Some people say that being a mom is the toughest job. We prefer to think that motherhood is the best job out there, because we get paid in kisses and giggles.
Nevertheless, let´s face it. It is a hard job. Consider the fact that we have to do everything twice, including very demanding tasks like breastfeeding, bathing, calming, entertaining. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. With that said, there is a high probability that you will experience “Mommy Burnout Syndrome” at some point.
There are some days that are easier than others, but there are also days of terror which include (but not limited to) tantrums, crying, colic, poor sleep, poor diet, the responsibilities of the house, and some of us have jobs.
All of these factors together, are the perfect storm. Suddenly you may feel exhausted, and overwhelmed by the simplest things. You probably get angry easy, and the smallest thing could make you cry. Sound familiar?
Violaine Guéritault is the psychologist who wrote the book “Emotional and physical fatigue of mothers”, which studies the “Mommy burnout” after having lived it herself. In the book, she explains some of the most common stress generators:
- A mothers role is to do the same thing over and over a thousand times. You have to wash and clean, and everything becomes dirty just a few minutes later, so you never get to feel accomplished.
- A mother has many situations which she has no control. You would like to be able to protect your child from everything, but often you feel powerless.
- If anything characterizes young children is the unpredictability. As much as the mother would like to plan the day, it is more likely that her agenda is going to end up upside down.
- To add to all of this most mothers think that they have no right to make mistakes. They set very high standard for themselves
I know! We can all identify.
What are the most common symptoms of Mommy Burnout Syndrome?
According to BabyCenter, you possibly have Mommy Burnout if more than 3 of the following symptoms appear:
- Frequent illnesses and chronic pain.
- Change in sleeping patterns.
- Changes in appetite and weight.
- Constant feelings of despair and helplessness
- Stress and anxiety.
- Desire to cry for no apparent reason.
- Loss of interest about your favourite activities.
- Social isolation
I would imagine that you might be able to check off all of these at some point.
How to Deal with Mommy Burnout Syndrome
First of all, you have to take some time for yourself. I know it sounds impossible, but asking for help is the perfect way to accomplish this. You should also tell your loved ones that you are feeling bad, and you need emotional and physical support is the way to go.
Sometimes you should delegate the care of your children when you need it. It is ok to accept the help offered you sincerely, and DONT feel guilty about it.
Try to re-organize your time and tasks. Use every resource you can, such as whiteboards for scheduling feedings and keeping track of diapers. You can also download a “baby app” for keeping track of your babies’ activities and milestones. Some of these apps have the option of multiple babies.
Try to keep a healthy lifestyle: healthy eating, regular physical activity, healthy sleep routines and a good attitude. Take time for you, where you can disconnect from everything and focus only on you
Finally, a golden rule: Set limits, learn to respect and to say no when necessary. As they say: “If you try to be everything to everybody, you´ll end being nothing to nobody”.