When Burnout Creeps In: Millennial Mom Edition
I often have to remind myself to lay down my cape. I lay down my lists of things to do; I lay down responsibilities; I lay down the anxieties that often live rent-free in my head. I take a break. I take a step back. I take time to reflect. And I am still.
In 2020, 97% of Millennial Moms reported feeling burned out by parenting (State of Motherhood Survey Results).That means 97% of Millennial Moms experienced emotional, mental, or physical exhaustion as a result of motherhood. Burnout is often reflected in our attitudes, behaviors, and decisions. It makes us feel overwhelmed, unmotivated, and outright over it. Our patience becomes thin, and our energy becomes depleted.
When I think of my own life, there are so many moving parts that make up the best parts of who I am. So, how could I possibly experience burnout from these most intricate parts of me— school, work, motherhood, marriage? I couldn’t understand how the only things I ever wanted out of life— a loving family and a fulfilling career—could possibly be the root of my experience with burnout?
So when I’m feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or burnt out, what do I do? The answer is actually quite simple: I make time for myself.
Every momma needs her time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or stay-at-home mom-- Mamma, YOU DESERVE. There’s no timesheet for motherhood. The clock is always ticking, and there are no days off. So, where do you find time to dedicate to yourself? Well, you have to make the time.
Make time to put your body and your mind to rest. This was difficult for me. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I work from home; so, it seems like my job, my responsibilities, are never-ending. For me, the prayer was: “Lord, please give me discernment to know when to work and when to rest.” From there, I became intentional about making a little time for myself each day, even if it was just thirty minutes in bed in the morning. A little time to myself each morning to read, to reflect, to journal, to pray— to really feed my soul— was exactly what I needed. It was the remedy to cure the burnout and the weariness I’d been feeling. It was the recipe to refurbish my soul. It was what I needed to allow God to prepare me, to pour into me so that I may be equipped to take on the days to come.
You see, being a Millennial Mom, we spend every day of our lives pouring into the people that we love. As for me, I’m constantly pouring into my children with love and new insights. I’m constantly pouring into my marriage with intimacy and adoration. I’m constantly pouring into my students with encouragement and perseverance. The juices just keep flowing. But as I’m constantly pouring, what’s happening to my own glass? If I don’t take a moment to replenish my own glass, it will eventually run dry. And if my glass were to ever become empty, what would I have left to pour into the people that I care for?
What I’m trying to say is this: In order to pour into the lives of our little humans who depend on us, we must be sure to also replenish our hearts, minds, and souls on a consistent basis. Because what we harbor inside of our hearts will eventually pour out to our children.
So to the Millennial Mom carrying the weight of the world, don’t let burnout creep in and get the best of you. When you grow weary, I challenge you to take a break, take a step back, and be still. Reflect on all of the pieces of you that ignite your fire to keep going. Know that God hand-picked you for the job of motherhood, to assist in this miracle, bringing life into this world. To train up your children on the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). To pour into them, as God continuously pours into you.