*First Draft, wrote this really fast so forgive me if it’s awful ha! Just sharing my thoughts. Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children in the Process I finished this book today and wow. I could write on an on about this topic but I find sticking to a list helps me organize and not spent too much time on here. So here we go.. 10 Things that I learned that really surprised me from this book- Mothers in America are STRESSED OUT. The generation and society that championed for choices for women, now have them and are miserable. Having it all, is a lie that the new generation is realizing.
Women don’t know how to make genuine connections with friends in real life anymore. It is unhealthy for all your friends to just be online, you need actual real life interaction or it seems, you will most likely drive your husband crazy lol. I’m generalizing here so if none of this applies to you, just skip on down. Obviously this was written after an outpouring of women in therapy who had all these same common factors in their burnout. Women feel guilty taking the time they need just for themselves. Often little care is given to the mother’s health and in turn the whole family will suffer. This next one is a delicate subject but I am really shocked that majority of women who have some type of burnout, try to avoid intimacy with their husband. The book gave a shocking number of the average being twice a month…what?! That is a huge problem that will affect the mother’s well-being, as well as the marriage and in turn the whole household. Women seem to think there are only two options, working to break the glass ceiling, or staying home in yoga pants all day drinking wine and being their kids chauffeur. WRONG. Women don’t really have any hobbies for leisure anymore. Women spend an enormous amount of time on social media getting validation, parenting advice from strangers, and seeking attention from all the wrong people. This distraction is the soap opera of our generation. Sending kids to school seems to really STRESS a family out. So many issues from bullies, under achievement, violence, over scheduled, too much homework, too many commitments for stay at home mothers…etc etc There is so much guilt, everywhere. Working or stay at home mothers all seem to experience this. Mommy burnout does pass down to the kids which leads to a detrimental childhood, even when you are trying to provide your kids with everything you never had. Wow, what a bummer right? Yikes. I realized I am very fortunate in my life and I am actually doing very well. Of course, I have my bad days too but I have some foundations that keep me from falling into many of the traps listed above. My demographic was missing in the book, so I wanted to add to it by giving my 10 tips that a therapist will likely not tell you. My Top 10 Ways to Avoid Mommy Burnout Syndrome 1.Women need HARD PREACHING. Women are going to the therapist couch in the droves to have a pat on the back, words of affirmation, validation, someone to gang up on their husband when they come in together…but really women need sermons like this. Sure, some may laugh, but it has helped me to take pride in what I do, down to the meal I make for my family. I truly know how important my role is, and never feel like I am just shuffling kids around and changing diapers.
2. A good church provides great friends. I have never had to wonder how to make friends, as long as I was in church, I had friends. This is one of the benefits of going to church and why our Lord, knew we needed to gather together often…especially more as the end approaches and things deteriorate even more quickly. You never have to worry about scheduling a time to meet up with your friends, just show up a little bit before or stay after the service and see them or arrange playdates. You already know you will have much in common with them.
3. Take care of yourself. I realized that on the days I work out, I feel much better throughout the day. I may have a bad hour, but I won’t ever have a bad day. For some reason this is the power of exercise. Taking supplements is also a must. I know I have made some poor choices in the last decade while having children and I suffered for it. I wish I could go back but I can’t, so learn from ladies a little older…go to sleep early, wash your face, brush your teeth, limit your caffeine, take supplements, eat as clean and healthy as you can, exercise and find a creative outlet or carve time for just you.
4. Put your relationship with your husband over your children. He will be there when the children are gone. It’s ok to have them wait while you go outside and talk for a little bit or share a dessert. It’s ok if they go to bed extra early if they know Mom and Dad need some Date Night time. One of our favorite things to do on my husbands day off is adjust our reclinable bed up, and have the kids bring us coffee in bed. We watch some of our youtube playlist videos, laugh at funny videos, and talk about what we will do on his days off. The kids make their own breakfast and read books or play games and come in and out to talk to us and snuggle but for the most part they give us our time, they know mom and dad need it. Our kids go to bed between 7 and 8pm on non-church nights. It’s so important to set boundaries and show kids that you love each other and enjoy each other’s company. The stories in the book portrayed such a picture of misery where kids ran the house, and the parents were just roommates, that is not going to help them in their future marriage.
5. Homeschool your children. Seriously, this. Reading stories about moms stressed out just from having one to three kids in school, has made me realize how good I have it. I have total control over our day, if I don’t feel good it’s pajamas and tea and books for all, if I feel like going to a museum we can be there all day, if there is a friend that needs some help, I can be there..the list goes on. I am not tied down to anything and I filter what my little sponges absorb. The things kids are watching on youtube today…are HORRIFYING. Single working mothers especially have found that an ipad can buy them alone time, but at the price of their kids innocence sadly, not to mention this digital abuse then gets labelled as a child with ADHD. It’s true homeschooling can stress a mother out too, the goal is to find that balance where it’s enjoyable majority of the time, the kids are learning, mom too, and you have that flexibility to not feel pinned down all the time.
6. Community Outreach is best done in the local church. The book gave a great suggestion that families should find charities to get involved in and community projects to take the focus off themselves and help others. It’s true helping others is a blessing to both the recipient and the giver and kids should see this in action. The local church again, provides this outlet for you already. If you have a soulwinning church in your area, go! Soulwinning is the best community outreach there is, because you can change a person’s eternity, not just current situations that last but a vapor. Soulwinning gives children the opportunity to adopt their parents’ faith as their own, to give them self-worth doing important work for God and provides great fellowship opportunities from their peers…peers that you probably know their parents already win-win.
7. Get Saved! This should have been #1. If you are not saved and have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, I don’t know how you can do it in your own flesh. I think this is the number one cause of mommy burnout but any therapist would laugh me to scorn over that. Before I was saved, I was a mess. I had no real direction, nothing to aspire to being a stay at home mother, I felt lost, I didn’t read my Bible or pray. The book recommended any kind of faith practice, even just meditation would help. It’s true I tried meditation when I wasn’t saved, it did help but all these things are short lived. People go on looking for the next thing, in all the wrong places. If you are not saved, get saved today please.
8.Treat your home life like you would if you were working. This is one tip from the book I did like. Why is it women who are surgeons when working and awesome at their jobs, make the transition to staying home buying frozen meals? We should take the same energy and attentiveness to our home life as we would being the CEO of a company.
9. Don’t feel guilty to take some time for yourself. Sometimes this isn’t possible, and I understand that. I have been in seasons where that opportunity is just not there, maybe your spouse travels for work, you have no family nearby to help, you don’t leave your children with babysitters etc. You can still do some things at home. When my husband is traveling, nothing feels better to me than after the kids go to sleep, putting on a face mask, grabbing a book and eating chips and guacamole in bed with a seltzer water. It’s weird but it’s my thing and it feels luxurious!
10. Communicate. You are not alone. First talk to God, pray. Secondly, talk to your husband but realize he will want to fix the problem so maybe give a warning you just want to vent first, then talk to a close friend..you can be vague and still get feedback if you are feeling down. You don’t need to dump on someone all your feelings being a Debbie downer and you definitely should never bad mouth your husband to anyone..a simple “I’m having a rough time right now, could you pray for me?” would do fine. “I’m struggling with balancing it all, do you have any tips?” “My kids have developed this bad habit, any tips how I can approach it better?” these things will save you so much money from going to see a therapist, which is apparently what most women are doing today. In a world where we have never been more connected, women feel most disconnected. Ok so those are my top 10 tips to avoid the Mommy Burnout. Do you have any you would like to add? Drop them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!