As mothers, we are surrounded by the message that motherhood is something that needs to be survived. We’re constantly bombarded with voices that tell us motherhood is going to be overwhelming, busy, and exhausting. There are definitely seasons like this, but it doesn’t have to be! Instead of believing the voices that say we need to always look for the next time to get away or the next time we get to send our kids away, I suggest flipping the narrative. Burnout isn’t inevitable – avoiding burnout in motherhood is possible! Let’s believe that motherhood doesn’t need to fill us with resentment, but it can fill us with joy – even during a hard season. Let’s live out our motherhood as the gift that it is, instead of succumbing to burnout and bitterness.
Motherhood isn’t easy. It’s filled with the realities of life – sleepless nights, children with strong opinions and real struggles, health challenges, relationships, jobs, bills, grocery shopping… all of this affects how we feel during the day. And our feelings can impact how we mother.
But often, we let our feelings about our circumstances take over. You can be physically exhausted, but still find the joy in motherhood. You can be walking through an incredibly hard season, but still enjoy motherhood and avoid burnout.
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Practical ways to avoid burnout in motherhood
No one can do it all – if you are doing too much, or trying to do it all at a pace that isn’t sustainable, burnout is inevitable. So here are some things you can do right now to help create sustainable practices and rhythms in your everyday life:
Shift your mindset – instead of focusing on what you have to do, think about what you get to do. Think about the joy and the blessing of motherhood, instead of the burden. If you are always focused on the hard things, and always surrounding yourself with others who are focused on what’s going wrong in motherhood, you won’t have the space to see the good. You get to choose where to focus your thoughts.
Eliminate the things in your life, schedule, and home that are causing you stress. The world tells us that we need to live at a go-go-go pace. But when we slow down, we’re able to enjoy our families more!
Make your home a space you love – if your home is cluttered or you’re constantly discontent with it, you won’t enjoy being there.
Prioritize the most important daily tasks that need to get done – you won’t be able to do everything, so don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself
Get rest, eat well, and fill your cup – make it a priority to eat nutrient dense foods, get enough sleep, and spend time doing things you enjoy. If you’re in a season where you can’t get out of the house, like if all your kids are really young and you don’t have a support system, take time for a hobby or do at-home date nights or hire a mother’s helper so that you can have some quiet time. You don’t need a spa weekend to reset.
Spend time in the Word and with the Lord; ask the Holy Spirit to root out any bitterness and resentment and turn it into joy
Enjoy your kids – if all you ever do is shuttle kids from place to place, clean up messes, and break up fights between your kids, of course you will think that motherhood is just something you need to survive! Spend time with your kids doing things that they love and things that you love. Find what your family enjoys doing together – go hiking or camping, cook or bake together, visit museums, or watch every Star Wars movie. Have fun together!
Lean on or create community – if you have family or friends, lean on them; ask for help. If you don’t have people who can support you, create community! Find a church or a mom’s group or a homeschool community where you can build relationships. We aren’t made to mother alone!
Release bitterness – there are tasks you need to do over and over. Dishes need to be done everyday. You need to make dinner again tomorrow. Your toddler who doesn’t want to fall asleep without you laying next to him will probably ask for you to lay with him every single day for a month (or more). Instead of grumbling and complaining about these things, release the bitterness over monotonous tasks. They might not be your favorite tasks, but you can change your attitude about them.
Say no – don’t add every good thing to your calendar. You can’t do everything! If saying no is hard for you, practice it. Give yourself a phrase that you can respond with like, “Thanks for thinking of me – I have too many other (family, work, church, etc.) obligations right now, but if I think of someone else who would be a good fit, or if my schedule opens up, I’ll let you know!”
Want to read the full version of this blog post? Find the full post Eliminating Burnout in Your Motherhood and Homeschool in the Cultivate Your Home membership!
One of my favorite things to do is encourage mothers! I’ve written many posts about motherhood and homemaking, with practical tips and encouragement within the Cultivate Your Home membership.
Eliminating and preventing burnout in motherhood and homeschool
How to Avoid Homeschool Burnout
Fill Your Cup
15 ways to recharge as a SAHM
Delighting in your Kids
The Joy of Serving your Family
Embracing your feelings about your season of motherhood
When the World is Heavy
Keeping an Unburdened Schedule
Create Hygge Spaces in your Home