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06th Jan 2015

Mum burnout. It’s a thing. How do you know when to recharge?

Is your maternal battery running low?


Motherhood is wonderful, challenging, rewarding and tiring – it’s the ultimate care-based role. So much goes into raising a child that it’s no surprise most mums will reach burnout at some stage, but it’s important to nurture yourself as well as the children (easier said than done sometimes, I know).

What exactly is burnout?

Burnout is a psychological term that refers to chronic exhaustion and stress, resulting in a loss of interest or motivation. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. Sound familiar?

You know you’ve reached burnout when

You feel exhausted but can’t sleep, and when you do sleep you still feel tired.

You fall out with your nearest and dearest because you’re snappy and irritable.

You struggle to concentrate (except when it’s daydreaming about that exotic holiday for one).

Everyday tasks seem insurmountable (even putting your shoes on is a task too far).

You have so much to do but productivity is at an all-time low.

You’ve lost your mojo and your motivation.

You’ve stopped looking after yourself (or looking at yourself properly in the mirror).

Ways to ease the burnout

Identify the source of stress so you can attempt to reduce it.

If it’s long-term stress, make a plan that will help you get through it.

Reach out to supportive people in your life – for help and to talk.

Limit perfectionist thinking (not easy but very effective).

Think of ways that help you cope with stress and try to find time to engage in these, even if it’s just for a short time.

Look at what you have to do versus what you want to do (be realistic!).

Talk to your doctor if you notice chronic stress and burnout.