After a long day with Lilah, I texted my husband “sometimes I hate being a mom”
I needed to get it out. I was feeling so frustrated, so burnt out, so overwhelmed, so needed ALL the time. I boiled over and knew that if I didn’t say the words, I would keep feeling more and more and more irritable and resentful.
I was embarrassed as soon as I sent it. How could I love my daughter so much but then say I hate being a mom?
My husband replied with the PERFECT response. He said “It’s ok to feel that way. I feel that way sometimes too.”
I felt seen and I felt understood and I didn’t feel judged. It was as if this weight had been lifted. When I woke up the next morning I was immediately embarrassed again for feeling that way, especially after seeing Lilah's perfectly sleepy face. Her hair wild and cheeks flushed from sleeping up against me. But, I realized something, in saying that I hated being a mom, I wasn’t saying that I hated Lilah. I was saying that I hated the job sometimes. While hate is a strong word, it is what I felt. I felt that I missed my old life, I felt like I wanted one night where I didn’t have to worry about bedtime. One day where I could just wake up and be and do whatever I wanted with no responsibilities. You see, motherhood is the hardest job any of us will ever do. It is a 24/7 lifelong commitment. There are no days off and sometimes the weight and the importance of the job hits us like a ton of bricks. So, yes it is normal to sometimes hate the job and miss our old lives. We aren’t bad moms for feeling this way. We are normal and human.
Instead of being embarrassed about feeling this way, I’m going to be mindful of it. When I start to feel myself reaching my limit, I’m going to take a step back. I’m going to hand the reins over to someone I trust and take some time for me. When we give ourselves some time away. Some time to be us outside of the role of mother we are able to come back feeling much more recharged and able to be present. Is some time away going to stop us from ever feeling this way? Unfortunately not. But it will give us time and space to breath.
If you are feeling this way or you have felt this way, I'm sharing:
6 tips for avoiding mom burn out
1.Ask for help when you need it! There is no shame in telling your partner, friend, or family that you need help. Asking for help is healthy. So, next time you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help.
2. Schedule a time of the week that is specifically YOU time. If you have a partner, pick a day and time that they will be free so that you can take some time for you. How you fill this time is completely up to you! You can nap, you can go for a walk, work out, anything that makes you happy!
3. Split responsibilities with your partner. Decide on household chores that your partner will always take care of. It could be laundry, cleaning a certain room, in charge of dinner on certain nights, etc. Whatever works for your family.
4. Notice when you are feeling burnt out. Acknowledge it and tell your partner and tell them what you need. Do you need some time alone? Do you need to go for a run or a walk? Do you want to go to the store alone?
5. Notice what makes you feel burnt-out. Is it feeling touched out? Is it times of fussiness? Is it times when sleep is disrupted? Once you know what usually leads to you feeling burnt-out you can anticipate feeling this way and add some extra YOU time into your week.
6. Be open and honest about how you feel. This can be with your partner, a close friend, or a family member. Someone you know that validates your feelings and understands you. By talking about your feelings we are able to process them and work through them.