Signs You Have Mom Exhaustion
Updated November 2, 2020
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and came out feeling like you’ve ran a marathon? Having raised frustration levels and have literally worked up a sweat from refereeing your children? I have. And it’s a clear sign you’ve got Mom Exhaustion. Being a mother is EXHAUSTING! No matter what stage, there are obstacles to face. Each one testing our limits. And It’s only logical that we sometimes become so overwhelmed that we feel like a teapot ready to boil over.
The definition of exhausted is; completely or almost completely depleted of resources or contents. I don’t know about you, but I have certainly felt this way on numerous occasions during motherhood. What I realize now, is that there are signs when I’m on the brink of mom exhaustion and when it’s time to step back and ask for help.
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I am short
No, I don’t mean my whopping 5ft tall frame gets shorter (for all of you who know me and are snickering), what I mean is that I’m short fused. Every little thing sets me off. I become irrational and sensitive to the most random things. Things that would and should never have bothered me to begin with. “What is this door doing open!” “Why are there toys everywhere?!” “Can the dogs ever stop barking!” “Why can’t I reach the damn second shelf of the cabinet!?!” (Haha just kidding, that one chips away at me daily no matter what mood)
The thing is, that rational me would know that the door is open so the boys have more room to play, the toys are there because my kids are exploring their imaginations, the dogs are protecting the house and well, I can’t reach because I’m too short and the surgery to add height is insanely expensive and sounds terribly painful. So if these are things that wouldn’t bother me on a normal basis something must be off. So ask yourself, and be honest. Is this something that would normally bother me or am I just being sensitive because I feel burnt out.
Noise Drives Me Bonkers
There are some days that I’m completely fine with my kids banging their trucks against their toy box, reenacting monster truck crashes and pretending to be race cars throughout the house, while revving their little engines. However, there are also those days, that I want to rip my ears off. I know that when it gets time for me NEEDING a break I get ultra sensitive to noise and chaos. So if you feel like you hate everyone and everything by the mere sound of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, it might be time to take some well deserved alone time.
I Lose My Motivation
This is a biggie for me. If I start feeling REALLY overwhelmed I immediately shut down. I have a hard time making sense of what I should be getting done and therefore nothing gets done. You know that load of laundry that needs to be folded, yeahhh that’s just going to sit there for a while until I gain the motivation to sort it. Dinner? Nope, we’re getting carry out fam! It’s like my brain becomes mush and there’s no making sense of anything. Sometimes chocolate helps, sometimes not. But this is definitely a huge red flat that it’s time for that R&R.
Poor Food Choices
You know that carry out from above^ I wasn’t kidding about that. My nutrition goes down the drain when I feel burnt out. I’m not sure if it’s my mind trying to cling to the dopamine or what, but I cannot seem to make healthy food choices for the life of me. Which in turn makes me feel even more crappy! I know that when I start craving pizza, french fries and any other carb you can think of, for a few days in a row, that i’m done for and I’m at a breaking point.
Similar to being short fused, anxiety is a huge symptom I feel when being burnt out. I start worrying about every…little…thing. It’s a miserable time and I’m definitely no fun to be around. The anxiety keeps me up at night, my mind races, and minor inconveniences feel like the end of the world. I then feel even more exhausted due to the lack of sleep I face. It’s a vicious circle.
What To Do
LUCKILY, it doesn’t take much to get back in the swing of things. Being honest with yourself is the quickest way to get back on track. That’s when you allow yourself to ask for help. That’s when you realize motherhood is about wearing 50 different hats and trying to juggle them all at the same time but we do it because it’s the most rewarding job we could imagine. So, what are some things you can do to destress quickly and get back on track.
Let your partner be with the kids and you sleep. I know some women have a hard time with this, but it’s good to trust your partner enough with the kids so you can have a break. They aren’t going to let anything happen to them. I promise, even though they may do things differently than you (and that’s okay!), they love them just as much as you do. Or what about asking grandparents to watch the kids? And that allows you to take a walk, a jog, a class, or heck even dance! Just clear your head, create some endorphins, and get that happy face back on. Send the kids to daycare or have a babysitter watch them. Heck send them to a friends house for a couple hours while you can get the house in order or just sit in the quiet. (If you’re looking for ways to keep a pep in your step, check out my article on “How to Be a More Positive Mom” )
Another option, if traditional daycare is too pricey, check out your nearest park district. Sometimes they offer daycare options where you can send your child for only one day a week, even if it’s just a couple of hours. It generally costs wayyyyy less than a private daycare center. Also sometimes library’s have programs to drop the kids off for an hour or two, whether it’s for Lego playday or story time. Even if it’s a short period of time, it gives you the opportunity to take a stroll around the block or run to the grocery store in peace.
Whatever it takes, give yourself a break. Your mental sanity is important for you and your family’s health too. Everyone in the house can feel stress so it’s better to take action to stay as balanced as possible because nobody wants mommy monster to make her debut.
27 Activities To Decompress
- Take a shower
- Read a book
- Take a bike ride
- Go for a walk
- Sit outside and enjoy the fresh air
- Listen to some soothing music
- Take a drive
- Drink some wine
- Eat chocolate!
- Take a bath and go all out with bubbles and candles
- Dance to your favorites (Don’t be embarrassed mama, break out the old tootsie roll moves)
- Listen to podcasts
- Do a puzzle
- Knit or sew
- Watch a movie
- Take an online course
- Play video games
- Do your nails
- Do your makeup
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