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Working Mom Exhaustion and Parental Burnout

Working mom exhaustion. You know what I’m talking about. That ridiculous exhaustion you feel on a Thursday evening after you’ve gotten off of work and pulled into your driveway. Trying to prepare yourself to walk into a house that is likely chaos.

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You’ve got to start dinner, do homework, and bathe the kids. Nonstop work after you’ve already worked all day. You can barely keep your eyes open at this point, but you still have four more hours to go.

How do we manage it? I have no idea. But I’ve got some tips for easing that working mom exhaustion and parental burnout, a bit.

Parental Burnout

I read somewhere on the internet (I wish I could remember where) that working moms are 28% more likely to experience parental burnout than working dads.

Sounds pretty accurate, huh? I bet you are part of that 28%. Not necessarily because your partner doesn’t help out, but because as moms, we worry about everything.

If you are like me, even if Leslie would do something for Em like, say, fix her lunch, I would still go back and check it. Not because I don’t trust her, but because I’m nuts.

I’m the same way about cleaning. And truly, everything. I will go and check it all out and make sure it’s done just for the sake of easing my mind about it.

It’s a terrible character trait I have. But one that I know a lot of you have, too.

We experience parental burnout after we’ve dealt with the same things over and over again. Every day we go through the motions. Every struggle is the same and never eases up. Our stress builds and builds until it can’t anymore and we lose it.

Why Am I So Tired As a Working Mom?

Well, we know the answer. We do too much. Period.

We wake up and immediately start taking care of other humans. Then we go to work where we spend the next 8 to 12 hours. After that, it’s back home to take care of the humans again.

If you’re really lucky, you work in the medical field and your life has been straight hell for the past three years and all you do all day long is care for other humans. All the while, putting off caring for yourself.

Good stuff.

Find time for an extra hour of sleep

I know, I know. There is no freaking way you have time for an extra hour, huh?

But mama, is there? Take a hard look at the flow of your day. What time do you go to bed? 10 pm? Then you’re up for 5am? Can you try to go to sleep at 9, instead? What about 9:30?

Are you running around until 10 pm doing house work and getting things ready for the next day? If you are, is there any way that you can simplify your daily chores so that you aren’t spending so much time on things and can move on quickly?

Can you ask your partner to trade off a day or two a week so that you can go to bed early one day and they can go to bed early the next?

An extra hour of sleep can be rejuvenating. A change in routine can help to ease that parental burnout that you feel. I’m not saying it’ll take it away completely, but giving yourself a little time and a small break from your day to day routine will make a huge difference.

Take a Minute Wherever You Can Find One

I am an avid supporter of taking a minute to breathe. If I have to take my minute while I’m using the bathroom, I do. A bathroom break means alone time at work and I can even sometimes manage to get away with bathroom alone time at home. (Given I sneak off without being seen since Ember usually decides that the second I go to the bathroom is the perfect time to ask about the world’s wonders.)

I use my commute time to and from work as time for myself, too. I’ll listen to a podcast or audiobook and I’m able to relax my mind for a bit and just listen.

Find a minute wherever you can and catch your breath. You’re burnt out from stress and responsibility. You’re exhausted because of this stress and responsibility. It’s time to find a minute and take a breath.

Stress Relievers for Working Mothers

I am not even going to lie to you and say that I’ve figured out the secret to being stress free.

I’ve found little ways to help relieve my stress, but to be totally honest, I am heavily medicated. It is what it is.

When I get overwhelmed with my life though, there are a couple of things I will do to help ease that stress. Little things like:

  • Putting in my airpods and listening to a podcast or audiobook.
  • Scroll on TikTok to get a good laugh in.
  • Play Planet Zoo on my laptop.
  • Read a book.
  • Organize my kitchen. (Leslie may never know where we keep the can opener.)
  • Cuddle one of the animals.
  • Take a hot bath.

These little things aren’t prizes of gold or anything, but on the weekend if I can get a second to breathe, they help and they feel good.

What is something that you do that you find takes your mind off of things for a little while? If anything, you just need a small break so you can continue to battle the world. A little is better than nothing.

Battling Working Mom Exhaustion and Parental Burnout

When all else fails, ask for help. Tuck that ego away and ask your spouse for help. Ask your children for help. I know you don’t want to do it, but sometimes it needs to happen. As a working mom, you’re a superhero, I get it. But even Super Woman has her limits. Ask for help and take a breath.

I know you feel like you have to keep the world on it’s axis. I feel that way to, and trust me, it’s very difficult for me to accept that I need to hand over the reins here and there and let someone help me, but it’s necessary.

Believe it or not, your family would rather help than have you miserable and mad all the time.

For me, when I fall into this slump, I ask for help and then I work on dragging myself right back out. You can, too. Take your moment or as many as you need and remember how great you are. Take a deep breath and take on your next battle.

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