Being a mother is one of the biggest (and best) challenges in a woman’s life, but it is also one of the most difficult and strenuous. It requires availability at all levels and is a real test of endurance from the very first moment. Proof of this is that the first moments are often enough to push women to their limit. Beyond the emotions of childbirth and the hormonal instability of the postpartum period, the months that follow at home are as necessary as they can be solitary. Mothers often feel lonely, tired and overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities during this period. And if these feelings are absolutely normal at first, we cannot let them become constant. Women may feel more fragile and tired at certain moments, but this has to pass at some point.
When fatigue becomes the new routine and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, it is time to seek the help of a professional, because we may be facing a mummy burnout situation. Like the usual burnout we hear so much about, which is associated with tense or toxic work environments, mummy burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion brought on by the stress of motherhood and which, for some women, can be devastating. Such cases go beyond a bit of baby blues or postpartum depression. This kind of maternal exhaustion is much more than that.
How does it feel to be on the verge of a mummy burnout?
Women in this situation are absolutely exhausted, feeling alone, sad and disheartened. They’re often convinced it’s too late to pursue their dreams. They feel lost and don’t know what direction to take in life.
What are the main symptoms of this breakdown?
Besides constant fatigue and tiredness, other physical warning signs include headaches, joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, insomnia, palpitations and an increased heart rate. Emotional symptoms can include irritability, a feeling of isolation, deep sadness, an urge to cry, low self-esteem, anxiety and concentration problems.
Which mothers are more likely to go into burnout?
Any mother who seeks to be perfect, to please everyone and to meet all expectations, however unrealistic, are at risk of a mummy burnout. These are mothers who place a lot of responsibility on their own shoulders and who constantly feel guilty for not being up to it. Single and unsupported mothers, mothers of twins and mothers with children of close ages also tend to suffer from this problem.