Great moms are dropping like flies. New moms, veteran moms, step-moms, stay at home moms, working moms, pretty much ALL moms.
Thank god they are still alive….but they are getting hit with symptoms like exhaustion, stress, anxiety, depression and chronic irritation. Some of them are even being diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, autoimmune disorders or thyroid disease.
While these dis-eases are not always a result of getting burned out; I know that burnout certainly isn’t helping our sense of well-being and enjoyment of motherhood…or life for that matter.
You might have heard the saying that you have to put your oxygen mask before others….or you can’t pour from an empty cup. That might be true, but I think it goes deeper than that.
It is not our lack of massages, girl’s trips or green smoothies that are causing us to lose our vitality. While those things are important, the root of maternal distress lies in what I like to call….The Serious 7.
Can you see yourself in any of these statements??
1) You have given more than you received.
Does this sound like you? You always say yes. You always say, “no thanks” when help is offered. You like to be in the role of the helper and it feels absolutely terrible to be vulnerable. You also put everyone else before yourself, and might often hear yourself saying “oh you take the last one” or “I’ll take care of it”.
Healing Tip: Start small. The next time someone offers to help you accept it and feel gratitude.
2) You aren’t being fully authentic, speaking your truth, or valuing yourself.
Does this sound like you? You have a lot of thoughts running through your head and yet rarely speak up. You have big dreams for your life, but often put them on hold to take care of others. You let your husbands/partners dreams take priority over yours.
Healing Tip: Start small. Speak up when you don’t like your meal. Share your dream with a friend. Make a list of all your past success and allow yourself to envision your future successes. Document these experiences to build up your confidence to address the bigger truths.
3) You never learned how to make empowering decisions and try to keep up with everything a “good mom” is supposed to.
Does this sound like you? You always ask for the opinions of others before you make a choice or you second guess yourself once you make a decision. Maybe you even make decisions based on what OTHER people are going to think about you. For example, you don’t go away for a much-needed night away because people will judge you for leaving your kids. You are also exhausted from trying to get your kids to eat a vegetable or turn off Youtube.
Healing tip: Start small. Begin to trust your gut about what is right for you. Practice feeling uncomfortable by doing what you really want to do, even if it’s going to cause someone momentary disappointment. Remind yourself that the best thing you can give your children is a healthy and empowered mother. You can also learn more about your unique Human Design decision making strategy.
4) You would rather say yes to burnout, than experience guilt.
Does this sound like you? You never want to let anyone down and the idea gives you a feeling of intense anxiety. The guilt of not being able to meet a need or take care of a loved one feels overwhelming.
Healing Tip: Start small. Say no to small requests that won’t impact your relationships. Begin to practice EFT or another mindset tool to help you cope with feelings of guilt when they arise.
5) You would rather do it yourself than accept support.
Does this sound like you? You like things done your way. Even when someone offers to help you say, “no thank you” because you KNOW they won’t do it as well as you can. Maybe you even find yourself going back to redo work that has already been done because it just wasn’t good enough.
Healing Tip: Start small. Tell yourself every day, “done is good enough”. Pick ONE thing that you can teach your family to do for themselves like, folding and put away laundry or loading the dishwasher. Let things be imperfect so you can finally go read that book you have been meaning to for the last 6 months.
6) Your physical, emotional or spiritual body is depleted.
Does this sound like you? You eat your kid’s leftovers instead of making your own dinner. You can’t remember the last time you were able to freely express what you are really feeling. You feel disconnected to a power bigger than yourself and wonder what your life purpose could possibly be.
Healing Tip: Start small. Add in some green smoothies or start taking supplements. Call an old and trusted friend. Learn how to meditate.
7) The coping tools that worked in the past are no longer effective in combating stress.
Does this sound like you? You need more than one glass of wine to relax. You find yourself feeling anxious a lot of time. You get emotionally triggered by things that never really bothered you before. You feel like you could take a nap…all the time.
Healing Tip: Start small. Reduce your alcohol consumption as it leads to poor sleep and an inability to believe in your ability to cope. Start a daily gratitude or mindfulness practice. Learn how to use EFT (tapping) or another energy management tool. Make an appointment with a therapist or coach.
I am inviting you to think about the Serious 7 and consider which of them feels most true for you. Only when you have an awareness of why you are struggling can you begin to take the action that will allow you to live out a different story.
The reason I know all of this is because I have burned out and recovered. I lived with debilitating anxiety for months before getting the help I needed. As I look back on that time in my life I can feel deep gratitude for the pain because it led me to become who I am today…a Thriving Mama.