Even though the label sounds kind of silly, maybe even a little funny, the truth is that Mommy Burnout is not usually silly or funny to the Mother who is experiencing it. Feeling annoyed by the common activities, responsibilities, and equipment that goes along with being a Mother, can be quite disheartening to a woman who wants so much to be the best Mother she can be to her children. Mothers who experience Mommy Burnout don’t typically find much, if any, humor in the fact. Instead, they often feel guilty for not enjoying all things associated with their children. For those suffering from a bout of Mommy Burnout, the following tips might help shorten this episode, and prove that it isn’t necessary to be guilt ridden over it.
Tip #1 – It’s Normal
Just because you have recently become completely annoyed by every Disney movie ever made, have a nearly uncontrollable urge to rid your home of every Duplo block and Weeble, are growing ever more irritated by the seemingly endless collections of worksheets and flyers coming home in your child’s backpack, and are genuinely concerned that your head is going to split open like the guy in the movie “Scanners” if you have to listen to one more episode of Little Einsteins or hear one more child ask for the gazillionth time if they can have another drink of water before bed, don’t be too discouraged.
The truth is, that just about every parent feels this way sometimes. Often, the feelings are more intense in Mothers simply because they are commonly the parent who spends more time with the children, and handles more of the responsibilities concerning them. You are not a bad Mom just because you feel at times that you can’t stand another minute filled with toys, children’s movies, or bickering kids. You are just a real Mom.
Tip #2 – It Will Pass
When a Mom experiences Mommy Burnout for the first time, she may think that she has changed permanently. But the truth is, that Mommy Burnout typically occurs in waves, and the episodes seem to fade within a few days.
It is important to remember that these intense feelings of dislike for the work and responsibilities of raising children are almost always temporary. You may never really enjoy cleaning up after them or listening to them squabble, but you probably won’t feel intensely repelled by it most of the time, the way one does when going through a bout of Mommy Burnout. It is important to give yourself permission to feel this way, reminding yourself that the feelings are temporary. Oh, they’ll be back, to be sure! But probably not for a while.
Tip #3 – Take Breaks
To take the edge off of the intense negative feelings that can accompany an episode of Mommy Burnout, it can be quite helpful and effective to give yourself a break from as many child-oriented issues as you can. Consider not turning on any kid movies or programming unless you can spend time in another room away from it, resorting to easily prepared meals for a few days, and even getting away for a couple of hours to shop for yourself or spend time with a friend. Sometimes, something as simple as a couple of hours completely away from anything having to do with the kids can cure a case of Mommy Burnout.
Tip #4 – Make Changes
It is also possible to ward off some future episodes of Mommy Burnout by making some changes around your home. For instance, instead of keeping toys or a toy box in the living room, try storing toys away from the rooms that you spend most of your time in.
This might mean turning an extra room or enclosed porch into a play room, or moving the toy box to the den. It can make a huge difference for a Mom who is prone to bouts of Mommy burnout to make changes around the home that leave her in a position of not having to stare at, step on, or wade through, toys and other equipment belonging to her children, in every room of the house.
Consider allowing the children to watch their movies and programming in another room. Perhaps you have a den where they can watch what they want. Different parents feel differently about allowing a television in their child’s bedroom, so you will have to make your own call on that one. There are definitely pros and cons.
If you don’t have a den or extra space for the children to watch television in an area other than the living room, and are concerned that they will watch a television in their room more than you have given them permission to, you can either keep a small television on a rolling cart that can be moved in and out of their room, or even purchase one of the portable DVD players. The screen is small, it’s true, but it gives you the flexibility of removing the television when you don’t want them watching it.
Make time for yourself. This is next to impossible for some Mothers, but even half an hour alone in the bath can help restore some sanity to a frazzled Mom. If you have younger children, consider a bicycle and bike trailer. Even though you have to take the children along on the bike ride with you, they are generally very relaxed and quiet in a bike trailer, and you can almost feel like you are getting some time alone! Add to that, the fact that you’ll be outside breathing fresh air and getting some exercise, it can be a win-win situation for everyone!
Have you expected a Mommy Burnout? Let us know at Mommy Matter how you got through it now…
Filed in: Family Life