Dear Tired Mum, it’s not all in your head

Posted on Posted in Parenting
Tired mum sitting behind felt baby mobile

Tired mum or not, mothers tend to bear the enormous responsibility of being the centre of their children’s worlds. It’s no surprise that between scraped knees, story time, rushed sips of coffee, meal prep, nappies, play dates, bottles, more nappies and everything in between we often forget to stop… and take a breath.

As it turns out, this perpetual exhaustion you might be feeling could be more than just sleep deprivation. Parental burnout (yes, it’s a real thing), looks so much like post-partum depression that for years it went undiagnosed.

Burnout typically manifests itself through:

  • physical and emotional exhaustion
  • emotionally distancing from your children
  • feeling incompetent as a parent

If you are working a job that made you feel this way, your friends and family would encourage you to walk away. When you’re feeling the same way about being a parent – well that’s when things start to get complicated.

In one study, mothers admitted to feeling overly pressured to be “perfect” and feared that their inability to do so would shape their children’s future in an irrevocable way. In today’s society, where we compare our bleakest moments to everyone else’s shining ones (see Instagram if you need more convincing), is it really surprising that 14% of parents are struggling with burnout?

When you’re in a positive mindset, it is empowering to see the influence you have in your children’s lives, but when you’re feeling like a tired mum, there are two easy ways to help you take back control.

Forget the Guilt

Women are fiends for motherly guilt and our maternal workplace provisions do little to help overcome that feeling. Understandably, it’s difficult for mothers to not feel like the primary caregiver – especially when maternity and paternity leave entitlements are so heavily skewed to the woman’s favour.

But if men can (for the most part) avoid the societal guilt that comes with working away from their children, leaving the house a mess, or ordering dinner because they didn’t have the time – then you can too tired mum.

Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day – some days you have dinner on the table and the children in bed and others you wear your pyjamas all day – it’s called balance.

Prioritise Time for Yourself Tired Mum

Try reaching out to those closest to you

There’s no shame in telling your partner or your parents that you need help. Many grandparents jump at the idea of more time with their grandchildren while you have much-needed time for yourself.

Get help around the house

Is the laundry getting away from you? Or you can’t stand the idea of scrubbing the bathroom floor again? Luckily in the digital age we have a huge variety of affordable help right behind our touch screens. Sites like Airtasker allow you to find help at an affordable price. Another person folding the laundry leaves your hands free for a game of peek-a-boo or a cup of coffee.

Invest in a Quality Childcare Centre

Early childhood education is not only proven to set children up for success later in life, but it is also a great way for parents to recapture their ‘me’ time. While your children are learning and playing with their peers you have the chance to give back to yourself.

If you’ve been tossing up about childcare, then register your interest here for the MindChamps Tour Day. Come and see the difference that over three decades of research makes to your children’s education. Not to mention the difference it can make to you. At MindChamps we are here for families as much as we are for children.