Stop beating yourself up for wanting a break from your kids! You are not the only one that feels like this at all. Parenting is one of the toughest things that you can do in your life while being one of the most amazing things at the same time.
You’re taking care of a little person, teaching them the ins and outs of the world. This is all while you are figuring out these same ins and outs yourself.
Questioning whether you are doing everything right, making sure not the make the same mistakes that your parents made with you. Wondering if your children understand when you are too tired and not frustrated with them when you don’t feel like playing a board game.
“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.”– Sue Atkins
Being a single parent makes the load twice as heavier because you are doing everything by yourself! Even if you have support from family and friends, it is not the same as having another parent there with you to help out.
I have been a single parent for both of my kids’ lives (ages 13 and 6) and I feel all of your pain, believe me. Waking up an hour and 30 minutes early to get us all ready, pack lunches, and have breakfast before heading out the door.
Having to drop my daughter off at daycare and then my son to school. Barely making it work to my full-time job on time afterward.
Picking them both up and then finally making it home 2 hours after getting off work after being stuck in traffic. Helping with homework while preparing dinner at the same time.
Getting them to bed with little to no time for me to do anything but get in bed myself and do it all over the next day.
I didn’t have anyone that I could call at 9:00 pm for instance to come put my kids to bed while I did absolutely nothing but sit still. Take time to breathe and recollect myself.
I just dealt with the day-to-day stress and frustration, until I made the decision to change that. I had quite a few single mom burnouts before finding ways to cope with feeling like my back was against the wall and nowhere to turn.
Single mom burnouts are when you are so stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted, that you are kind of numb to parenting in general. You don’t want to be bothered with your kids at all.
You are there but not there. You’re just going through your usual routines without paying much attention to your kids or anything else around you.
Signs of a single mom burnout:
- Being physically and mentally exhausted. You feel like a zombie each and every day. Even when you get enough rest, you don’t have much energy and you still feel like crap.
- Not in the mood to get anything done. You have a hard time getting your tasks done at work and at home because you just don’t feel like it.
You put off projects that need to get done by the end of the week, not really thinking about the consequences. You haven’t done the laundry or washed the dishes in days.
You don’t want to do anything but get in bed and sleep until you can’t anymore.
- Always being in a bad mood. No matter if you are having a great day and your kids have been on their best behavior, you are still in a bad mood.
You are irritated, on edge, and don’t want to be around anyone. You even tell your kids that you aren’t feeling well so that you can go to your room without being bothered.
- Feeling like you are a bad mom. You feel bad for not wanting to deal with your kids. For wanting time to yourself, even for just a few minutes.
Your guilt getting stronger as you remember the day you were supposed to take the kids on an outing and you all stayed home instead. You just couldn’t muster up the energy or attitude to get out of the house.
Let’s put an end to this horrible feeling and use these tips to prevent single mom burnout:
- Minimize your daily tasks
Instead of doing everything all at once, break up your tasks more during the week. This gives you some breaks so that you aren’t having to do something every single day.
Stop wearing yourself out trying to do everything at the same time. You deserve breaks, to have a day where you don’t have to do anything when you and the kids get home in the evening.
- Plan ahead
Cook meals that will last a few days. This will save you so much time, all you have to do is heat the food up! It will also be a relief that you don’t have to figure out what to cook for dinner each night.
Take your showers/baths at night and lay clothes out for a smooth morning. This saves a lot of time and your morning won’t be as hectic because everyone won’t be rushing trying to get ready for the day.
- Take a minute to breathe
If you need a minute to recollect yourself, don’t hesitate to do so. We all need to take a breather sometimes, to remove ourselves from a stressful situation so that we can calm our mind.
Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths or even crying it out, be sure to use have that moment before getting back to your kids. Releasing these emotions is so much better than holding on to them and letting them build up.
- Ask for help
Put your pride aside and reach out when you need to. Ask your friends, family, or even your neighbor if they could sit with the kids so that you can get a break from time to time.
We all need help at some point in our lives, and it is perfectly okay to ask for it. I am sure those that you reach out to won’t mind to help out either, so you shouldn’t worry about that.
- Kill the Guilt
You are human just like everyone else, which means that it is okay to want a break from your kids. Give yourself more grace, don’t feel bad for needing to just take some time to yourself.
You are doing an awesome job mom, and your kids know that as well. If you don’t already, start spending more time with yourself, no matter how long. This can be in the morning before starting your day or at night when the kids are sleeping.
Single mom burnout can be very overwhelming. These tips are here to help you find healthy and positive ways to deal with these feelings.
Remember that you are not alone and it is okay to take a break when you need it.