Motherhood Stress Part 1. Understanding Mommy Burnout Syndrome.
What is burnout syndrome?
Burnout syndrome could be defined as a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused be excessive and prolonged stress. It can lead to serious health deterioration and depression. Nowadays, it is known that nearly every profession can develop a burnout under certain circumstances.
But is there really a mommy burnout? Isn’t motherhood the most natural and beautiful “job’ in the world? After all, there is no boss giving deadlines, no gossiping or bullying colleagues, no pressure – you do the things you love in the comfort of your own home, at the pace and rhythm you like? One couldn’t be more wrong!
Being a mother is an exceptionally challenging job, because we have the highest expectations to ourselves, there is a huge peer pressure – everybody seems to be an expert on it and there is never a holiday or weekend. It is a true twenty four hours job.
So, indeed, there is a mommy burnout syndrome. If you are feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands you might be suffering from mommy burnout.
Challenges of motherhood. What causes mommy burnout syndrome?
There are certain contributing factors to motherhood stress such as:
- Workload. One of the risk factors is the sheer unlimited workload. The list of things to do always seems endless and far exceed the hours of the day. There is no closing hour, no signing off from work to go home.Pushing too long into the night leaves you frustrated, tired and exhausted the next day. So, acknowledge that you do what you can and take it step by step, e g try to rest when the children rest.
- Perfection. Another risk factor is striving for perfection where there is no such definition in a family or human relations. Yes, you might sometimes be forgetful e g to pack the children’s lunch for school, etc. So what? That happens. It doesn’t mean you are not a good mom or your household is not functioning. You will frustrate yourself unnecessarily and burn out by striving for perfection. There is no perfect mom, no perfect household, no perfect children. Don’t believe that all other families manage better, that their children are smarter or better behaved. You are the perfect mom to your children. Dare to be the best friend to yourself as well.
- There is a permanent feeling of guilt which seems to be associated with motherhood. Why did I not throw a birthday party? Why did I yell at the children when they messed up the kitchen again? Why am I not “better”? Feeling guilty and not allowing yourself to be a normal human with limitations could bring unnecessary pressure and stress to yourself, consequently, causing a burnout. So, don’t worry, the kids won’t crack immediately under a harsh spoken word or a non-perfect birthday party.
With these risk factors being present in all families, you must be alert not to be overwhelmed. Make motherhood pleasant for you. Look after yourself, value yourself and make regular time for yourself – to meet a friend for a coffee, go for a facial or enjoy a slow, calm workout like ANGEL workout, Pilates or Yoga.