Mom Burnout: Signs, Symptoms, & 15 Tips for Recovery

As a mom, you have so many different jobs on your plate. You juggle loving and caring for your children, keeping the house clean (sorta), and loving your husband. Slowly life becomes more and more overwhelming. You have unrealistic expectations of other moms on social media who seem to have it all together, and you feel like you’re not even able to measure up. You begin to experience mom burnout.

You had such high expectations of what an amazing mother you would be, however, motherhood isn’t what you thought it would be. You’re tired of breaking up fights and doing the same thing day after day. Your days begin to run together as you struggle to remain patient with your kids. You know something has to change, but what? How? Take a deep breath, because the good news is that I have some great ways to help you overcome mom burnout and bring down those stress levels.

Can Stay-at-Home Moms Experience Burnout?

It’s so easy for stay-at-home moms to slip into burnout. We put so many expectations on ourselves. You look around at what others are doing and add some more things to your list of things to do. It seems like you should be doing great since you don’t have a full-time job, but we’re all different and can handle only so much. While it may seem like there’s no other way to be a great mom than to do it all, there is a better way.

Depending on your personality or personal expectations, what causes your symptoms of mom burnout may be different than what causes another to experience burnout. While it may be caused by a build-up of many little things, burnout can also be caused by one thing. Maybe your burnout is an expectation of perfection or perhaps emotional burnout from dealing with a child who needs a lot of attention or a new baby. Whatever the cause, it will cause the same results and keep you from being what God has called you to be.

Stay-at-home mom burnout

As a stay-at-home mom, you may experience burnout for different reasons than a working mom or a special needs mom. You may feel guilty for not being able to keep up with your idea of what a good mom looks like. You may think there’s no reason you can’t keep up with all the tasks on your plate. Maybe you are feeling resentful that you’ve given up your career and now you feel less valuable. Perhaps you have lost your identity in the day-to-day tasks of running a home, or you are bored and want to explore new things.

You may feel like you never get alone time anymore, but whatever the reason why you’re feeling the way you are, know that there’s a way through it. As a stay-at-home mom, maybe even especially as a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed. That said, it’s also possible to decrease your stress level, find joy, and thrive in your motherhood.

Mom Burnout pinterest pin with picture of mom with face in hand while son jumps on the sofa beside her.

Special needs mom burnout

A special needs mom is going to have unique circumstances and issues to deal with than other moms do. Besides all the regular tasks that all moms deal with, you have medicine to give, appointments and therapies to attend, extra physical care to give, and unending phone calls and paperwork to take care of. You often feel alone and isolated as you care for your special child.

Your child and the life that comes with it has become incredibly taxing on a physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual level. You are having a hard time and you’re not sure what to do or how to change things. You love your child and want to give your all, but right now you’re just so tired!

What does Mom Burnout Look Like?

Mom burnout will look a bit different for each person, but there are definitely some warning signs to be on the lookout for. If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, be sure to read on for steps to take toward recovering from mom burnout.

Mommy burnout symptoms

Below are some mommy burnout symptoms you may experience as you become more and more overwhelmed by the tasks of motherhood. Whether you’re experiencing a few of these symptoms of burnout or all of them, there is a good chance you are heading toward motherhood burnout. However, there is hope for moving beyond this season of motherhood.

  • Physical exhaustion with low energy levels
  • Short fuse/easily irritated
  • Decreased motivation
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Feeling overwhelmed and helpless each day
  • Days blurring into one another
  • No longer taking care of yourself
  • Becoming increasingly forgetful
  • Not really enjoying your children
  • Decrease in productivity
  • Sleep deprivation due to not getting much sleep or just not sleeping well
  • Changes in physical health as you become more run down

How to Recover From Mom Burnout

Did you just realize you’re experiencing most of the above symptoms and know things have to change? What can you do to regain your joy in motherhood? Mommy burnout is real, and unfortunately, there isn’t an overnight fix. However, the best way you can change things is to start taking small steps in the right direction.

Mom smiling while hugging daughter

You won’t want to try all of these at once, but choose a couple to start on today. While these aren’t necessarily in order, I certainly recommend starting with the first one for sure followed by the second. After that, choose the ones you feel will make the biggest impact on where you are right now.

1. Focus on truths from the Bible

Focusing on biblical truths is the most important thing you can overcome mom burnout. Remind yourself of truths such as God giving you the peace and strength you need. God is always with you and has called you to motherhood. Prayer is a great way to practice your dependence on God.

 You will need to overcome the lies that you are telling yourself about failing. That is a lie from Satan. Biblical affirmations can help with this. Focusing on God’s truths versus Satan’s lies is a great way to change your mindset in a positive way.

2. Ask for help

Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself and be super mom. Lack of support can really lead to feelings of burnout. Let your husband help. Hire a mommy’s helper. Allow good friends to help you clean.

3. Find a support system

Whether it’s your family members, a mom group, or a church group, find some others to give you encouragement and support. You will want a community to give you support in your daily life as well as well as help you in crisis situations. It’s helpful to find a support system that also supports your core values.

4. Recognize that you can only control certain things

Try writing a list of things you can control versus things outside of your control. Focus on the things you can do something about. You can’t do anything about certain circumstances or what others think or feel about you. However, you can choose your attitude, how you spend your time, and certain things you allow into your life.

5. Stay away from negative people and spaces

Especially for the short term, you need to stay away from negative people and spaces. These only add chronic stress to your life and cause more mommy burnout. This is a time to put your own needs above those who are draining you.

6. Simplify your life

There are so many different ways to simplify your life as well as household chores, so be sure to pick a few areas to focus on. By simplifying, you will be able to reduce the stress in your life. Simplifying was one of the best things I did as a mom. It can really make a difference in your overall mental health.

7. Fix your expectations

You are not going to be a perfect mom. None of us are, trust me! By changing your expectations, you will have less to worry about. Just focus on being the best mom you can be to the glory of God. Focus on the things you know He wants you to do instead of what the world around says. 

What does the Bible say about the role of a mother? To learn more about being a godly mother, check out these 10 characteristics of a good mother according to the Bible.

8. Take care of yourself

Dear Mama, set aside time to take of yourself. Get enough rest. Eat healthy food. Go for a walk. Get some sun. Drink more water. These are all ways to take better care of your body which will also help your mind.

9. Stay connected with your husband

Taking care of little people can be draining. However, it’s possible to stay connected to your husband. Remember that quality time together is important, even if you have to do it after the kids are in bed. Try some stay-at-home date ideas as well. As others have said, a great marriage is one of the best gifts you can give to your children.

10. Let go of what isn’t important or necessary

Prioritize the things that help you live more intentionally. We tend to hold onto expectations or take part in extracurricular activities that don’t really fit in with our priorities in life. Sometimes we do things just because that’s how we learned. Let go. Parental burnout is much more likely when your are way too busy.

11. Get a new perspective

Read some encouraging motherhood books or talk to other moms about handling the stresses of being a mom. This can be inspiring, as well as help you see the worth of what you’re doing. You may also get some new ideas of how you can improve on the things you’re struggling with.

12. Let your children entertain themselves

You honestly don’t have to play with them every time they want you to. Yes, you do need to spend time with your children, but they also need to learn to be independent and entertain themselves. Being a mom is hard work and you don’t need to spend hours playing with your children in order to connect with them and love them well.

13. Relaxation each day

By taking even a little time to relax each day, you will be able to de-stress and be better able to handle the busyness of the rest of your day. Have all your children have a quiet time or nap and enjoy a bit of personal time with a favorite beverage while you read, pray, and unwind for a bit.

14. Start a gratitude journal

Choosing to focus on what you’re thankful for will help you have a better mindset and emotional health. You will begin to see the good instead of the things that stress you out. Let the negative thoughts go and focus on what is positive and good.

15. Limit choices

Keep things simple and routine as much as possible. This will limit choices and decrease the stress in your life causing mom burnout. For example, give your toddler two outfit or snack choices. Have assigned seats at the table or in your vehicle. Your children don’t need unlimited choices and neither do you.

Mommy Burnout

Mommy burnout is definitely a real thing as you’ve seen, but you are not alone as you deal with this. Figure out what is causing you the most stress and work toward simplifying or creating a routine to help you minimize or avoid that particular stress.

Is there something you’ve found to really help you in dealing with burnout and overwhelm? Please comment below. I’d also love for you to share if burnout is something you’re dealing with or have dealt with in the past.

I have many resources on this blog to help you in this motherhood journey. I’d love for you to join my email list and/or find me on Facebook. You are not alone.

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  • Aimee Niblack

    As a mom for 18 years and a mom coach for 2 years, Aimee shares her expertise with young Christian moms via her blog and coaching business.

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About Author

As a mom for 18 years and a mom coach for 2 years, Aimee shares her expertise with young Christian moms via her blog and coaching business.

(1) Comment

  1. Aleena Bennett says:

    I love this so much! Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate so much, your heart for Jesus and your willingness to encourage even while you’re in the same season.

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