How to Combat ‘Mommy Burnout’ During the COVID-19 Pandemic
For years I have seen articles come across my newsfeed about "mommy burnout", but until recently I have never paid much attention to them. Then a worldwide pandemic enters our lives, and suddenly I find myself truly struggling to maintain my "calm".
Don't get me wrong, I love my girls and consider myself tremendously blessed to have a job that I love and that allows me to spend most of my day with my kids. I'm also incredibly blessed with a supportive husband and the flexibility to be able to work from home during the pandemic, but all this crazy is really beginning to take a toll.
Working from home means I don't get any "adult" time. I am home 24/7 with children who are getting more restless every single day about not being able to go anywhere. They are asking a lot of questions I can't answer. My mind is racing with trying to figure out how to make this "new normal" work most effectively, and I'm about at the end of my rope. I find myself snapping at my kids more often because my patience is thin, and I hate doing that. I am quickly losing motivation to accomplish anything besides doing my actual job and homeschooling my kids, and I really need to nip it in the bud now.
Here's the thing though, I know I'm not the only parent dealing with feelings like this, and I've finally realized it is okay to admit it. We are not weak, we are not whining, these are hard times to navigate, and it's okay to say you may be "sucking" as a parent right now.
So, what can we do to combat this parental burnout? Here's some tips I found from Motherly online;
- Make Sleep a Priority - When we're stressed, sleep is the first thing to suffer and it makes us highly irritable. Find a way to get quality sleep.
- Find Your "oohhhmm" - Mediatate, do yoga, pray, do whatever it takes to give you a moment of peace.
- Eat Well - Making a real effort to eat healthy foods will do wonder for moods...far more than feasting on chocolate, chips and other "comfort" foods.
- Call the Girls - I can fully attest to the importance of this. When you feel like you are about to lose it, talking with your besties, who are likely going through the same thing, will really help you realize you are not alone and not a terrible parent.
- Say No - If you don't need to do it, don't want to do it, and it doesn't provide something positive for your life...DON'T DO IT.
- Trust Your Intuition - When it comes to making decisions for your family and kids, go with your gut. Following your first instinct can greatly help with eliminating some stressors, and DON'T second guess yourself.
- Treat Yourself - Buy that purse, the new pair of shoes. It if brings you a moment of joy, it's worth it.
- Focus On What You DO Accomplish - This one is a big one for me right now. Instead of focusing on all the things that I should have done today, and feeling bad about not doing them, I need to focus on what I did do and feel good about it. I kept the kids alive and didn't yell too much...I played with them and helped them learn something new. All good things.
- Schedule "You" Time - Even if it's just 30 minutes to watch your favorite show without any interruptions, find a way to make it happen.
We've got this parents, it will get better soon. Stay safe, stay sane, and rely on others. Look for the bright spots in each day like your kids laughing, playing and having fun. Cherish the extra cuddles you get, and the extra time you get to spend with them while they are little. We will never get these moments back, I am trying to focus on that instead of the yucky stress and worry.