If you’re emotionally exhausted and worn out, mama, here are 5 things you need to remember. This is for tired moms, angry moms, and those in between.
I remember the day I had an anxiety attack… the anxiety attack that told me something was off.
I had two kids at the time, toddlers, and was pregnant with another. Hormones were raging, I was fatigued, and there was a pile of dishes to be washed.
I laid on the bed shaking with anxiety because of a pile of dishes.
For minutes I laid there thinking about how I hated those dishes. How I didn’t want to wash them. How I was going to have to wash them or have a filthy kitchen that would be nearly just as bad as having to wash the dishes.
Even though I do dishes fast and it’s not an Important Thing in Life… I was so emotionally exhausted that the thought of doing one more thing was enough to nearly give me a nervous break down.
At least I thought I was going to have a nervous break down. Apparently those don’t actually exist…
(Tell that to my heart rate)
Do you forget to sleep, bathe, eat, relax, etc.? NO MORE. This tracker will help you consistently live within your limits so you have more love to give to your family.
5 Things Emotionally Exhausted Mothers Need to Remember
There are seasons when we’re so messed up we don’t even know if we can go on. When you are feeling overwhelmed… here’s what you must remember.
How to follow your gut
It can be extremely difficult to figure out what’s happening in your head when you’re feeling over it. Prayers feel jumbled, your thoughts race, you feel peace, then panic, then peace, then panic.
You can barely make a decision without second guessing yourself and you are, quiet simply, Past The Point.
The goal during this time is to try and harness what peace you do have and hang onto it. You’ve got to learn to follow your gut again.
When you pray and ask God for direction, you’ve got to learn to ferret out that peace and go with it. It feels impossible, but being able to figure out your own thoughts and emotions are key.
Read: The Stay At Home Mom Schedule That’ll Keep You Sane
How to say “No” and stick to it
If you’re emotionally exhausted, odds are you’re burning both ends of the candle.
This may be because you’re working outside the home and in the home, you’re up all night with your babies, you’re having health issues, or life is just hectic and busy. Or, it could be all these things.
One of the best thing we mothers can do when we’re feeling over it is to learn to say no.
Your Overcoming Overwhelm Guide will help take you from practical, emotional, and spiritual overwhelm to a place of more peace and calm, regardless of whether your circumstances change.Learn More
Here are a few people we must learn to say no to:
- Ourselves | Guilt, the “need to be needed,” or a critical spirit need not be our boss. We can starve them out. We don’t have to do every little thing we always did for everyone. We simply don’t.
- Our spouse and kids | It is not loving towards your spouse or your family to run yourself into the ground doing things for them they are capable of doing for themselves. You were not called by the Bible, God, or anyone else to martyr yourself for your mate or your children. You can help them, love them, and let them take care of their own responsibilities at the same time.
- Others | People may want you on their committee, want you to babysit, want your opinion, need help with their work, and so on and so on. If you’re weary and over it, you can simply say “This is not a good time for my family, feel free to ask me at a later date.” The End.
Read: My “Daily Escape” to a Quiet Place & Why It’s Necessary
How you are renewed
Recently, I participated in a challenge and was struck by one of the tasks she gave in the second lesson. We were supposed to think of things in our day that drained us and things in our days that gave life.
I was shocked to realize that my day was nearly entirely filled with things that drained. The things that drained took up so much time I barely had time (or took the time) for things that gave life.
These are not necessarily big things either. But whether they are easy or hard, we simply must put some activities in our days that rejuvenate us so we’re able to love and serve our families as we desire. These may include:
- reading a book
- taking a shower
- reading the Bible
- doing our hair, makeup, looking nice, etc.
- chatting with a friend
- playing a game with our children
- writing in a journal
Even if it’s been years since you felt like “you” try to remember what gave you life and do those things again.
- pinpoint an issue
- draw out how it’s affecting you
- label what you don’t like about it
- determine areas of responsibility
- figure out how it’s showing up
- say what you’d rather happen
- brainstorm solutions
How you got here
I think examination of our situation is a critical thing to do. If we’re feeling completely overwhelmed and over it, often we forget how we arrived there. Sometimes it’s obvious.
Pregnancy, for example, makes you feel like you’re losing your mind. Moving, another example, is such a highly stressful act that you may become easily overwhelmed due to all the changes and decisions that must be made.
Lately, my husband and I have noticed our children are going a tad off the rails. We’ve decided we need to buckle down a bit and get their behavior back on track.
Neglecting your own physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional needs for so long―in an effort to be a selfless mother―leaves you depleted. Being well blesses your family! Learn WIN WIN strategies in my upcoming book!Learn More
We don’t want to be hyper controlling parents, but when most of the day is spent combating attitudes then it’s time for a change.
Having children misbehaving left and right is extremely draining, and you’ll be so happy you took the extra time to find proper consequences for misbehavior.
Read: 32 Consequences “Mean Moms” Use
Don’t end the day with anxiety, stress, and a full mind.
This evening brain dump journal sheet will help you get in a peaceful mindset so you too can sleep peacefully through the night.
How to ask for help
This is a big one.
“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” Anne Wilson Schaef
If you are going to crack it. Be honest and ask someone for help.
If you think you can’t go on. Be honest and ask someone for help.
If you think you are a horrible person and just don’t even know what to do. Be honest and ask someone for help.
Call your pastor, friend, family member, a hotline, or reach out to a stranger on a forum on the internet… whatever you do… don’t try to go at it alone.
Cheri Bywater says
Last weekend I was teaching a class of 4-5 year olds (Sunday school). Another “older” mom and I were laughing at the incredible energy these little people have. I wondered out loud how I did it when I had 4 children under 6.
Then she sadly lamented how much guilt she used to feel for not doing or being enough. We agreed that as tired moms of small children we should have extended ourselves a heap more grace.
Now we both have the advantage of perspective on our sides. But, if I may have a Titus woman moment here – there are many reasons we come to the end of our rope. You have a lot of resources linked up in this article covering those things. But, one of the main causes of mom burn-out is simply volunteering to do too much. Speaking from experience.
There will be plenty of time when the kids are older to do more.
Rachel Norman says
Cheri thank you SO MUCH for speaking wisdom and grace and sharing here. I’ve been thinking a lot lately that perhaps we moms of small kids feel like it will *always* be so manic and busy and crazy that we feel that we must do it all now or we’ll just end up never doing anything again.
Febé Meyer says
Thank you for this comment Cheri… how nobody has shared this nugget with me I don’t know. If I had known this 5 years ago, I would have made SO many different decisions. But I’ve got a few “little people” years left, so thank you for your wisdom!
Thank you for this post! I felt like I was just in a swirl of doubt that would tip over my anxiety cup. The recommendations imbedded throughout the article give me a few things to try out for my mommy utility belt.