Being a working mother is like running a marathon everyday. You work long hours and you take care of your children and it certainly takes a lot of energy to balance it all. Further, working mothers report that they do the majority of the housework as opposed to what their spouses do.
In addition to working, household responsibilities and raising their children, working mothers have unrealistic and high expectations of their roles. They strive to be perfect moms, perfect wives, perfect friends, perfect daughters, sisters, women, etc. It seems like working moms have invisible “S’es” imprinted on their chests and they all somehow think they are super women, but the only thing they manage to be is burnt out.
What does working mom burnout look like?
Kenneth N. Condrell, Ph.D. defines parental burnout as “a state of mind. It happens when parents come to feel so emotionally exhausted that they cannot nurture, discipline or fuss with their children. It’s a point in life when the pleasure of parenting no longer exists. Instead, the parent feels trapped in circumstances from which they wish they could escape.”
Here are some signs to look for if you are a working mother dealing with burnout. These come from http://helpguide.org/mental/burnout_signs_symptoms.htm.
Physical signs and symptoms of burnout
Feeling tired and drained most of the time
Lowered immunity, feeling sick a lot
Frequent headaches, back pain, muscle aches
Change in appetite or sleep habits
Emotional signs and symptoms of burnout
Sense of failure and self-doubt
Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
Detachment, feeling alone in the world
Loss of motivation
Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
Behavioral signs and symptoms of burnout
Withdrawing from responsibilities
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
Busy parents, particularly working moms, are always at high risk for burnout. Pay attention to the signs of burnout, and take action if you find they become overwhelming and consistent.