Being a stay-at-home mom is a blessing but can it also have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. It’s also more common than you may think, however, some moms don’t even know that they are going through a burnout. Here are 5 SAHM burnout stages to help you understand it and take the proper steps to recovery.
Now I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 15 years, with 2 teenagers, a preteen and a toddler, and I only learned about mom burnout recently.
I had no idea that all those feelings I had actually had a name, I just thought that they came with motherhood.
Now once I figured out that my fatigue, stress, and exhaustion weren’t laziness and caused by mom burnout, I started looking for ways to get better.
What Is Mom Burnout
First of all, mom burnout is a real thing, don’t let anyone tell you differently, it’s when you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally drained and exhausted.
It’s terrible! Imagine wanting to be there for your kids in every way but the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning feels like a marathon!
Hearing your kid’s voices starts to feel like a grinding machine in your head and spending a few hours of playtime with them feels like going up a 10-story building.
I am not exaggerating, mom burnout isn’t fun and if you’ve experienced it, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.
Causes Of Mom Burnout
So what actually causes mom burnout? In my experience, it’s a lack of self-care. You see, as new moms, we tend to overdo it and lose ourselves in the process.
I mean it’s okay to want to be a great mom but in order to be one, you need to be at your best, and sadly, it’s usually not the case.
So most stay-at-home moms tend to overwork themselves. House chores, homeschooling, cooking, organizing, babysitting, and sometimes working from home are all causes of mom burnout.
Now there is nothing wrong with physical work but when you stop taking time out for yourself long-term, mom burnout is inevitable.
SAHM Burnout Symptoms
There are many signs of mom burnout but the most common ones are exhaustion, fatigue, sleepiness, brain fog, mental fatigue, feeling not good enough, having regrets, stress, and guilt.
As mom burnout progresses without treatment, depression kicks in which makes you want to give up.
5 SAHM Burnout Stages & When To Seek Help
Now just to be clear, mom burnout starts slowly, it actually creeps up on you without you even knowing it. In the beginning, though, it feels amazing so here are the stages.
1. You Feel Good (honeymoon stage)
So bringing home your bundle of joy is one of the most beautiful moments in a new mom’s life. You feel soo good and life is suddenly a playing field of possibilities and dreams for you and your little one.
You are filled with plans for the future and nothing can feel soo good.
Fast forward to two weeks later, you aren’t sleeping much, but it’s okay, life couldn’t be better, however, lack of sleep is causing your cortisol levels (stress hormone) to rise.
You overlook the signs because you are actually enjoying every moment with your little one.
You are getting soo much done and you are impressed with your efforts that you aren’t noticing the burnout signs. It passes you by and then you move on to stage two.
2. You’re Just A Little Stressed Out (onset of stress)
So your baby isn’t sleeping and your sleeping pattern is a mess but you still think it’s completely normal and you overlook it.
You are also having the time of your life trying to learn everything about your little one. All the while, your stress levels are getting higher, and you aren’t taking time off for yourself and starting to notice the signs.
You are feeling tired and stressed out more easily and not getting much done around the house, however, you tell yourself that you’re just tired and that it’ll pass. That’s when you move on to stage three.
3. Higher Stress Levels (chronic stress)
At stage three, you begin to compare yourself to the previous you at stage one when you were soo happy and life with your little one was amazing!
This comparison stage actually increases your cortisol levels and causes chronic stress which causes you to feel too tired to even wake up in the morning.
All you suddenly want to do is sleep so you find yourself napping more throughout the day and not getting a lot done around the house.
At stage four, you have reached the burnout stage because you didn’t take action by getting help in stage three. Your motivation level is dangerously low, you are exhausted more often now and all of the excitement of being a mom is gone.
Nothing inspires you anymore and it feels like you are being sucked into the never-ending life of motherhood which doesn’t feel fun anymore.
5. Chronic Burnout
At stage five, you have officially reached chronic burnout. This is when you start to feel regret, exhausted, tired, chronic fatigue, and happiness isn’t on your list of feelings.
You completely stop taking care of yourself and bad hair days are so common nowadays that it starts to feel normal.
You stop showering and stop enjoying things that used to make you happy or have meaning in your life. Depression and isolation have taken over you and all you want to do at this stage is give up!
How To Actually Fix Mom Burnout?
There are many ways to overcome mom burnout but I suggest that the first step you take is by seeking help. Start by hiring a babysitter or enroll your little one in daycare.
This will give you more time to start taking care of yourself. The second step is to actually see a therapist and get some of those feelings out.
Your third step is to follow a self-care routine and start taking care of your physical appearance, this will make you feel good about yourself again and rebuild your self-esteem.
Finally, you want to start engaging in social activities which will make you feel alive and prevent self-isolation. You can also join groups for moms online if you don’t have time for social gatherings.
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Mom burnout can have a really negative impact on your life so please take action and don’t let it take complete control over you. I hope this post helped you understand the stages of mom burnout and I wish you all the best. Until next time, please stay awesome mama! Find me on Pinterest!