Burnout under any circumstance is a very real and common struggle that is faced is everyday but seems impossible to defeat. Although burnout may seem inescapable as a single mother, burnout does not have to be a long-standing circumstance. As a single parent, the reality that you’re on the journey of parenthood alone and feeling burnt out is nothing to be ashamed about.
The kids need to be picked up from school, you need to find time to get the car serviced, the light bill is $50 higher than last month, and you still have to find time to make dinner and wash that pile of laundry building in the corner. Who wouldn’t feel emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted after juggling a to-do list made for two as one person.
When you feel overstressed and full of anxiety, you may very well be experiencing that burnout you hear about or just got over for the second time this year. Whether you are on the brink of burnout or in the middle of the storm here are seven pieces of advice to help you conquer single mother burnout:
Perfection is all perspective. - When we strive for perfection as parents it magnifies the disappointment when we make parenting mistakes because that fear of failure. Remember there is no perfect way to parent and you are more than good enough.
Remember to breathe. - When things go wrong the first thing we tend to do is panic, especially when we’re fixated on being the perfect parent who has an answer for everything. Maybe your kid knocking over that cup of juice was your breaking point or your job denying your overtime. No matter what initiated that breaking point take a moment to just relax, calm your nerves and breathe mama, breathe.
Write down your thoughts. - Have you ever thought to write down your feelings as psychological relief? It can be extremely helpful to write down your emotions as you experience them throughout the day as a way of expressing your inner feelings through the outlet of a journal/diary. Try it next time you have a bad day or a good day.
Connect with your village. - Avoid secluding yourself when you’re going through a burnout. Instead, include your family and friends in your struggle; they more than likely to have gone through a burnout too. Lean on the people in your life for help when you feel lost.
Be your superhero. - You are so caught up in trying to be a superhero to your kids and everyone else that you forget to save yourself.
Find me time. - It is not selfish to want a bit of “me time” in your day. You could use a manicure, go get one. Your hair needs some TLC, schedule an appointment. Your body is aching, get a massage. Better yet, plan a night out with your friends. Do what you have to do to make time to for what makes you happy.
Assess the source of your burnout. - Take the time to pinpoint the source of your stress and find solutions to minimize the anxiety. Trying to balance a full-time workload, maintain an active social life, and prioritize being a parent 24/7 increases the factors that can be causing your stress.