You wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything in the world. However, if you’re honest, it’s one of the most difficult responsibilities in life. Caring for the physical and emotional well-being of your children requires the balancing of your energy, time, and resources. These challenges are only exacerbated for single mothers that don’t have a significant other or strong family structure they can rely on.
Feeling as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders, single mothers tend to put themselves low on the list of priorities. Your children, home, finances, career, and the well-being of others take precedent resulting in the downward decline of your health and quality of life. Eventually, you suffer personally and professionally, making the role of a single mother more challenging. Those that don’t get help or make necessary changes end up suffering from burnout.
What is Parental Burnout?
Parental burnout is the condition in which a person feels emotionally overwhelmed by their responsibilities as a parent. They reach a point physically and emotionally where they feel they have nothing left to give. You’re so tapped out that your ability to care for your children (or yourself) declines. Although this can happen to anyone, single parents are at a greater risk.
Are You On The Brink of Burning Out?
As motherhood and stress tend to go hand-in-hand, how do you know when you’re overwhelmed? Although overwhelming emotions manifest differently for everyone, here are some signs that you’re on the brink of single-parent burnout.
- Lack of Self-Care – There are days when you’re so busy you don’t have time to eat a nutritious meal, take a shower, groom yourself, or get a good night’s sleep. However, if this becomes a pattern, it could be a sign that you’re on the brink of burning out. Neglecting to care for your health or physical appearance can quickly lead to depression.
- Social Isolation – Has being alone become something you welcome? While alone time is ideal for your emotional wellness, too much time by yourself can be dangerous. If you jump at any opportunity to get away from others (even your kids), it’s a sign of burnout.
- Lashing Out – When you’re emotionally overwhelmed, anything can tip the scales causing you to lash out. If you find that you have a short fuse when it comes to your kids, co-workers, friends, or family, this could be a sign that you’re in over your head.
- Self-Medicating – Have the stresses of parenthood caused you to start self-medicating? Perhaps your wine intake has increased, or you’ve used drugs and alcohol to numb physical and emotional pain. Although these things may provide temporary relief, they can lead to addiction.
If you’re experiencing signs of single mom burnout, there is hope. As there are several factors that can contribute to your emotional distress, it can take time to discern which methods work best. Continue reading to learn more.
- Take Care of Your Health – Your health plays a vital role in your ability to be an effective parent. If you’ve stopped taking care of yourself, start by developing routines to improve your well-being. Whether you need to change your diet by joining a nutrition program or get your oral health intact by scheduling an appointment with a Westmont dentist, take steps to ensure you’re good inside and out.
- Create A Village – They say it takes a village to raise a child. Although you may not have a significant other or a supportive family to assist you in raising your children, you’re not alone. Everyone from your child’s teachers and coaches to your spiritual leaders and best friends can be there to support you in giving your kids everything they need. Reach out to some of these people, express your needs, and allow them to help.
- Make Time For You – No matter how hectic your life is, you have to prioritize yourself. Your interests, hobbies, and passions matter. Find ways to invest in things that bring you happiness and a sense of purpose. Whether it’s spending the weekend binge-watching your favorite movies in your pajamas or taking a pottery class to learn a new hobby, it’s vital to improved wellness.
Yes, being a mom comes with great responsibilities. Everything you do is to ensure the happiness and well-being of your children. Although sacrificing your time, energy, and resources come with the territory, you can’t forget the most important part of the equation – taking care of yourself. If you’re struggling with single mom burnout, use some of the solutions listed above to help turn things around for you and those you love.