Here's the real reason working moms are suffering from burnoutApr 26, 2021
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This post will benefit you if you’re a working mom experiencing burnout not just with work but home life, too, and aren’t sure what to do.
Let me start with the cold hard truth—a dose of reality, if you will. Pre-pandemic, many working moms prided themselves on being everything to everyone. The title was worn as a badge of honor, as these women were ready to take on everyone else’s problems before their own. At least that’s what the outside world saw.
Those who weren’t working moms looked at these women as true superheroes while others believed that’s the reality they signed up for when they chose to become moms who work. While moving about their chaotic days women who are parents, employees, business owners, daughters, wives, etc. did life the way they thought they were supposed to. And they didn’t complain much about it—at least not publicly.
Then the pandemic hit and began shining a light on what’s been happening to working moms for decades. They have actually been struggling silently for a long time. Working mom burnout isn’t new and it’s not going away anytime soon. Now that the conversation has been opened it’s critical that we get to the root of why struggle and burnout are so rampant among working moms. Only then can we work to fix the problem.
The #1 reason for working mom burnout
Let’s get right to it. Struggle and burnout happen among working moms because they are not making themselves a priority. To put it bluntly, they are putting themselves dead last on the list. Let me be clear. There are many other factors that contribute to burnout, but it all starts with working moms leaving themselves in the dust while making sure everyone else is okay.
What many working moms don’t realize is that in a brave attempt to take care of others they are simultaneously sabotaging themselves. This isn’t good for anyone involved. When moms aren't well no one else is either, right?
Here are just a few things that happen when the woman of the household is crumbling under the pressure of doing it all while being the rock for everyone’s around her.
- She argues with her kids and partner.
- She’s exhausted and responsibilities at work fall through the cracks.
- She lacks energy and focus at home and work.
- She loses touch with close friends because there’s only so much time in the day.
- She feels lost and her family notices a change in her.
The bottom line is she can’t put 100%—or even half of that—into anything. No one benefits.
Working moms tend to think less about how they are affected by situations and more about how to help others deal with them. They can’t stand the guilt that comes along with putting themselves first. But let me flip this whole debacle on its side for a moment and put the truth in terms most working moms will understand.
In my work as a Career and Mindset Coach for moms I ask my clients these questions:
- What do your kids get when you’re exhausted?
- What does your employer or business get when you can’t focus?
- What does your spouse or partner get when you don’t feel good about yourself?
The answers speak volumes. So, for working moms experiencing burnout and continuing down that path because they feel guilty adding themselves to the top of the list, I say this:
How to limit burnout in working moms
Now is the time for moms to stop feeling proud of being rundown. Overcommitting to prove she can do it all isn’t necessary and shouldn’t be celebrated. Prioritizing oneself doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be done in just a few minutes each day. But it’s essential to move working moms in the right direction.
Here are a few simple exercises to get started:
- Write in a journal every day for at least five minutes. There are no rules…just write how you’re feeling. Be honest about it all.
- Start a gratitude practice.
- Treat yourself to some essential oils.
- Get an accountability partner. Find a friend you can (easily) connect with daily and tell them one way you’re taking care of yourself today.
- Find a hobby.
- Make easy changes to your family routines.
- Sit for 30 minutes. Yes, just sit. Like, grab some tea or a coffee and sit with your thoughts for 30 minutes. You’ll be amazed at what comes up and how clear your life becomes when you give yourself the chance to just be.
- Start a garden.
- Hire a babysitter for half of a day and go do something relaxing or fun.
- Learn how to use tapping (EFT) as a mechanism to release stresses.
- Set a timer for two minutes and visualize your perfect day.
- Treat yourself to a momcation.
- Act like a kid again (with your kids)
- Listen to a personal development podcast or book.
- Try some art therapy.
- Join an online community for other working moms.
- Add 5 minutes of self-care into your daily routine.
- Evaluate if you’re in the right career by working with a career coach
- Celebrate yourself. When something goes right, give yourself a pat on the back. Finished a big project at work…take a deep breath in and smile about it. Got the laundry done and put away…go take a short walk to relax. No matter how big or small, celebrate everything you’re able to accomplish each day and don’t punish yourself for what you don’t achieve.
It is possible for working moms to take care of themselves in simple ways. I advise starting small and doing something on the list that feels good. Then, slowly add until the burnout finally ceases.
Leave a note in the comments or send one to me directly so we can post it for other working moms to see.
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