Whether or not you also work outside the home, raising a family is a full-time job. You have to be a nanny, housekeeper, cook, nurse, personal assistant and psychologist all rolled into one. The stakes are even higher because you feel a primary responsibility to your mate and children. There’s no one at the next desk over to lend a hand when you’re overextended.
Burnout is just as much a possibility on the mommy track as it is on the career track. Stop occasionally and take stock of your feelings and emotions. Here are some of the major warning signs of burnout and suggestions for activities to counteract them.
- Do you find yourself snapping at family members over the slightest incidents? Let’s be honest. From time to time you’re bound to become annoyed with your spouse or kids. When you find yourself overreacting to a question about dinner, it’s time to dial it back.
- Are there times when you dissolve into tears for no apparent reason? We connect tears with emotions, both good and bad, but sometimes they can result from pure exhaustion. Get some actual exercise besides racing around driving your kids from one activity to another.
- Do you get enough sleep? This is such a foreign concept to mommies that it’s a universal topic of jokes. Don’t let guilt keep you awake finishing what you couldn’t do during the day. Be sure that sleep is priority number one.
- Do you feel isolated, even though you’re around people all the time? Make it a point to schedule time with friends or other moms. It might be difficult at first, but you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll get into the habit.
- Does it feel like nothing you do matters? Hopelessness is a classic symptom of burnout. Meditation can be a wonderful way to achieve mental and emotional balance. Once you learn the techniques, you can work in a session whenever and wherever you need it.
Yes, you want to give your family the best care possible, but don’t let it overshadow your sense of your own self-worth. Nurturing yourself lets you nurture them as well.