23 Signs of Mommy Burnout: How Many on Your List?


screamThere are lots of reasons to love being a mom: gorgeous little faces that light up when they see you, snuggling on the couch, watching them sleep .... But anyone who's being honest with themselves would admit it's sometimes a tough gig

And that's before the insane expectations society puts on us, or that we put on ourselves. We're expected to be beautiful, successful, well-dressed (or risk getting mocked for looking like a mom), be up for awesome sex all the time, feel completely comfortable rocking stilettos as we chase our kids around the playground, never yell, love nothing more than amusing and educating little people 24-7, and stack up favorably against images like Sainted Mother Angelina Jolie (but without her money or phalanx of nannies).

And that, my friends, is BS ... and can lead to a raging case of mothering burnout, described as "when family life leaves you frazzled" in this brilliant Daily Mail piece. See if any of these sound familiar:

  1. An ill-timed dirty diaper (because aren't they all) makes you burst into tears.
  2. You discover that you, too, can use your "outside voice" inside.
  3. Your partner casually asks you to call the cable people to ask a question and you feel like he's placed the weight of the world on your shoulders.
  4. Your fantasies involve being in a hotel room with a huge bed and cool, crisp sheets ... alone. For at least 24 hours.
  5. You begrudge your husband an overnight stay at a sleep testing center because he gets to have an uninterrupted night of sleep.
  6. Your roots are now longer than your hair was the last time you got it cut.
  7. Your kids, however, look great.
  8. You draw armpit hair and a mustache on a picture of Angelina Jolie on a magazine cover at the Y. Just to.
  9. A Facebook friend sees you at the park and says, "When I get stressed out, I just read your status updates and am glad I'm not you."
  10. Your dog thinks her name is Dammit Bailey.
  11. People have started suggesting you switch to decaf.
  12. You're so exhausted you drive for awhile with the baby in the car seat ... but without the straps fastened.
  13. Your kids have every well-child visit right on time; your doctor has to go get your chart out of storage when you show up.
  14. Your kid spills something on their last clean outfit and you send them to school in it anyway.
  15. Planning a grocery trip feels like planning a military invasion.
  16. You go to kiss your husband on the cheek and make the same nom-nom-nom noises you do with your kid.
  17. You find yourself envying Betty Draper's ability to be such a crappy mom and not care.
  18. Your fuse gets Herve Villechaize-short.
  19. Your first response to your children's drama is to choke back the impulse to say, "Here's a quarter ..."
  20. You aren't sure if it's Tuesday or Sunday ... or March ... because every day starts feeling the same.
  21. You spend so much time in the car shuttling your kids places that people describe you thusly: "Blond, three kids, blue minivan ..."
  22. Your partner makes a move on you as you're stumbling toward your bedtime, and all you can say is "are you kidding me?"
  23. You feel like everyone has it all together ... except you.

Fun, huh? But you can get your swing back. First of all, get some help, so you can take a break. Whether it's your partner, friends, or family, even that nice mom at the preschool, most people would be willing to watch your kids for an hour or two while you chill out. If that's not an option, find a sitter. Yes, it can be expensive, but they're cheaper than therapy.

I know a lot of women feel guilty asking their partner for the time ... which leads into the next idea: give up guilt. Your kids will not suffer, and will probably get into a decent college and everything, if you say no to the third evening activity every week in order to slow the pace a little.

And most importantly, try to get off the competimommy merry-go-round. Tell yourself that everyone is doing the best they can, because they are. And that includes you.


Image via Evil Erin/Flickr

mental health, self esteem, time for you


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Amazo... Amazonora

As a working mom I realized the only time I've had to myself in the past year is the car rides to and from work. I had reached a breaking point and took a "sick" day, husband dropped kid off at daycare, I went and sat in hottubs for a few hours at the local spa. I didn't even want any spa treatments because that would involve conversation. After a few hours, I felt my humanity return and was happy to see my kid's face light up when I picked him up from daycare.

Mommy... Mommy2b2324

that list was written for me! as a stay at home mom of two kids under 3, with no friends(new town) and a hubby who could be kid #3, i LIVE in burn out mode

sweet... sweetmommy0710

omg I can say yes to 90% of this lol. I just became a sahm again with a 3yr old and a newborn. It's crazy and fun at the same time.

nonmember avatar Katie

I have Mommy burn-out right now! Hubby was shipped to a job 5 hours away and isn't home. I'm in charge of EVERYTHING now and there just aren't enough hours in the day, especially when half the day is spent breast feeding and soothing a teething 4 month old. I have such sympathy for single moms! Thankfully, a friend of mine recognized my burnout and offered to take my two older kiddos tomorrow so I can have some peace. Next week, my mom and MIL are coming over to help me catch up on cleaning and organizing.

nonmember avatar Allboys

Take guilt wrap it up in a box with a beautiful bow then light it on fire. When it's properly charred go get yourself something ridiculously pretty or simply an item you have had your eye on for a while. Insist you have time for yourself every single day. Nurturing yourself should be on your own schedule. A balanced life is a happy well lived life. None of us can give all of ourselves away and be giving the best we have to give. Keep a bit of yourself for yourself and your family will get the best parts of you.

Addys... Addys_Mom

I especially love 22. I did that to my honey last night. Like seriously? i have been up all day working on halloween costumes and taking care of the kids, not to mention work. and you think i have the energy for that? lol. A lot of those apply to me. I work almost full time plus take care of the kids when I get home. he sleeps most of the day (he works graveyards) and is only up for a few hours with the kids before i get home and take over. And then I have my own business on the side so my days off are booked with extra things for that. so I dont get a lot of me time. Its not fun. But i love my kids and i keep looking forward to the days when i can afford to quit working and just do my business on the side and hopefully not feel burnt out all the time.

Saras... Sarasahmof3

I am going to print is circle how I am feeling and hand it to my husband.  Maybe then he will get a clue.  Thank you.

Britt... Brittanyaaron

Thank you soo much...that made me laugh out loud...literally!

squish squish

All I can say is that I am sad that I couldn't even find this funny.

moder... modernmom2010

This is hilarious!! I think all of us have experienced at least one of these before, and some of us know about all of them!

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