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Recognizing signs of Burnout in Moms: Navigating Guilt, Stress, and Self-Care in the Real World

Being a mother is one of life's greatest joys, but it's also an incredible challenge. From the moment we wake up, our lives are a whirlwind of responsibilities, from tending to our children's needs to managing household tasks and more. We love our children deeply, but let's face it—it's hard work. In this blog post, I want to address the issue of mom burnout, the hidden dangers it poses, and how recognizing these dangers can inspire us to take better care of ourselves. Plus, we'll delve into the added burden of mom guilt.


Before we dive into my personal journey, I want to remind you of something crucial: Your feelings matter. It doesn't matter how your experiences compare to others' or what you think you "should" feel. Whether you're overwhelmed due to a child's illness or simply the daily grind of parenting, your emotions are valid, and it's essential to acknowledge them.


The Overwhelming Demands of Motherhood

As moms, we dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to our children, often forgetting about self-care for moms. The to-do list seems endless, and the days blur together. This was me a few years ago when my child fell seriously ill. The hospital visits, medications, and sleepless nights became my new normal. I was so engrossed in caring for my child that I neglected myself.


Eventually, my child's health improved, but my own took a hit. I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in my cervix and later thyroid cancer. It's crucial to note that I'm not attributing my cancer to my child's illness but rather to my lack of self-nurturing for moms. I stopped eating properly, lost sleep, and was constantly stressed. Neglecting our well-being can lead to severe health consequences, and that's one of the hidden dangers of being an overwhelmed mom.



Watch the full video below....



The Heavy Load of Mom Guilt

In addition to the overwhelming stress, there's another weight that often accompanies motherhood—mom guilt coping strategies. We frequently second-guess our decisions, worry about our choices, and feel guilty for not being perfect. Coping with guilt as a mom can intensify the burdens of burnout and make us question our worth as mothers.


Prioritize Self-Nurturing

Recognizing the risks of mom burnout is the first step, but let's get real – self-care isn't always the serene picture of yoga mats and meditation. It's a gritty, uphill battle. It's messy and complicated, just like motherhood itself.

Self-nurturing isn't selfish; it's an absolute necessity. It involves more than just a quick walk or a moment of solitude. It's about carving out time for yourself in the midst of chaos. It's finding a few minutes to eat a proper meal, even if it's cold by the time you sit down. It's stealing a few moments of sleep between the chaos again and endless chores.


Sure, meditation can help, but it's not a magic cure. It's the small, imperfect acts of self-care that make a difference. It's giving yourself permission to say 'no' when you're overwhelmed. It's asking for help when you need it.

In this chaotic journey of motherhood, stress can be toxic, and managing it is absolutely paramount. So, embrace the real, gritty, imperfect self-care – the kind that keeps you sane, keeps you going, and reminds you that you matter too.


The Painful Reality of Emotional Detachment

As my child's illness diminished, I found myself building emotional walls, brick by brick, as a desperate form of self-preservation. The truth is, I was terrified of experiencing the agony all over again. This emotional detachment from my child wasn't a choice; it was a reflex, an instinctual reaction to the relentless stress and trauma that motherhood had thrust upon me.


Let's be brutally honest here: feeling emotionally detached from your child is like a dagger to the heart, but it doesn't make you a bad mother. It's a defense mechanism, a survival tactic that your psyche employs to shield you from the ceaseless pain. Recognizing it is the first agonizing step toward healing.


The Gut-Wrenching Signs of Overwhelmed Moms


  1. Losing Patience: Losing patience doesn't make you a bad mom. It doesn't mean you love your children any less. It means you're human. You're juggling an overwhelming load, and sometimes, the weight becomes too much to bear. It's a reminder that you have limits, that you're vulnerable, and that this journey is far from easy.

  2. Wanting to Run Away: t's not just a fleeting thought; it's a compelling urge, a fantasy of walking out that front door and leaving it all behind. The idea of freedom from the relentless demands of motherhood can feel like a lifeline when you're drowning in responsibilities and stress.It doesn't mean you don't love your children with all your heart. It means you're human. It means you're exhausted, overwhelmed, and in desperate need of self-care.

  3. Emotional Detachment: You feel like a distant spectator in your own child's life, your emotions locked away like a secret you're too afraid to share.


Let's face it, motherhood is messy, and acknowledging these raw emotions is the first step towards healing and finding your way back to your child.If any of these resonate with you, remember that you're not alone, and it's okay to seek help. Asking for assistance, whether from friends, family, or a therapist, is a sign of strength, not weakness.


The Heavy Load of Mom Guilt


In addition to the overwhelming stress, there's another weight that often accompanies motherhood—mom guilt coping strategies. We frequently second-guess our decisions, worry about our choices, and feel guilty for not being perfect. Coping with guilt as a mom can intensify the burdens of burnout and make us question our worth as mothers.



Drowning in Mom Guilt


Now, let's dive headfirst into that abyss of mom guilt. It's not just normal; it's practically a constant companion in motherhood, a relentless shadow that clings to your every move. Let's not sugarcoat it; mom guilt can be suffocating. It's that relentless voice that tells you that you're never doing enough, that you're constantly falling short of the impossible standards you've set for yourself.


But here's the raw, unfiltered truth: you can't let it consume you. Because if you do, it will. It will swallow you whole, leaving nothing but a shell of the vibrant, caring mother you are.


So how do you wrestle with this guilt that grips you by the throat?


Challenge Negative Thoughts: Are your expectations realistic? Are you genuinely falling short, or are you just being human?


Seek Support: Share those gnawing feelings with someone you cant trust, moms who understand the battle all too well. They won't judge; they'll offer a lifeline and remind you that you're not alone in this harrowing journey.


Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness you'd shower upon a friend drowning in self-doubt. Remind yourself, in your most vulnerable moments, that you're doing your absolute best, and that's more than enough.


Prioritize Your Needs: Self-nurturing isn't selfish; it's survival. Your needs matter. Remember that a well-rested, emotionally stable mother is better equipped to care for her children. You can't pour from an empty cup, and you, my dear, deserve to be replenished.


So, let's face this guilt head-on, acknowledge its presence, but refuse to let it dictate our journey. Because in battling mom guilt, you're not just fighting for yourself; you're fighting for the fierce, loving mother within you.


In closing, motherhood is a wild, unpredictable ride. It's filled with moments of immense joy, but it's also one of life's greatest tests. It's not easy, and no one hands you a manual for this rollercoaster journey.


Books I recommend to help get you started on your journey! What Happened To You and Emotional Intelligence 2.0


Mom burnout is real, and it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. The weight of mom guilt can be crushing, leaving you second-guessing every decision you make. It's okay to admit that it's tough, that some days you might feel like running away, and that you've shed more tears than you ever thought possible.


My own journey through the trenches of motherhood taught me that acknowledging the struggle is the first step towards finding your way back to yourself. It's about accepting that sometimes you lose patience, sometimes you don't have all the answers, and sometimes you need help.


So, to every mom out there who's battling the exhaustion, the self-doubt, and the overwhelming demands of motherhood – you are not alone. It's okay to seek help, to take a moment for yourself, and to admit that this journey is hard. In your moments of vulnerability, you discover your strength.


Remember, it's not about being the perfect mom; it's about being a real mom, flawed and beautiful in your imperfections. And in that authenticity, you find the raw, unfiltered beauty of motherhood, the kind that's filled with both tears and laughter, exhaustion and exhilaration. You've got this, mama.





 

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Thank you for sharing such an important and moving post! I so agree with the importance of challenging negative thoughts. All of the recommendations are so helpful!

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Thank you for reading and commenting.

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