Mum Burnout: Reasons, Symptoms and Treatments

Mum Burnout: Reasons, Symptoms and Treatments

With the stresses of modern life, juggling a home and career, and being pressured by social media, you’ve probably heard of the term ‘mum burnout.’

By definition, burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion by prolonged exposure to stress.

Now add to that the pressures of being a mum – the need to balance your work and home life, keep up with your friends on social media, and have another tiny human being who is totally dependent on you!

It’s no wonder the term topped the Google Trends chart in April 2021.

In this article: 📝

  • Is Mum Burnout a thing?
  • What does mum burnout feel like?
  • Why mums are burnt out in the modern day
  • How do I deal with my mum’s burnout?

Is Mum Burnout a thing?

In the US, 78% of all mothers with children aged six to 17 have jobs.

If we think back to our grandparents’ generation, or even our parents’ generation, this was a different story.

Post-War women talked about the ‘choice’ between marriage and a career, whereas today’s women are balancing both – while looking after kids.

Of course, mum burnout isn’t just limited to those holding down a job.

Stay-at-home mum burnout is just as much of an issue, while we have other forms, such as special needs mum burnout – taking into consideration those extra challenges.

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What does mum burnout feel like?

Whatever your current status of motherhood, you’re likely to be feeling many, if not all, of the following:

  • Exhaustion from nighttime feeds or holding down a job and young children
  • Overwhelmed at the need to balance your time
  • Anxious about your child’s safety
  • Guilt about not spending enough time with your partner
  • Fear for job security
  • Irritability at a lack of alone time

If these symptoms aren’t managed, they can result in burnout.

This can manifest in both a physical and emotional sense, for example:

Physical discomfort

You may experience headaches, stomach aches or indigestion.

Emotionally checked-out

You may feel emotionally exhausted and unable to cope.

Lower productivity

You may not be able to perform as well at work, or even with everyday tasks.

Alienating yourself

You may no longer be interested in your career or socialising with others.

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Why mums are burnt out in the modern day

One of the reasons we’re seeing these mum burnout symptoms so often, beyond our working lives, is the tech-driven world we live in.

Of course, we’re talking about social media, where it’s so tempting to share images of the ‘perfect mum life’.

Instagram feeds only show the smiles and cute babies – they don’t show the sleepless nights or the shirts covered in spit-up.

Many mums may be feeling guilty or inadequate compared to others – particularly those who seem to run the PTA, hold down a job, and have a supermodel body at the same time.

It’s important for us to acknowledge that all mums are struggling, and there is no such thing as a supermum.

How do I deal with my mum’s burnout?

If you’re suffering from mum’s burnout, it’s time to start putting yourself first.

That sounds like a pretty alien concept to those whose main responsibility is to be a caregiver, but hear us out.

Here are our tried and tested tips on how to recover from mum burnout.

Ask for help

Swallow your pride here, mama.

You’re likely to have a network of people around you who have been through the same, and can offer you advice if nothing else.

This is one of the reasons we created Peanut – to help mums share stories and tips, 24 hours a day.

Your ‘support network’ can be anything from organising playdates with other mums to asking family for help.

It may be time to have a conversation with your partner, too.

Could you realign your schedules a little?

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Discover the healing power of nature

The next time you’re sat breastfeeding and scrolling through your social media feed, ask yourself when the last time was that you went outside.

Connecting with trees and grass helps to energise the brain, giving us that much-needed oxygen, and time away from those screens!

You don’t need to find extra hours in the day.

Try changing up the route you walk to school or taking your little guy and his buggy through the woods the next time you run an errand.

Know when to say no

Mums, especially those who are constantly comparing themselves to others, seem to find themselves saying yes to everything.

Stop agreeing to run the bake sale or organise sports day – if your plate is full, it’s full.

You don’t need a fancy excuse either.

Any mother asking you to do this will understand that you need your alone time, too.

Schedule date night

And just as you need alone time, you also need time to reconnect with your partner.

This doesn’t always mean booking a babysitter and dressing up – it could simply be watching your favorite movie together and cuddling.

Some couples might even appreciate the opportunity to just take a nap.

Sleep is imperative to your health, so don’t compromise!

Big yourself up every once in a while

Mothers tend to be incredibly self-critical.

But think of what you have achieved – not only have you carried a human inside you and pushed him out; you have also raised him while taking care of yourself.

Make a list of everything you’ve achieved today, this week, this month.

You’ll soon feel like a supermum, even if you’re not.

Above all, remember that you are doing the best you can.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t look like all those ‘perfect mums’ – they’re likely going through mum burnout, just like you.

You’re doing your best and that’s all your baby can ask for.

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A connection is made every 3 seconds on Peanut.

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