Avoiding Motherhood Stress & Coping With Single Mom Burnout Syndrome.
Mother Burnout Syndrome
We all know that motherhood is a blessing, but at the same time it is not an easy task. Under the prolonged and excessive stress that comes with caring for children and running a household women can develop a burnout syndrome-( mother burnout syndrome and single mom burnout syndrome).
As lined out in my previous article (the mommy burnout syndrome) there are certain contributing factors to mother burnout: the huge workload, an inborn strive for perfection as we always want the best for our loved ones, and the feeling of guilt etc.
Avoiding mommy burnout?
Being a good mother doesn’t mean you have to be present all the time, seven days a week. Yes, you might feel you are the only ‘real’ expert for your child, but dare to accept the help of others and avoid thinking only you can do it best.
Your mother-in-law might not be your best buddy at all times, but she has successfully brought up children herself! Your husband might seem unfamiliar with handling children, and even clumsy with things that seems easy to you, but allow him to grow. It is not a cataclysmic event if he ties the nappy the wrong way around. He will learn and adapt quickly. Leaving him a few hours caring for the baby will give him a good experience and make him a proud and responsible dad. Involve your partner and the older children in the household tasks, let them give you a hand, even when it might initially take a bit more time than you doing it yourself!
Sharing the responsibility for the child is healthy for you and the family. They will benefit from broader experience, different approaches and personalities. And for you, a few hours to yourself might help you avoid mother burnout, giving you time to center yourself and attend to your own needs e.g. going for a facial, meeting a friend for coffee or enjoying a slow calming workout like Yoga, Pilates or ANGEL workout.
What about single mom burnout syndrome?
Single mom burnout syndrome is indeed a serious reality. In a single mom household this ‘you time’ is much more difficult to realize, but equally important. You might feel guilty to take a ‘’you time’’ because you think you have to make up for the missing partner. But even in a single mom household the responsibility for the children should not solely rest on your shoulders!
Is there a good friend or neighboring families who the children are familiar with? Do you have contacts to women from your antenatal course in similar situation? Try to build a network of people you trust and the children are familiar with. Looking after your family mustn’t mean you stop caring for yourself.
So, here is the deal to all you moms out there:
1. Prioritize and involve the family in helping with household tasks. You don’t have to offer an all-inclusive 5 star accommodation to your loved ones. Let them participate, it will create a good team spirit, will help you save time and teach everyone to appreciate what it means to run a household.
2. Don’t strive for perfection. Setting your goals too high will create permanent pressure and frustration. Accept there is only so much you can do and giving your best must be good enough.
3. Share responsibilities, allow others (family, friends) to look after the children etc.
4. Enjoy your “you time”! You deserve it, because you are not only the best mom in the world, but you matter too!