22 Ways To Avoid Mom Burnout
Do one thing at a time.
If you want to avoid mom burnout, then it is important to do one thing at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once! Instead, focus on the task at hand and only that task.
For example, if you are folding laundry then just focus on folding laundry and don’t try to fold clothes while chatting with your kids or doing other things around the house. Focus on what you need to accomplish right now at this moment before moving on to something else later on down the road (or day).
If you’ve ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed by all of the things that need to be done in one day then this tip should come as no surprise: Do one thing well instead of many things poorly!
Start with a list of 3 things to do today– and ONLY 3!
- You will be more motivated to accomplish your goals if you start with a list of only three things to do today.
- When you’re working toward a big goal, it’s easy to get discouraged and lose your motivation. The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is by setting realistic goals for yourself along the way.
- “The key for me was setting smaller goals and then focusing on one thing at a time,” says Bridgette, who has been able to maintain her energy throughout her busy day thanks to this method. Even though she has many things on her plate at once, she keeps them manageable by taking them one step at a time so that nothing feels overwhelming or impossible—and she feels good about what she’s accomplished when each task is done!
Set a time limit for tasks.
Setting a time limit for tasks will help you accomplish more. You can always extend a time limit, but you can’t take the time back once it’s gone.
You can use a stopwatch or timer to help keep track of your workdays, but if you’re like me, keeping an eye on your clock isn’t enough motivation to keep working when all you want is to give up and go play Candy Crush (don’t lie).
I recommend using time blocking instead of a traditional timer or stopwatch in order to set your daily goals and stick with them until they’re met. Time blocking involves setting aside specific blocks of time throughout the day dedicated solely towards accomplishing one task at hand — so no checking Facebook during that block!
Schedule in time for YOU.
We all know that kids need to feel loved and cared for, but we also need to take care of ourselves!
You can’t be a good mom if you don’t first invest in your own happiness and well-being. It may sound selfish, but if you have not taken care of yourself then it’s impossible to take care of others.
The best way to avoid mom burnout is by setting aside some time each week where you do things that make YOU happy. Maybe it means getting out with friends once a week or making sure there’s always a glass of wine waiting after dinner; whatever it is, make sure you’re taking the time!
Find things that you can outsource.
- Hire a house cleaner.
- Use a grocery delivery service.
- Find babysitters for date nights, or have your husband watch the kids while you take a bath.
Designate a “Do Not Disturb” area or time of day in your home.
- Designate a “do not disturb” area or time of day in your home.
- Schedule time for yourself.
- Schedule time for your kids.
Don’t let others’ demands make you feel like you’re neglecting your family or vice versa.
That’s why it’s important to set boundaries and schedules that allow everyone some quality time on their own—and with each other!
Treat yourself like an office manager at a company (the company being your family).
An office manager is someone who manages an organization. That could be a small business or a large corporation, but it also applies to your life as a parent.
When you treat yourself like an office manager, you’re taking on the responsibilities of making sure that everyone has what they need and staying on top of their schedules so that everyone can do their job well.
This is great for both parents and children because in order to keep everything running smoothly, everyone needs to work together and communicate effectively.
As often as possible, take the path of least resistance.
This may sound like common sense, but it’s worth saying: the path of least resistance isn’t always the easiest path.
It’s the one that gives you the most results.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, it can be tempting to take the path of least effort—but this often leads to even more stress in the long run.
The next time you feel tempted by a situation that offers an easy way out, pause for a moment and consider what your end goal is before jumping in.
If there are other options available, explore them first; if not, go with your gut instinct on which direction will get you where you need to be in life without wasting any more time or energy than necessary (and without burning bridges).
Seek help from wherever you can get it (free and paid options are both out there!).
- Seek help from wherever you can get it (free and paid options are both out there!).
- Ask your kids to help around the house. They’d rather do that than go to their rooms, anyway.
- Hire a cleaner, babysitter, or housekeeper once in a while. It’s worth it!
- Find an accountability partner who knows all about mom burnout and will check in with you regularly to make sure you’re not slipping back into old bad habits.
- Hire a virtual assistant to handle your errands and meal delivery so they don’t fall through the cracks like they might otherwise. The more things on your plate, the harder it is for them not to fall through the cracks!
Make your own self-care routine (a non-negotiable).
No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to avoid burnout if you don’t make self-care a priority. Take time for yourself every day and don’t feel guilty about it!
Self-care doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair; even something as simple as eating a healthy snack or taking a walk around the block can give your mind some much-needed R&R.
If time is limited, look for creative outlets that are easy to fit into your busy schedule like coloring books, podcasts, or poetry readings.
Take up something new and fun that is just for you!
The best way to avoid mom burnout is by finding a new hobby or activity that you can do for just yourself. If you are feeling burnt out, chances are that your kids are as well. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do without them! Why not try something new?
- Make some food from scratch
- Learn a foreign language
- Start a journal (or blog) and document your day-to-day life with your children in it
- Try painting or drawing on the computer (or paint by hand!)
- Get involved in community service activities – volunteering at soup kitchens and shelters will help get those good vibes flowing again!
Use the weekends to build better routines for the upcoming week.
The weekend is a great time to reflect on what went well and what didn’t during the week. By planning ahead, you can take care of tasks before they become stressful or overwhelming.
For example, if you know that your daughter needs new shoes because she outgrew her current pair, start researching styles and sizes early in the week so that when Saturday rolls around all you have to do is pull out your credit card at the shoe store.
You should also make sure that both parents spend some time relaxing together as well as alone—even if it means simply watching TV while being on call for the kids’ needs. Finally, don’t forget to set aside time for yourself!
Even if it’s just 30 minutes each day to catch up with friends or do something else fun like reading a book or taking a bath!
Ask for more support from your spouse, significant other, or co-parent (if applicable).
Ask for more support from your spouse, significant other, or co-parent (if applicable).
This is not only an excellent way to avoid mom burnout, but it will also help the entire family bond better.
Be specific about what kind of support you need: Do you want your spouse to take over bath time so that you can give yourself a break?
Could they pick up groceries on their way home from work rather than making you do it on the bus?
Do they have any ideas for how to make dinner more fun for the kids without adding a lot of effort for you?
It’s important that everyone feels comfortable talking about these things openly because this will help everyone be clear about what needs to be done in order to avoid burnout.
Stop feeling guilty because you need alone time from your kids way more than they need you (and vice versa).
A lot of parents feel guilty about having to take a break from their kids. It’s understandable, but if you don’t take time for yourself, you’re going to get stressed out and have a much harder time being around your kids. They’ll also be better off when they see that you’re relaxed and happy.
So what are some ways you can give yourself some time? Try this:
- Set aside one night a week as “kid-free.” Doesn’t matter what it is—a movie night alone; dinner with friends; whatever makes YOU happy! You deserve this! And your kids will be fine without you for an hour or two (maybe even three). As long as they still see that we love them no matter where either of us goes, everyone wins! This one is especially important for those who work full time outside of the house too—don’t feel guilty about taking breaks during the day when necessary either!
Focus on starting, not finishing. The marathon is longer than the sprint, and stamina is crucial on this journey.
When you’re in the thick of burnout, it can be hard to look ahead with any sort of clarity. You may feel like you’ll never get out of this rut, but it’s important to remember that every day is another opportunity to push through and try again.
One step at a time is enough for now; don’t worry about how far you’ve come or how much further you have left to go.
Instead, focus on starting each day well by getting dressed (even if it’s just a shirt and pants), putting on some makeup if necessary, taking a walk outside for fresh air—basically anything that gets your mind off yesterday or tomorrow, and into today.
If there was one thing I’ve learned from my years as an overworked parent, it’s this: The marathon is longer than the sprint. Stamina is crucial on this journey!
Take a break from social media
It’s no secret that social media can make us feel like we aren’t doing enough, or that we are doing too much.
It is also common to compare yourself to your peers and friends on social media. We often see their fun-filled lives and think they have it all figured out. But this isn’t the case at all. Social media just shows a small piece of someone’s life, and it doesn’t show the whole picture—the good days and the bad days, or how hard they worked in order to get there.
Additionally, many people post about things that don’t matter in an effort to get likes/retweets/reactions from others (such as “I’m getting breakfast!).
While this may seem harmless at first glance, when you think about why people do these things (to garner more attention), then it becomes clearer why they can be harmful in terms of feeling like you’re not measuring up as a mom or wife/husband/etc., especially if what you see on your newsfeed makes another person look better than yourself.
Time block your day
To get the most out of your day, you need to be organized. I am all about using my time wisely and not wasting a minute. In order to do this, it’s important to create a schedule and stick to it. A planner is great for this!
I use a digital planner and it helps me plan out my tasks for each day so that nothing falls behind or gets forgotten in the chaos of life with little ones running around the house 24/7!
Another way to stay organized is scheduling your time in blocks each week when possible instead of trying to run errands during nap times or when someone is napping at home with you.
Scheduling specific hours on certain days makes life so much easier because then you know exactly what needs to be done when without having last-minute changes thrown into the mix at random times throughout your day(s).
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Let your kids entertain themselves
One of the best ways to avoid mom burnout is to let your kids entertain themselves. It’s hard for moms to do, but it’s so important.
If you’ve got a little one that can’t play independently yet, get them started with some toys that require no help at all. Balls and bubbles are great for this!
They’re easy-to-understand objects that won’t frustrate or confuse your toddler by requiring them to use complicated tools like scissors or markers.
Another way you can help your child learn self-entertainment is by making sure they have access to things they want or need while they play outside—a water bottle, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses if it’s sunny out (or even if it isn’t!).
And finally: make sure there aren’t any sharp edges lying around that might hurt their little fingers—or yours!
Get dressed every single day
Getting dressed every day is a small step that can have a huge impact on your mental health.
It feels like you’re accomplishing something, and it will make you feel better about yourself.
Get dressed in the morning: Get dressed before your kids wake up or right after they go to bed. Set a timer for 15 minutes and get dressed as fast as possible.
Once the timer goes off, stop and reward yourself with something that makes you happy (like coffee).
Get dressed even if I’m not leaving the house: If all else fails, at least make sure your outfit looks presentable enough to see people face-to-face without feeling overwhelmed by embarrassment or self-consciousness.
This may mean skipping jeans for leggings or using an extra tank top under an oversized shirt instead of wearing pajamas outside of your home (especially since most moms are overextended with laundry anyway).
Get some fresh air – go for a walk
- Get some fresh air – go for a walk
- Get some vitamin D – get some sunshine
- You can also visit the beach, or just go to your local pool.
Have a date night with your spouse or partner
Date night is incredibly important for moms, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You probably already know this, but it helps to hear from other people who are in the same situation as you.
Some of you may say that your husband or partner works all day and then comes home and helps with the kids, so he deserves a break. Or maybe he’s not able to help out as much because he works long hours or travels often for his job.
If that sounds familiar, I have some good news: Date night doesn’t have to be a sit-down at an expensive restaurant with an overpriced bottle of wine; it can be something simple like going for a walk or sitting on the porch and talking about nothing in particular while enjoying some snacks from Trader Joe’s (which is what my husband does).
Just spend time together! The point isn’t how expensive it is—it just needs to happen regularly for both partners’ mental health.
Let go of being a perfectionist
Let go of being a perfectionist.
This is one of the hardest things for me at this point in my parenting journey, but it’s so important!
If you’re constantly trying to do everything perfectly, you will inevitably end up resenting your children and yourself.
Perfectionism isn’t always bad, though. It can be used as a tool to help guide us toward our goals and dreams.
But if we let it dictate every move we make and every decision we make during the day, then there will be no balance and no room for mistakes or failure (and who wants those?).
Instead of comparing yourself to others on social media or other places online where people tend to post their best moments and highlight only what they want others to see, try focusing on yourself instead.
Be kind to yourself when it comes down to how much sleep you got last night or how many times you had lunch out with friends instead of cooking at home (because sometimes those things happen).
*Post originally published May 2022, last updated May 2023.