Their childhood, and not just surviving it, but experiencing it, being present for it, and making it wonderful for them. What matters is their time with and experience of their mom. Who do they see when they spend time with me? A cranky, impatient, distracted mom who fits them in between all the other stuff she does in a day, or a happy, fun-loving, silly mom who puts them first?
I want to be the second mom, but I am more often than not the first. But i used to be that girl – the happy, fun-loving and affectionate little girl. I used to love being around people and had a huge imagination. I see who I was as a little girl that in my daughter and want so much more for her then stress and burnout. I want her to see an example of a strong, fun, loving mom, who loves her children and enjoys her life. But something has to change because this is not the example she sees on a day-to-day basis. That’s the mom who flickers into view every once in a while on a very good day.
And one of the thing I’ll be changing will be my time on social media. The constant distraction and connectedness just isn’t good for us, and makes me feel so overwhelmed. I find myself getting annoyed with my children when they interrupt what I’m doing on Facebook or Instagram. My three-year-old repeats herself four or five times while I nod along and then finally says “Mom! You’re not listening to me.” So from now on, my posts will be scheduled at the beginning of the week. Then I’ll pop in every few days to respond to messages and comments. Because really, no one needs to hear from me that quickly. Nothing on social media is an emergency. And my business isn’t going to crumble if I don’t respond to a message or reply to an email within 5 minutes. I’m done with the mom burnout. I’m done with being an empty vessel trying to pour out what isn’t there.
Seriously though mamas, go buy the book. You can find the link to it here.
I hope this isn’t your reality, but if it is, and you need someone to chat with about it, please feel free to message me. I’m just working through it myself and am learning how to say no to the things that aren’t important, but we can walk through it together. But I repeat – if you need someone who has experienced it and are looking for ways to simplify your life, go buy the book.
Being a mama of little ones is hard. Between Mom-guilt and the unattainable idea that moms should be able to do everything for everyone, get very little time to herself and feel fulfilled by it, we need all the support we can get! You aren't in this alone. We're here to walk through the ups and downs of motherhood together in a judgment-free, supportive way.