I should have seen the warning signs of mom burn out coming, but I didn’t. However, I want to share with you, what they are. Mom burn out is real, and if we let it, it can and WILL wreck havoc on our lives.
It was 2:00 in the afternoon; I could barely keep my eyes open. I was tired, exhausted, and quite frankly grumpy. It had been like this for weeks. I wasn’t sure what the problem was.
Could I be pregnant? No.
Lack of sleep? No, not really any more than normal.
Thyroid issues? No. Dr. had just checked my levels.
So, what was the problem?
I was BURNT OUT!
Months of running and doing too much had taken its toll, leaving this mom burnt out. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t enjoy my family, and I couldn’t get out of the funk I was in.
I should have seen the warning signs of mom burnout coming, but I didn’t. However, I want to share with you, what they are. Mom burnout is real, and if we let it, it can and WILL steal the joy from our homes.
Being Overscheduled and Overcommitted
I have been reading through the Best Yes with my in-home Bible Study group and one of our tasks was to mark off time on a calendar. This shows us how much of our time is committed, and how much downtime we have left. I was shocked to see that in reality, I had probably less than 30 hours a week “free”. Now, this may sound like a lot of time to some, but keep in mind this wasn’t counting time paying bills, grocery shopping, grading papers, lesson planning, field trips, cleaning my home or anything that wasn’t done at a “set time” each day. I was overscheduled and overcommitted.
Not Saying NO
Because I am “home” all day it is easy to commit to everything asked of me. As a people pleaser, it is hard to say no.
“Do you want to meet up at the park?”
“Your kids would love this co-op”
“Christmas play is coming up are you in?”
“Can you babysit for me today?”
All of these are great things, however, when added to an already busy schedule they can push us over the edge. Sometimes we need to say NO, so we can say YES to ourselves and our families.
Doing Too Much
When we don’t say no and add to an already overwhelmed schedule we are doing way too much. Homeschooling takes up a lot of our time, add in working from home (if applicable), house cleaning, church functions and kids after school activities and our full plates become a balancing act.
We are doing too much, and we don’t know how to stop it. This quickly leads to burnout!
As homeschool moms, we need to realize that homeschooling is a FULL-TIME job. We need to treat it as such, and not over commit ourselves to outside activities, even IF they seem like a good idea. We need to learn to say NO.
Saying no does not have to be a bad thing. Before committing to something tell the person asking that you need to check your calendar, or speak with your husband. This gives you time to truly consider whether or not it is your best yes.
Moms, let me tell you that burnout is NOT a good thing. It led me to a place where I was not the most pleasant person to be around. Things that seemed great, led me to being an unjoyful mom. Overcommitting led me to running my kids ragged. I had to go back and uncommit from things. I am learning to say no gracefully, so I could say YES to my family.
If you recognize these warning signs of mom burn out I encourage you to do the same. I also highly recommend Lysa Terkeurst’s book The Best Yes. It has reminded me that God has a plan for us, and our time, and being a burnt out mom is not part of it!
If you have faced mom burn out how did you overcome it?
Exactly!! I think comparison makes us think we can do more than what we really can :/
I agree with the whole over-commitment thing. Homeschool moms think that the more they do the better, but sometimes less is more.
Yes! I am grateful for those friends who respect the boundaries we all need.
Oh, prayers! My grandma has dementia and caring for someone dealing with that is a full time job! And yes, you are right it is so important to remind ourselves that burn out is real, and dealing with it is not fun!
Susan Raber says
I was really feeling burnt to a crisp last spring. I won’t bore you with the long list of responsibilities and activities I was involved in, but on top of all the usual homeschool mom stuff, my mother – who has Alzheimer’s – was living with us. I had to watch our for her 24/7. When we finally were able to find a memory care unit for her, it still took 6 months for me to recover physically and mentally from the stress. After 20 years of homeschooling, I knew better than to let myself become so over-committed, and I shouldn’t have let it get to that point. It’s always helpful to remind ourselves and others to guard our hearts, minds, and bodies from burnout.
I totally agree with you on this! I learned to say No years ago. It put some distance between friends, but that is okay. For this season in my life, I want as little outside distractions and obligations as possible. I know I will not regret it!