Last week I hit a breaking point. It was one of those weeks where nothing goes as planned and life kicks your butt. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to get to that point knowing that the red flags were there. I had a nasty attitude, I felt physically sick, and I complained about everything. Eventually I pulled myself together, but by then I had already done some damage.
Why am I sharing this? Because motherhood is not easy. No one ever wants to share the bad days (or bad week in my case). But the reality is that it happens and it’s part of our journey. However, there are definitely signs leading up to a burnout and we know when it’s about to happen. So today I want to share ways we can prevent getting to the breaking point.
How Moms Can Avoid Burnout
This is my downfall because I’m introverted and tend to shut others out when I’m feeling stressed. Bad idea. You can’t bottle up those feelings because you will eventually burst and it won’t be pretty (speaking from experience). Let your family know you need help, communicate with your spouse and/or a friend that can provide a listening ear. Read the word, pray and write in a journal where you can release your frustrations. I find that letting it all out helps me avoid burnout.
Say NO generously
Learn to say no without guilt. I’m a people pleaser and tend to take on more work than I should because I hate saying no. Although it took some time, I’ve learned to say no generously without feeling guilty about it. Now when I’m asked to do something, I take my time before responding. If my plate is full and it won’t bring me any value, I simply say no. There’s no reason for us to feel like we have to do it all. Leave margin in your schedule to unwind each day and take a time out for yourself. Even 30-minutes to myself with a good book and coffee, can do wonders for my attitude.
Stop comparing yourself to others
We often read blogs or look at social media where moms share the good days and picture perfect homes. If it makes you feel bad about your own homemaking or parenting skills, get offline! We have to remember that we are only catching a tiny glimpse of their lives. That one picture is not going to give us the full scope of what their life is truly like. That mom might have a perfect home, but be struggling with depression. We simply don’t see the whole picture. So don’t set your standards based on the tiny glimpses that others share.
Lower your expectations
Thanks to glossy magazines and gorgeous Pinterest photos, we have set our expectations unrealistic high. I’ve done this more times than I care to admit. We’ll have an amazing day learning during homeschool, but the house gets neglected in the process. Instead of celebrating, I get down on myself for not being able to juggle it all. What has helped me recently is lowering my expectations for each day. I know that if I spend the bulk of my day working one-on-one with my son, it’s OK that I didn’t get around to folding laundry. It’s unhealthy to put pressure on ourselves to meet some crazy standard that no one truly meets. And unfortunately, many moms are making themselves sick trying to keep up with it all.
What are some ways you avoid burnout? Do you struggle with comparison? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.