5 ways to avoid mom burnout

With all the stress flying around here lately, I’ve begun to feel a bit worn down. Time to think of some things that restore my energy instead of taking more. Here are some of the things that help me.
I’d love to hear in comments what you do when you’re feeling beat by life and need that little extra pep in your step.

1. Do a project. Something about scrapbooking a few pages or organizing a couple of drawers or rearranging the living room gives me a sense of accomplishment, even in the midst of other challenging situations. This week I cut some extra dish towels into quarters and hemmed them to make cloth napkins. (They’ll come in handy during our 30 days of nothing next month!) Next week I’m hoping to get my bathroom painted — it’s been needing it for awhile and a couple weeks ago I found a gallon of the perfect color for $5, thanks to someone who’d had the paint mixed and then returned it to the store. (By the way, if you’re in need of paint, always check the ‘reject’ paint at the paint store. You’d be surprised at the nice colors that people return. It is usually marked down at least 50%. And don’t forget that you can mix a couple of similar colors if you need more than a gallon’s worth.)

2. Make some lists. When I’m stressed and overly busy, I can feel so scatter-brained that I have a hard time remembering what is most important to get done. Making a list makes it easier even on a stressful day to evaluate my time and get at least a few of the most important things done. This goes a long way toward lowering my stress levels.

3. Get some extra rest. I’m a night owl, and when I have lots to do, I tend to stay up later and later. When the stress is winning over sanity inside my head, I’ll often realize I’ve stayed up until 2 several nights in a row. Often a couple nights of midnight bedtimes are all it takes to help me feel in control of my life again.

4. Spend some quality time with my husband. A couple nights ago when the stress was getting to me, my husband and I put the kids to bed and went and sat in the swimming pool. We watched the sunset and chatted and griped and schemed and laughed. For an hour and a half. It was wonderful!

5. Focus on doing things 15 minutes better each day.

How about you? What do you do when you start feeling burned out?


  1. Wow-I think you were typing MY LIFE! I do all the exact same things, including going to bed at 2:30 a.m last nite-why do we do that??? It is not like the kids sleep in the next day to help us out or anything!! The only things I would add are 1.listening to good, powerful worship music and singing along LOUDLY and 2. praying in a long, hot shower-odd but it works more times than I can count. Plus, the kids do not come in the shower with me (not for lack of trying, though 🙂 )

  2. When I’m irritated, I burn steam well by cleaning fast and furiously. Unfortunately for my house, I am a fairly even-keel person!

    When I’m frustrated or tired, I need the list to get things done. If I do something not on the list, I often write it in and then cross it off! I do try to keep my lists down to from three to five things (except on the day before vacations) so that I have a better chance of finishing the high points. I can always make another list, right?!

    The sense of accomplishment helps me.

    What helps me the most is number four on your list. I know it should be reading my Bible or praying but I find that when I am most tired, I’m scatterbrained and have a hard time praying or reading. My mind just wanders. So, venting to my husband usually helps me keep things in perspective and lets me “houseclean” my own brain. I think it helps him also. After all, husbands get overwhelmed at times too!

  3. Spend too much time on the computer.
    Play dumb games on my vell phone.
    Play dumb games on the computer.

    Sigh, too much of all that lately, I must be under a lot of stress.

  4. Multi-taskingmom says:

    Chocolate….need I say more! Actually getting something done that shows how much work I’ve done…folding a bunch of clothes, vacuuming, organizing something, that helps too.

    My favorite though is after everyone is in bed and asleep, make a snack…let just for example say…a BIG dish of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and walnuts on it…and sit in front of the TV watching some mindless show (we don’t watch much TV here so it’s a treat). It’s down time and since everybody is asleep I can be pretty sure of not being interrupted and I don’t feel guilty that I should be doing something for someone.

  5. I live and work in the same place. When it was time for a break we left the farm and took seven kids camping in Baxter State Park. I really wasn’t ready to come home after only three days but it was a nice break while it lasted. When I can’t leave, which is 99.99% of the time, I take my cup of coffee to the pond and throw in a handful of fish food. By the time they’re done eating and my cup is empty I’m ready to tackle the next thing.

  6. I go to bed early. Not the Mary Owlhaven definition of early (midnight!?!) but at around 8pm. My husband gently encourages me to do this—he can tell when I need to call it a day. It doesn’t happen often. I don’t necessarily sleep, but I get in my jammies, sprawl out, read, or watch TV. Sometimes, he’ll visit me after the kids are in bed bearing a bowl of ice cream or a homemade chocolate shake.

    Or, I’ll go to a movie with some girlfriends/SILs.

  7. Ok, what I TEND To do, is stress snack. But that TOTALLY backfires because then I feel icky and fat and stressed, even as I want to keep snacking. Bad. But what WORKS is; confession, adoration, walking w/ the IPOD on fav tunes and loud, painting for even 30 minutes and letting myself do it poorly and just be happy to push color around on the canvas w/ artroom playlist (quiet music) in the background. ahhhhh. Frozen yogurt w/ husband (ok, it’s food again, yeah, it’s a theme)

  8. I was so down when my daughter had her huge seizure(s) and was in the thick of the medicine jungle….that was when I started run/walking, alone early in the morning, even if it was only for a few blocks at first. It saved my sanity I am sure. Years ago, but a valuable lesson for me! And for the kids too (“uh, mom, go for a walk huh??”)

  9. When I get stressed, I compulsively make list after list until I get it all out. That usually does it for me, but if it’s really bad, and my nubby’s home, I’ll take a little time off and hide myself in a dark bedroom with Solitudes music blaring loud enough to drown out the sounds of my home and either sleep or read… just be “not in charge” for awhile.