11 Quick Tips for the Overwhelmed Stay-at-home Mom to Avoid Burnout
As a stay-at-home mom of five who liked to stay busy, tried to do everything to perfection, avoided calling babysitters unless ‘necessary’, and a chronic people-pleaser, it’s no wonder I was stressed, overwhelmed, and heading for burnout.
Do you feel you have too much going on? Is that stress affecting you and preventing you from showing up as your best self?
In this post, you will walk away with 11 tips to help you reduce stress and overwhelm. They will help you place proper boundaries, and reclaim your life so that you can have a healthy balance of yourself and your roles to others. When your cup is full you will be able to show up as the mother you want to be for your children.
But first, let’s go over some of the signs that you are in need to improve balance in your life.
Signs you Might be Experiencing Overwhelm and are Heading for Burnout:
Losing interest in things that used to bring you joy
Not wanting to wake up in the morning
Experiencing mom guilt
No longer getting ready for the day
Making more mistakes than usual
Not scheduling fun activities
Not scheduling health checkups
Putting off self-care
11 Quick Tips to Reduce Overwhelm and Avoid Burnout
1. Identify the Stressor
This is the most important tip on this list. It is important to find the reason that you are an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom. We have all faced stressors that drain us of our energy and rob us of our joy.
Ask yourself, ‘what is the main cause of my stress currently? Is it something in my control that I can change?’
Bring in your spouse, friend, or life coach to help you come up with some ideas on how to tackle the situation and ease your stress.
2. Stop Being Everything for Everyone
Your role of being a mother can be tough. If you find yourself resentful when taking on favors outside your immediate family, take a step back to analyze the situation. Do you have the time, energy, and resources to commit to what is being asked of you?
If you have a hard time implementing boundaries check out my article on How to Say No Nicely Without Feeling Guilty.
3. Let go of Perfection
We place these high expectations that others have for us whether it’s our friends, family, spouse, children, or heck even strangers. On top of that, we are bombarded with information from parenting books, magazines, and what the top experts in the field have to say. The advice out there can be overwhelming, contradictive, and sometimes complete nonsense. We try to do it all as we are pressured by those around us. And when we fail for doing the impossible, we blame ourselves.
How much of our stress is caused by our desire to live up to other’s expectations of us?
Drop the desire to seek perfection. You are the best parent for your children. God picked YOU to be your child’s mom for a reason. As people share their advice, it ultimately comes down to what you think is best for your children. It is important as an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom to practice self-compassion when things don’t go as planned. Learn to accept any mistakes that happen along the way as learning opportunities.
4. Manage Your Thoughts
We can carry around negative thoughts in our heads that increase our stress. We might not even know it is happening.
‘I am following behind in housework. I am a failure.’
‘I yelled at my child again, I am a monster.’
Learn how to tune into those thoughts without judgment and detect what could be the reason. Then challenge them.
Do I think I am a failure because I am falling behind? If a friend was falling behind, would I consider them a failure?
5. Ask for Help
When feeling stressed and overwhelmed as a stay-at-home mom, take time away for yourself to recover. If you don’t have a support system in place, consider hiring a babysitter. Another idea would be to ask your hubby to watch the kiddos for one night a week while you go out. You can return the favor for him too (especially if he is feeling stressed).
One of my favorite arrangements was trade babysitting with a friend. I would watch her kiddos while she would go on a date night with her husband for a few hours. Then the next time would be our turn. This worked out great! Not only did we have a blast on our dates, but I looked forward to watching their kids too as it kept the kids happy and occupied for the evening.
6. Get Ready for the Day
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed as a stay-at-home mom you might feel that tending to your appearance has fallen to the wayside. Maybe you don’t put on makeup like you used to do. Or perhaps you stay in your pajamas all day.
When I decided to get ready for the day, every day, I felt better! I felt like it was a move on my part, that said to myself that I mattered too. I also no longer had to fear getting a dreaded knock from a surprise visitor in the middle of the day.
If you haven’t been taking care of yourself and it’s starting to show, treat yourself and do something a little extra. If you usually get a trim, get a new hairstyle. Try adding some highlights or lowlights. If it’s been a long time since you have treated yourself to a pedicure or manicure, try that. A little act of service towards your appearance can do wonders to your mood and will give you a new fresh look.
7. Be Kind to Yourself
Overwhelm and burnout is no joke. You overextended yourself and your heart was in the right place. You know that you’ve gone too far and there will need to be some new strategies in place to avoid this happening again. Learn to accept that this is where you are at right now and that you just need some loving care and compassion from yourself to recover. Fighting it will only make it worse.
8. Change up Your Routine
Maybe there are things you’ve been putting off for a long time that you feel need to be added to your routine such as implementing exercise, reading to the kids, dealing with that ever-growing pile of laundry, etc. Or maybe you have no time scheduled for fun and relaxation.
Figure out what you need and plan a routine to bring those elements that need addressing. If your routine on paper feels overwhelming, adjust it till it seems manageable and practical to you. That may mean adding just one new element over some time until it is working well.
9. Skip Social Media
Do you have the habit of picking up your phone when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed? We hear this time and time again, stay away from social media as it increases stress. Find a stress-reducing task you can do to do instead like a short breathing exercise or grabbing a drink of water.
10. Get out of the House
You don’t want to, but you know you need to. If you are an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom it might be time for a new view and a breath of fresh air. If everything sounds boring and monotonous, you might be experiencing burnout. Go somewhere or do something you haven’t done before for a mood boost!
11. Practice Self-Care
If you are an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom, chances are you don’t have a sufficient self-care routine in place.
What strategies in the past have you used to reduce stress that worked?
What have you not tried?
How can you incorporate these self-care activities into your daily and weekly routine?
Here are a few Self-Care activities that you might consider adding to your routine to reduce stress:
Take on journaling
Talk to a Life Coach
Practice deep breathing
Do a daily meditation
Wrapping up: 11 Quick Tips to Avoid Burnout for the Overwhelmed Stay-at-home Mom
There are a variety of things you can do to bring back a healthy balance in your life between you and the many roles that you play: motherhood, being a wife, a friend, homemaker, etc.
You know better than anybody what you need the most to be back in the game and running full steam. The most important step is to take time to identify your biggest energy drainers so that you can bring back order to your home. Add simple routines into your life that help direct you to reach your goals.
Create boundaries and avoid the pressure to be everything to everyone and meet their expectations. And set healthy expectations of yourself and when you fall short be sure to show yourself some compassion with positive self-talk.
Remember, treat yourself as you want your adult children to treat themselves. Take care of yourself, Mama!
What do you think makes it so difficult to slow down when you are feeling stressed?