It’s OK to Feel Burned Out at the Holidays

it's ok to feel burned out at the holidaysIt’s that time again. The time when Santa Claus, Elf on the Shelf, and candy canes are at every department store. The time when bell ringers and carol singers fill the streets. The time when children’s eyes light up with magic that it’s Christmas. But, here you sit. You feel burned out, exhausted, and just not into everything. It’s okay, mom. I am right there with you.

It’s November, and I recently had my third baby. While my children dance around excited for the holidays, all I can do is dream of sleep and a day when someone else is around to hold my screaming newborn. Sometimes, we all feel a little burned out in our motherhood.

While I don’t have the magical answer to how to survive the holidays with a smile, I do know it’s okay to admit that we can all go through seasons where we are just not that into this gift of motherhood. We still love our littles and are thankful, but we just need a recharge.

Of course, we need to be careful and address postpartum depression. For me, this is something I am keeping a close eye on this go around.

Get Support
Burned-out moms can happen for many reasons. Do you have a supportive spouse and help around your home? For me, I have a fantastic husband who works crazy hours, sometimes seven days a week. We recently moved to a new state where we know, well, no one. Moms need support. Get some. I need it. You need it. I joined a local MOPS group here in Arkansas where other moms meet a few times a month for a craft, breakfast, speakers, and just encouragement. Did I mention the free childcare? Find a group at local church to help you stay focused and positive. Reach out to other moms you see at the park, grocery store, or even schools. For me, a lot of my support is from my family back home so I have to have my cell phone handy each day for daily talks with my Grammy.

Acknowledge Your Feelings
Don’t try to hide how you feel. If you feel burned out, tell someone. Tell your spouse and take a couple hours to yourself. Take a bubble bath or even drink some relaxing hot tea when the kids go to bed. If you’re still burned out, go to the spa or take a shopping trip while kids are napping and you have a trusted babysitter. You will feel refreshed and be a better mom for it. Remember being burned out is a temporary feeling. You won’t always feel this way. If you still feel down and out, talk to a professional therapist or someone who can help.

Focus on the Positive
The holidays are full of joy, but sometimes it is hard to see it all when you feel overworked or overtired. Make a list of all of the positive things in your life and see how blessed you are. I have been doing this weekly. This week, I am thankful for the baby snuggles of my sweet newborn. I know they won’t last forever and someday she will be running from me when I try to hug her. Consider volunteering to help out the less fortunate with groups like the Salvation Army or just spend some time in nature reflecting on what good there is in the holidays and in your own little bubble.

So remember, momma, when the Christmas commercials start and the songs change to jolly tunes, it’s okay to feel burned out. It’s amazing what a nap and a good cup of coffee alone can do for your attitude. Hang in there and try to survive the holidays with a smile and hug for your little ones.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she feels super burned out today, but gummy bears and a movie are helping. 

Tags: burned out, mom, new baby, postpartum depression

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