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25 Ways to Recharge from Mommy Burnout
With New Year’s right around the corner I wanted to level with you guys. I don’t like setting New Year’s goals. For many years growing up I would jump on the ball to lose weight and then do nothing other than wish myself to be fitter and healthier. So I stopped making New Year’s resolutions because lets face it I don’t want to fail every year because I haven’t done the work. But the more I thought about this attitude I adopted I realized that New Year’s wasn’t just about setting unrealistic goals that would get ditched before the end of January. Rather it should be about bettering ourselves. With our lives as mommas being so busy and the holidays being as action packed as they are; I thought of no better time to talk about ways to recharge from mommy burnout. As mommas we can always be more proactive about finding ways to recharge from Mommy burnout.
As a single mom, I often get asked how I do it. How do I stay home with 3 littles and not go crazy without help. A lot of it has to do with being proactive and realizing that as a momma you don’t have to be a superhero. But it also means being honest with myself about when I am suffering from burnout that I do take the time to recharge. So without further ado here are 25 ways to recharge from Mommy Burnout:
- Turn off your brain and do something mindless
I don’t know about you but I don’t like to just sit down and relax. I always need to be doing something. Cleaning. Reading. Cooking. Baking. Blogging. When my girls want to watch a movie I find it hard to sit down with them because my mind is racing and thinking about all the things that I need to be doing. What I should or could or would be doing if I wasn’t stuck sitting to watch a movie. But sometimes our bodies just need to relax. We need to quiet our minds and be quiet and still. So do something that doesn’t need a ton of brain power. Color, paint, draw, watch tv. Our minds need time to relax and not be worrying about all the things they need to be doing.
- Get your creative juices flowing
Don’t you feel better when you have made something yourself?? There is always such a great sense of accomplishment when you have finished a craft, sewing project, or DIY goal you have always wanted to do. A friend once told me that in order to be able to teach lessons for church she will go paint so she can really focus on what he is trying to teach others. There is a certain zone that you can only truly achieve when you are being creative so take some time to do something that you are proud of that isn’t a kid’s craft. While those are awesome too you need some grownup craft time too!!
Really this should be a post in itself but exercise is so important. It’s really hard to schedule with kids around but if you can o it before your littles wake up or after they go down for the day you are doing yourself a huge favour. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a recovering perfectionist. I find it really hard to fail at things. I really had this issue during my college and university years. I constantly felt overwhelmed at trying to always have a 4.0 GPA. Exercise became my best friend and something I actually looked forward to doing each day. I no longer faced anxiety when grades didn’t always go how I thought. I no longer faced overwhelm at daunting assignments. Things seemed to look brighter and achievable after getting those feel good endorphins running.
Can you remember the last time you slept the night through?? Because in all honesty I can’t. If I had to guess I would say it was probably back before I was pregnant with my first. I don’t know the scientific names or theories but I can tell you from experience that as a momma who is being woken up multiple times a night for days, months, and years on end can make you a little loopy. Your mental capacity just doesn’t seem to be as great and your patience isn’t always there when you really need it. So when you are feeling burnout go to sleep when your littles do. Leave the mess. Leave the dishes. Turn out the lights and forget about it because right now more than anything you just need some sleep.
- Go on a play date
Another way to recharge when you are facing mommy burnout is to go connect with some other mommas. When you are constantly dealing with little people all day sometimes you just need some adult conversation to be able to lift your burdens. It will give your littles a chance to see some new faces and play off some of their energy while you as a momma can connect with adults. I always feel refreshed and my heart full when I go visit some of my best friends. There is something so comforting about being able to know that another momma is struggling with backtalk or potty accidents or the child that always seems to be getting into mischief.
- Take a day off
This one is hard for me because I love being with my girls. They truly are the highlights of my days and bring me a lot of joy and happiness. Each of my babes is a precious gift from God and I try to always remember that God gave me 3 precious presents. With that being said every momma needs a break to recharge. Asking for help when I am feeling overwhelmed is sometimes really hard but sometimes the best gift that a momma can give herself and her family is the gift of time to be apart to recharge. When I take the time to arrange a babysitter or switch babysitting with a friend to have some me time everyone is so much happier in the end. Being by yourself gives you time to refocus on who you are as an individual and not get sucked into being an extension of your tiny precious babes.
- Have a TV day
There is power in limiting TV. I really don’t like my girls to watch a lot of TV because I believe that childhood is short and most of their time should be spent playing and exploring the world around them. You can always watch TV as an adult and unlimited amounts at that so why not spend the time to enjoy playing toys and being free without having to worry about life’s responsibilities.With that being said you are probably wondering why I am saying to have a TV day if I would rather my girls go off and play. Well the truth of the matter is sometimes everyone needs a day just to zone out. If your littles are fighting off the sickie ickies or have had a crazy busy week the spend the day cuddled up together on the couch watching some fun family friendly programming together.
- Go window shopping
I really love shopping. Whether it be the thrift store, Michaels, any home decor store, or really any store that has cute stuff I feel happy. But being a single mom on a budget doesn’t always mean that I have extra moola to spend. This means that sometimes it is fun just to get out of the house to go and look at things. It is fun to see what the latest trends are and gain inspiration for your home. Breaking up the monotony of the days by not always just being stuck at home helps to change the mind set of all involved. Sometimes, being out of the house encourages children to be on their best behaviour which is a bit of a break for momma.
- Do something different from your everyday
Spend a day being a yes mom. Do things that you guys wouldn’t normally do. Make some new play-doh, print off some new mats and spend the time playing together. Now it doesn’t have to be play-doh or an activity at home. Do something that will make both you and your kids happy. When you’re happy so are your babies.
- Celebrate your successes
There is always so much to get done in a day to keep a house running smoothly. Laundry, dishes, meal prep, extra curricular activities to get to, homeschool jobs, and the list goes on and on. Now before your eyes start to glaze over because who really wants to talk about that… I want you to ask yourself when was the last time you celebrated those tasks that you got accomplished?? Our society is in such a rush to always have perfect that I think we often forget to stop, step back and admire all that we have gotten accomplished. Recently, I have started making it a goal to stop and congratulate myself on a job well done. It isn’t easy keeping a household running as smoothly as it does so give yourself a pat on the back and treat yourself for what you are doing well!!
- Turn off your cell phone
Your cell phone might be your lifeline but how many times are you grabbing it mindlessly to scroll through social media platforms?? What are your littles doing during this time?? Your precious littles need you present. They want you to play with them. They want you to have fun and giggle and dance and sing with them. They are tired of competing for your time and attention. Spend the day with your phone off or put away. I find that when my phone is put away or when I treat it like an actual phone my girls play better together which leads to less fights and less energy spent on momma’s part.
- Realize that Facebook is a liar
And every other social media platform for that matter. As mommas it is so easy now to create an illusion of a perfect happy life because of social media. And it is easy to get down on ourselves when we don’t measure up to whomever we are trying to be like. Facebook and Instagram are bad traps for sucking not only your time but your soul as well. So before you get down on yourself for not leading the life that your friend is realize that there is always a story behind the photo. Was there a temper tantrum before that smiling photo was taken?? Did they actually just go somewhere to take the picture and then leave?? No one’s life is as perfect as Facebook or whatever other social media platform makes it seem. Don’t waste your energy comparing yourself to your friend’s Facebook life.
- Embrace your life
We don’t always get to pick the circumstances of how our lives go. We don’t get to pick our trials or family size. Or the struggles our littles face. But we do get to choose how we will respond. A good way to bounce back from mommy burnout is to find the positive things that you love about your life and focus on them. Do you love the fact that you get to be a stay at home mom?? Do you love being a girl mom?? or a soccer mom?? Embrace the things you can change about your life and do more of those things.
- Stop multitasking
Remember how I told you that I just can’t sit still so watching a movie is really painful?? Well it’s also exhausting. There have to be times where you need to just stop multitasking. Stop trying to do 5 things at once and just focus on what you are doing in the present. I try to clean up messes while getting my girls ready for bed and every night it turns into a disaster zone. When I just focus on being present with the girls instead of cleaning as I get them ready for bed everyone is happier. They stop trying to get away with things because they know I am distracted and I don’t lose my patience from being tired because I am being present. Less arguing with your kids means more energy saved.
- Play with your kids
One of the best ways to recharge from mommy burnout is to top everything and play. Stop worrying about everything around you and just engage in play with your kids. There have been countless times that after I have become present with my girls and played with them that I have felt better. I have talked a lot about special time and why it is important to build relationships and deep meaningful connections with your littles but to be honest I think it also helps us as mommas mentally to recharge and be happier as well!
- Get everyone to pitch in and help
I don’t know how many times I have tried to do everything myself to get my home to run smoothly. I tried to let my girls have the best childhood without any care of responsibility and you know what happened?! They became ungrateful and entitled. I became tired and resentful. Nowhere in this parenting journey does it say that mommas need to do the work alone. So instead of doing everything yourself get your family involved. A family needs to not just play together but clean together as well. It is our responsibility as mommas not to give our kids an easy ride or the perfect childhood (because lets face it that doesn’t exist) rather we need to teach our kids to have fun but also to work and be proud of a job well done.
- Take your kids somewhere to burn off their energy
Being stuck in the same place day in and day out can make anyone stir crazy, especially during the winter months. Rather than accept this as your fate take your kids somewhere to burn off their energy and get a change of scenery. Sometimes it is just invigorating to spend time out of the house doing something different. I have learned that a lot of gymnastic places will have special hours you can take your kids for drop in times. It gives you a bit of a break from having to clean your house and a positive way to try something new and expend the energy of your energizer bunnies!!
- Ask for help
Let’s be real. Motherhood is hard. You are so emotionally invested in being the best mom to your littles and giving them the best life you can that sometimes it can be really overwhelming. When you feel like you are drowning ask for help. No one is going to think less of you if you reach out and ask for advice, guidance or direction. No one is going to fault you or think less of you for wanting a break. As mommas we actually weren’t expected to do this motherhood journey alone. Ask for help when you need it.
- Dejunk your house
There is something so invigorating about being able to have a clean house. Having a bunch of extra stuff always makes me feel heavy and weighed down. For some reason being able to really let loose and get rid of the things I don’t use or fancy always leaves me in a better head space. So if you are feeling stressed out from the constant mess either find a home for it or get rid of it!!
- Slap some makeup on
I always always always feel better on when I take time to make myself feel pretty. Even just putting on some lip gloss and a coat of mascara can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It always feels good to know that if anyone were to drop by that you look semi-human after those sleep interrupted nights when you can splash some color on your face.
- Have a PJ day
Or get dressed. Do the opposite of whatever you normally do. There are days especially when I have had a rough night where I just want to sleep. Being able to stay in cozy pjs and not go anywhere is sometimes really nice. I have noticed after having a couple of PJ days I am ready to get dressed again and always feel invigorated and happy after taking the time just to laze around and restore my overspent energy.
Do you want to have that concentration and memory you once had back in high school?? Did you know that you can?? Being able to relax your mind helps to calm those fight or flight response triggers and grow your prefrontal cortex. The front part of your brain that holds onto rational thinking, memory, etc. When I was feeling totally overwhelmed by the cards I had been dealt with in life I was strongly encouraged to look into meditation. There are so many benefits to being able to relax your mind and body that I think really everyone should jump on the meditation train. It’s really good for you and helps to calm down those stress responses that always make you feel panicky.
- Lower Your Expectations
You’re not perfect and neither are your kids. Stop measuring a great day based on how well your kids behaved or how much you got accomplished. Rather base your day on the times you were able to truly connect with your precious littles and the moments of joy you felt being in the moment. Your house won’t be mad at you if the windows aren’t sparkling or the floor hasn’t been washed since yesterday, take some time just to breathe and realize that your life doesn’t actually have to look picture perfect.
- Follow a routine you’ll actually want to follow
When I live my life haphazardly and don’t have a schedule or routine that the girls and I follow everyone feels out of sorts. When everyone knows the expectations right off the bat it makes for smoother days and less time being put in worrying about if you have missed something because you are feeling totally overwhelmed. Experiment with finding the right routine for how your days will go. Everyone will be happier knowing that such a thing exists and what is coming next in the day when you are on a routine.
- Stop trying to be perfect
Lets take a moment to breathe together and talk about this. Motherhood isn’t about being perfect. It’s about trying to be the best that you can be. I don’t know if your life is the same way but I grew up in a culture that showed a woman being weak and vulnerable as a bad thing. For some reason anything less than perfect was just not accepted. And to be honest I don’t want to live my life like that anymore. My life isn’t perfect by any means an I am learning to be okay with that. I am learning to celebrate my successes and embrace those times where I am not perfect and give both me and my girls grace. Life is about being vulnerable and accepting that sometimes heartbreak does happen and that it’s okay not to smile through the trials all the time. Sometimes we need to be able to cry or shake our fists at our circumstances. But ultimately what it comes down to is realizing that through God’s grace we can accomplish anything we put our minds to and we don’t need to always do it perfectly.
I really wanted to share ways to recharge after mommy burnout because I have faced a lot of times where I have been so physically mentally and emotionally exhausted I felt like I couldn’t go on. I kept trying to smile through the exhaustion. The trial. The pain and hurt only to feel even more exhausted. I quietly loathed my friends who were brave enough to take breaks and recharge their batteries and I realized that if I wanted to be the best mom that I wanted to be then I needed to take time for me.
The Washington Post published an article that talked about the importance of mommy’s taking a day off and while this is definitely my go to now, sometimes it can’t always happen and so when it doesn’t I hope some of the above tips can help you out. Because at the end of the day it is true when momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy and lets be honest a home doesn’t function well without momma being present.
Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!