Mom Burnout: We've all been there, but we can move through it

It's real and it's brutal: Mom Burnout. It creeps up on us a little bit at a time and, before we know it, we are consumed by it. We enter motherhood with an idealized vision of what life will be like, and in many ways motherhood is more beautiful and more amazing than we ever could have imagined. But in many ways it is more challenging and draining, more exhausting and depleting, than we ever could have imagined. After sleepless nights, the demands around the house, and day after day of constantly nurturing everyone else except ourselves, we find ourselves at the end of our ropes. This is Mom Burnout.

When mom is burnt out, everyone feels it: the words are harsher, the sighs are louder, the smiles are fewer. Suddenly everything in the home feels stressful and nothing runs smoothly. Mothers are pivotal, we are an anchor for the house and the family. When this anchor starts to lose its grip, the entire ship begins to drift away.

But these demands aren't going anywhere. Babies may sleep and they may not. Toddlers may wake up happy and they may not. Children may agreeably eat their dinner and they may not. So how do we notice the signs of Mom Burnout before we are consumed, before we are completely depleted? There are things we can do, things that can help us dig our anchor in just a bit deeper.

1. Speak up. Ask for help. Do not hold it in. Ask your spouse, your family, your friends, your neighbor. Reach out to support groups. Remember that it takes an entire tribe, a whole village, the community to raise a child. Reach out and connect. Help is a beautiful thing. Don't be afraid of it.

2. Release the pressure. Stop comparing. Our society has created this idea of a mother who has it all under control, every single day, without any help: a clean house, smart and obedient children, organic meals made from scratch, a never-fading smile, a sweet and gentle voice, and she showered, brushed her teeth and put on heels today. I haven't met this mother yet, not the one who pulls this off every day and on her own. The pressure to become this mother is heavy, so just release it. Stop comparing yourself to other moms. We all have our own challenges and mountains to climb. Let's climb together instead of trying to reach the top first. (Hint: There is no top.)

3. Take breaths, deep breaths, and root down in the moment. Motherhood is constant and it keeps us on our toes. So breathe, take moments to be where you are, exactly where you are. Be present in motherhood, even throughout the challenges. The inhale and the exhale will carry us through the struggles and allow us to experience what motherhood is handing us. We hold so much more strength than we ever could have imagined. And thank goodness for that!

4. Nourish yourself, really and truly. Schedule time. Make time. Demand a morning, a day, a weekend. Motherhood will empty your cup, and filling up your own cup will only give you more to offer those around you. So make it a priority. Make YOU a priority. One of the best things we can do for our kids is to take care of ourselves. Don't spend so much time and energy on everyone else that you forget yourself. You are important.

mom and baby yoga mom burnout

10 Self Care Quotes for Motherhood

Self care can feel a bit selfish, sound a bit indulgent and easily become a low priority, especially for mothers. While moms are busy changing diapers, making meals, cleaning up messes, working, chauffeuring and trying to maintain a basic sense of balance and order in their family's life, their own self care takes a back seat. Actually, not just a back seat, self care is often times dropped off at the curb and forgotten about entirely. It's time to pick self care back up again and make it a priority. Clear off that front seat mamas, self care is back.

Remember: A mother is the backbone of the family. She is the trunk of this beautiful family tree. But if the trunk is not thriving, nourished, strong and grounded, how will the limbs of the tree thrive? How will they grow and blossom and reach their full potential? Do not take your own self care for granted. Do not disregard and neglect it. The strength of your family depends on it.

So here are 10 self care quotes to remind you to take take care of yourself, to nourish and nurture yourself. These self care quotes will inspire you to carve out time for the things in life that feed your soul and refresh your mind. When life gets too busy and the days are too full, when everyone needs something from you and you are holding up the world on your shoulders, remember to pause and reflect. What is it that you need? What is it that will ground you, strengthen you, feed you? Every single day, find your own way to focus on self care.

2. Self Care for Moms Be kind. Be patient.png

Be kind. Be patient. Be generous. Be accepting. Be all of these things to yourself. That is where it begins.

9. Self Care for Moms Surround yourself with those who reflect your own beauty (3).png

Surround yourself with those who reflect your own beauty and brilliance back into your heart.

0. Self Care for Moms Find time to nourish yourself with the pieces of this world that feed your soul..png

Find time to nourish yourself with the pieces of the world that feed your soul.

Turn off the world and go within. Rejuvenate & refresh. Open your eyes and begin again.

If you are to be a light for those you love, you must find ways to nourish yourself, to feed your fire & keep it burning.

Self-care is not a luxury. Indeed not. It allows us to show up in this tumultuous world as the best versions of ourselves.

This is your life and you are the curator. Be intentional. Be selective with what you let in.

Breathe deeply and allow yourself to let go. If you were able to let it into your world, you are able to let it go.

In moments of stress, a cup of tea & a deep breath go a long way.

A walk. A deep breath. A stretch. A moment of silence. A smile. You deserve all of these.

Quiet, Curiosity, and Care

My family and I recently moved from the heart of the city to the mountains. This has been a great gift to my inner life, my soul care. Most mornings I try to get out of the house before my daughter wakes up, while my husband is still sleeping or sitting with his cup of tea. I make a cup of coffee, put it in my mug and I walk out of my house into a morning wonderland. 

I walk down our little road into quiet. The trees above me are golden and the bunnies scurry across my path. The natural world stops me in in my hurried tracks, it quiets my anxious mind. The beauty of the world cares for me on days when I do not know how to care for myself. 

This morning I hiked up a familiar path near my house and came upon a group of six deer. While five of them ran quickly away, one stopped to look at me. I stood as still as possible and we took each other in for a moment. I was completely there, in that space with that beautiful creature. The world of media, politics, my never ending list of chores and work deadlines.... all of it was out of my mind. 

I walk and I listen. I walk and I wonder about the sound of a bird I have not heard before. I walk and the curiosity expands to the state of my own heart, the places and people I have forgotten to notice. 

I am reminded of a favorite poem by Wendell Berry. I am reminded that I am part of a larger story, the story of the earth and the story of humanity. Nature has this way of putting us in our place oh so gently in a way that we are nurtured and changed. 

The Peace of Wild Things
"When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998.

The question for each one of us lies in how to encounter this wild beauty which calls us to more quiet and curiosity. When we find it and make space for it in our lives it will change the way we listen, parent and show up in the world. It will care for us in a way that we so desperately need.  

Self Care Walk

The Importance of Self-care: What are you missing?

We care for others. That’s what we do as mothers. We care and care, but not always enough for ourselves. If we do not take care of ourselves, who will? And if we are not cared for, who can care for those we love? Self-care is not a selfish act, no, indeed it is a selfless one. But why do we run from it? Why do we prioritize everything else in front of it? Why is it so hard to embrace, to cultivate, to put into practice?

It’s not about massages and facials (though there’s nothing wrong with those). It’s not about yoga class and new clothes (though these things may be a part of it). Self care is about saying "no" often, and mindfully, consciously saying "yes". It’s about listening to yourself and understanding what it is that you truly need. Self care is about speaking kindly to yourself, it’s about giving yourself opportunities to grow and also to rest. It’s about sitting with yourself and listening to what it is that you have to say, what it is that you need to make known.

So often we as mothers put our health, our nutrition, our sleep, our creativity, our rejuvenation and our growth last. But no, no we cannot. If we do not make ourselves a priority, if we do not stand up for ourselves and understand the value of self care, then who will?

So, mama, sit with yourself. Find space and time to dial in. Tune in. Find your center and dig deep. What are you lacking? What are you needing? What are you missing in this life? Listen. And then listen some more. You are strong and resilient and so amazing. But even a fire that shines so brightly needs to be tended. If you are to be a light for those you love, you must find ways to feed yourself. So begin. This is important.