Are you tired of being a stay at home mom?
Do you feel like you’re juggling far too many responsibilities and drowning under the weight of them?
If you answered yes, then I am afraid you may be suffering from the dreaded stay at home mom burnout.
And in case you’re wondering, it’s something that happens to the best of us.
Here’s what I mean…
I used to joke that I was a sleep-deprived mom because it felt like I hadn’t had a good night sleep since I became a mom.
I was tired and overwhelmed and I was at my wits end.
Things came to a head when I lost it because I couldn’t bear to have one more hand on my body.
I was tired of the tugging, pinching and clinging.
All I wanted was to have my body back because it felt like it didn’t belong to me anymore.
That’s when I realized that I no longer enjoyed being a stay at home mom because I was burned out.
Can you relate?
I love my kids and I enjoy the hugs, but sometimes I just want to be left alone.
Sometimes, I don’t want to be needed or think of anyone else or care about making anyone happy.
Thankfully, those moments are fleeting, but they still leave me feeling guilty because mom guilt is real.
So if you’re feeling burnt out and on the edge, you may be wondering how you can become a happy stay at home mom again.
That’s what I am going to show you in this post.
I want you to know that you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of stress and overwhelm.
You can get out of rut and thrive as a stay at home mom. You just need to make a few changes to the way you have been doing life.
So if you’re ready to recover from stay at home mom burnout, let’s jump right in!
Before we dive into what you can do to get your spark back, I think it’s a good idea to back up and look at some of the reasons for stay at home mom burnout.
This post may contain affiliate links. Which means if you buy something using my link, I may receive a small commission.
REASONS FOR STAY AT HOME MOM STRUGGLES
There are many reasons why stay at home moms struggle. Here are some of the most common reasons based on my experience.
1.LOSS OF IDENTITY
It’s so easy to lose your identity and sense of self when you become a stay at mom.
If you’ve ever asked yourself “Who or what am I aside from being a mom?” you may be suffering from loss of identity.
This happens when your whole life revolves around your kids and you lose yourself in the process.
This is why many stay at home moms suffer from lack of self confidence and low self-esteem because they feel inadequate and inferior.
Being a mom is a very important job, but you don’t have to lose yourself in the process.
You don’t have to give up or sacrifice everything you love to be a good mom.
If you’re struggling with a loss of identity, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Who or what were you before you became a stay at home mom?
- How can you combine that with who you are right now?
Obviously, you had to give up a few things (like your job ) when you became a full-time homemaker and that’s fine.
But there are other parts of you that you don’t have to give up in your new role.
Figure out what they are and incorporate them into your life.
2. LONELINESS AND ISOLATION
By far one of the biggest struggles stay at home moms face is loneliness and isolation.
Being a stay at home mom can be depressing unless you’re intentional and proactive about socializing with others.
It’s easy to get so caught up with our daily tasks that we forget there’s an outside world out there.
When you become a stay at home mom, chances are you’ll lose some friends and other relationships.
When that happens, you have to replace those friendships and relationships with new ones to avoid feeling lonely and isolated.
Instead of staying at home day after day, make an effort to socialize and connect with other moms.
3. STRESS AND OVERWHELM
Being a stay at home mom is hard, and it gets even harder when you’re tired.
Stress and overwhelm are two of the leading causes of stay at home mom burnout.
There are days when I wake up exhausted with no idea how I am going to make it through the day.
I know how it feels when your body aches so much that even something as simple as walking from one room to the other feels like a herculean task!
Stress and overwhelm happens when you try to do too much all by yourself.
Listen up mom. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to know your limits and let some things go.
Stop trying to doing everything all at once because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t get to everything, or when you have to say no to taking on more responsibility.
One of the best things you can do to help you combat stress and overwhelm is to become more organized.
Being an organized stay at home mom will help you prioritize tasks and manage your time better.
4. MONOTONY AND LACK OF MENTAL STIMULATION
It’s easy to fall into a rut when you stay at home with your kids all day.
Doing the same things day after day can get old very quickly.
When you spend most of your days cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and taking care of your kids without interacting with other adults, you can easily become bored and maybe depressed.
Unfortunately, Daniel Tiger and Bob The Builder doesn’t count as mental stimulation
If you’re at the point where you’ve started to question your life choices, you are probably burnt out from all the monotonous tasks and lack of mental stimulation.
If being a stay at home mom feels like a trap, it’s time to change things up so you can rediscover your passion and get out of rut.
Now I am going to show you some ways you can do that.
HOW TO OVERCOME STAY AT HOME MOM BURNOUT
1. BE FLEXIBLE AND ACCEPT YOUR LIMITS
One of the keys to success as a stay at home mom is knowing and accepting your limits.
You can’t thrive as a stay at home mom unless you’re flexible.
As a stay at home mom, you go through different seasons and stages as your kids grow. Which means you have to make the necessary changes.
Here’s what I mean…
When you have only one kid, you’re going to have more time to get things done than when you have two or three kids.
If you homeschool your kids, you probably won’t have as much time to get things done like you would if your kids went to public school.
Similarly, if you are a work at home mom, you won’t have time to do all the things.
The problem is, many stay at home moms fail to adapt or adjust their expectations.
They think they can keep doing the same thing throughout the different stages. But it doesn’t always work like that.
Sometimes, you won’t be able to feed your kids home-made meals every single day. Other times, your home won’t be as clean or organized as you’d like it to be.
Stress and overwhelm come when you refuse to be flexible. This happens when you hold onto preconceived notions and beliefs even when they don’t serve you well.
Don’t compare yourself with other moms or think you have to follow some set standard. When you do that, you will end up striving and struggling until you burn out.
I went to community college full-time as a stay at home mom and I had to adjust my expectations.
During that time, my kids ate mostly freezer dinners and they were okay.
It was a phase and I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. So, instead of beating myself up, I just rolled with it.
It wasn’t easy, but life isn’t easy. We just try to do the best that we can and hope things turn out right.
I am not telling you to feed your kids junk if you can avoid it. What I am saying is, every season is different and you must be willing to adjust if you want to avoid stay at home mom stress.
Becoming flexible and accepting your limits is a good way to avoid stay at mom burnout.
It will also make you a happier mom.
2. DITCH THE MARTYR MOM ATTITUDE
I used to be the ultimate martyr mom.
What is that, you ask?
A martyr mom is the type of mom who thinks she needs to sacrifice herself for her kids.
A martyr mom takes pride in not caring for herself, never buying anything for herself, never doing anything for herself because she thinks that’s what being a good mom is all about.
Before I keep going, let me clarify a few things.
Being a mom means you have to make some sacrifices for your kids. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a stay at home mom or you work outside the home.
There’re times when you have to sacrifice sleep to nurse a sick child, sacrifice time at work, or something else for the sake of your children.
That’s all well and good.
But, a martyr mom goes over and beyond.
Let me give you an example.
I used to love shopping. I loved shopping for new purses and new clothes –that is, until I had kids.
Everything changed after I had kids.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’d go shopping with my kids and I’d end up not buying a single thing for myself.
When my kids would ask me why I didn’t get anything for myself, I’d say “It’s okay. I have to think of you guys first. As long as you guys have clothes to wear and look nice, that’s all that matters.”
I am cringing just thinking about this.
Did I need to buy five tops and five pants each for both kids?
Could I have bought a few things for myself?
Yet, I thought I had to do that to prove that I was a good mom.
The funny thing is, the kids loved it when I got new stuff for myself. They loved it when I made the effort to look nice and take care of my appearance.
As a stay at home mom living on one income, I know money can be tight so you have to practice good financial management.
But that doesn’t mean you should never buy anything for yourself.
I am not telling you to splurge or blow your budget. All I am saying is, it’s okay to think about yourself sometimes.
It’s okay to replace your old yoga pants with some new ones.
Just find a way to work it into your budget.
Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about your appearance. I don’t know about you, but I feel better when I look good.
Many stay at home moms are overwhelmed because of their martyr attitude. They refuse to ask for help even when they feel exhausted.
I know many stay at home moms who think it’s wrong to use a babysitter occasionally.
The problem with being a martyr mom is that you end up been unhappy and full of resentment after months or years of sacrificing your needs, emotional well being, relationships and maybe your health.
If you’re burnt out from being a stay at mom, try ditching the martyr mom attitude and make sure your needs are also met.
If you want to know whether you’re a martyr mom or not, check out 15 Signs You Might Be A Mom Martyr.
3. INVEST IN YOURSELF
One of the best ways to rediscover yourself after motherhood is to invest in yourself.
When you’re a stay at home mom. it’s easy to fall into a rut without mental stimulation and opportunities for growth.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are so many ways you can invest in your personal growth and development that there’s really no excuse for not doing it.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can invest in yourself.
1. START A BUSINESS OR SIDE HUSTLE
Finances can be pretty tight when you live on one income. If your family is struggling with financial stress, you can start a business or side hustle as a way to earn extra income.
There are lots of businesses you can start from home with very little capital.
If you think this is something you’d like to try, do some research to see what’s out there.
Beware of work-at-home scams, pyramid schemes or anything that sounds too good to be true.
Don’t invest in anything you don’t understand or anything that promises quick riches.
Starting a business is a great way to invest in yourself. Check out the posts below for some business ideas and side hustles perfect for stay at home moms.
2. LEARN A NEW SKILL OR KEEP OLD SKILLS UPDATED
Since lack of intellectual stimulation is one of the reasons for stay at home mom burnout, one of the ways you can combat that is to learn a new skill or keep your old skills updated.
I like the idea of updating your old skills especially if you think you’d like to return to your career when your kids are grown.
There are so many ways you can invest in yourself as a stay at home mom.
For example, if you’re in a licensed profession (like nursing), you can keep your license active, attend workshops or seminars or take certification exams.
Stay up with the times and industries to which you belong by keeping an updated profile, reading journals and magazines.
You can also attend industry events, maintain contacts with former colleagues and people in your industry, start a home consulting business or teach an online course a few days a week.
You don’t have to do this if you have no interest in your previous career, instead you can devote your time to learning new skills.
Some skills you can learn include: a new language, coding or other tech skills, learning how to play an instrument, website design or graphic design.
Honestly, there are so many new skills you can learn (and a lot of them won’t cost you anything except time). It all depends on what you’re interested in.
3. TAKE A CLASS OR COURSE
Another way you can invest in yourself is to take a class or course.
There are lots of free online classes/courses that you can take depending on your interests.
We are so blessed to be living in a time where there are so many free and useful resources.
There’s really no excuse for any stay at home mom to feel bored or lack mental/intellectual stimulation.
You can also go back to school to complete your degree or take extra courses towards a new degree.
The opportunities are endless.
4. READ FOR FUN
I love reading a lot.
Unfortunately, I don’t read as much as I used to because of lack of time, but I still find the time to read as much as I can.
While reading is fun, it also has a lot of benefits including: mental stimulation,reducing stress and broadening your horizon.
Check out this post for some more benefits of reading.
There are so many great books out there. You can find a book on any topic so it’s very easy to learn new things.
I mostly read non-fiction and some of my favorite topics include:personal finance, business, parenting, personal development and organizing.
I like paper books but also read a lot of kindle books. If you don’t like reading, you can try audio books.
You can listen to them while you work out or while you’re out and about running errands.
I enjoy reading aloud with my kids.It’s a nice family tradition we have since we became a homeschooling family.
And my kids love reading too because they know I love reading.
So, if you have a kid who hates reading, maybe you can be the inspiration they need.
There are so many other ways you can invest in yourself, but the list above is a good place to start if you need some ideas.
As a stay at home mom, it is important to find ways to improve in every area of life.
I know it can be challenging when you’re overwhelmed with the day-to-day grind. However, it’s important to invest in yourself to avoid losing yourself completely.
4. USE GRATITUDE TO BEAT SAHM BURNOUT
While it’s difficult to have a grateful heart when you feel unhappy and overwhelmed,it’s important to take a step back and count your blessings.
There are lots of moms who wish they could stay at home with their kids, but they can’t for a number of reasons.
Instead of focusing on all the things that are wrong, start paying attention to all the positives in your life.
Each day, find things you can be thankful for and write them down.
Make it a part of your morning routine.
Try to think of five or more things. If you can’t think of five, try two or three.
Keep your list where you can easily see it throughout the day. Use it as a reminder when you hit a snag during the day.
There’s a connection between happiness and gratitude.
I find that I’m a happier mom when I’m grateful for the things I have. My life isn’t perfect by any means, but I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for.
It’s true you may feel burnt out and tired of being a stay at home mom.But, I reckon you can find something to be grateful for if you think about it.
SAHM burnout is real and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you’re struggling and feeling trapped, use one of these tips to get back on track.
Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.
Instead of suffering in silence, reach out to friends, family members and other moms who understand what you’re going through.
And don’t forget to talk with your husband. Let him know your struggles so you guys can work things out together.
Finally, remember your situation is only temporary. Enjoy the moment and don’t forget to create lasting memories.
Have you suffered from stay at home mom burnout? How did you overcome it?