Being a single mother is an arduous job that is full of challenging and rewarding experiences. Single motherhood is a roller coaster ride in terms of financial, emotional, social, and physical challenging moments. Things may get more critical and challenging when you are a single mom and can create an ideal environment for burnout and stress. Stressing over critical movements will never help you to solve the difficulties in your life. This guide will help you to navigate the single mom burnout process and how to keep your mental and physical health in good shape.
What Is Single Mom Burnout?
Single moms experience anxiety and burnout and report feelings of going through exhaustion and depersonalization in terms of parenting. Many parents report feeling insufficient in performing child-rearing roles and self-doubt about whether they are good mothers. When self-doubt and societal pressures may lead to burnout and anxiety among single moms, sometimes workplace pressure might cause mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion among single mothers thereby leading to mental health problems and burnout. Single mothers can opt for part-time jobs with flexible schedules to take better care of their children or join a job that comes with better parental leave policies, good company culture, and better infrastructure to overcome feelings of burnout. The transition into single parenthood is indeed a stressful event and is linked to a high risk of depression and mental health issues. Recovering from burnout is possible when you work on your physical and mental health and get a supportive community. The struggle of single parenting leads to a lot of stress for single moms however with good support, planning, and the right stress management strategies you can thrive and overcome feelings of depression and burnout. Single parenting is stressful but there are strategies, resources, and tools through which you can pay attention to your physical and mental health. Single-mom burnout is usually characterized by chronic exhaustion and stress.
Symptoms Of Single Mom Burnout
Single moms working outside the home or stay-at-home single moms might experience symptoms of burnout that lead to decreased effectiveness in terms of professional and personal life. Following are the potential symptoms of single mom burnout
- Extreme physical exhaustion or mental fatigue
- Experiencing emotional depletion
- Becoming short tempered
- Feeling mom guilt regarding reaction, behavior, feelings, or thoughts
- Feeling overly focused or anxious about future
- Experiencing parental guilt
- Experiencing feelings of not being good at work or home
- Inability to seek support from others
- Disconnection from parents or close people
- Having extreme emotional highs and lows.
Factors That Contributes To Single Mom Burnout Issues
Every parent faces parenting anxieties in their parenthood journey. These anxieties are more stressful for single mothers as they have to bear the burden of taking complex parenting decisions on their own without the support of friends or family. Single moms juggle multiple roles like financial concerns, shared custody arrangements, difficult family relationships, and so on. Some other stressors that lead to burnout among single moms are as follows:
1. Emotional Stress
Single moms who have custody of their kids must take full responsibility for raising their kids. Not only do they have to deal with the complexities of parenting and rearing their child alone but also face personal issues. Single mothers have to navigate the parenthood journey without the support of their partner which can take a toll on their emotional well-being and give rise to burnout.
2. Lack Of Social Support
Single moms have to spend a considerable amount of time taking care of their children therefore they are left with little or no time to communicate and interact with other parents. As a result, they feel isolated. Such feelings give rise to depression, loneliness, and burnout.
3. Shared Custody Problems
Single moms who share child custody with their poor parents find it difficult to fulfill their co-parenting responsibilities or manage time and this may lead to anxiety and burnout.
4. Financial Difficulty
Financial concerns are a major factor that leads to burnout problems in single moms. The responsibility of bearing household finances is on the shoulders of single moms without getting any contribution from their spouse or partner. While you may be eligible to reduce your financial burden by seeking child support or government assistance it is not sufficient to live on one source of income and fulfill all the obligations. Studies have found that single moms and dads are at greater risk of navigating economic hardships and this causes a detrimental impact on their emotional and psychological well-being. Financial concerns lead to anxiety, isolation, depression, and burnout.
Why Should Single Moms Seek Help For Burnout?
No matter whether you are a single mom by circumstance or by choice the duties and responsibilities of a single mother may be demanding and can lead to serious burnout. Children are always a primary concern for every parent and single moms are no exception. On the other hand, solo moms try to overdo things sometimes in the hope that their love and effort may feel the vacuum left by the co-parent. While striving to provide the best of everything to children, single moms experience an internal conflict of feelings that gives rise to serious problems like anxiety, stress, and burnout. Moreover managing household tasks, work-life balance, societal pressure, lack of time for children, and financial issues are common stressors among single moms leading to burnout. Single moms need to relax and take a breather to better manage their health.
Tips To Get Single Mom Burnout Help
There are many different strategies to manage stress and burnout symptoms in single moms. Following are the suggestions that will help you to get some signs of relief while managing stress and anxiety level.
1. Make Some Time For Yourself
While burnout in single moms is difficult and gives rise to mental health problems do not be too harsh on yourself. Try to set aside some time for yourself and perform activities that can make you emotionally, psychologically, and physically healthy. It has been seen that an emotionally, psychologically, and physically inadequate person operates indefinitely. Try to create an organized routine for yourself to avoid stress and burnout. For instance working out, doing yoga, setting up a skin care regimen, reading, sleeping, hanging out with your friends, and so on. Revitalizing and calming your mind will help to take better care of your children and get the utmost energy to perform all the parental and household obligations single-handedly.
2. Prioritize Your Mental Health
Research says that the mental health of a mom is linked directly to the child’s overall mental health and development. Despair, stress, burnout, and anxiety of mothers may affect the mental wellness of their children. Therefore do not fall victim to your mental unwellness. Avoid doing things that can affect your mental health. Try decluttering your negative thoughts by meditating, doing yoga, or going on frequent trips with your friends, family, and children.
3. Manage Your Money
Financial challenges are the main reason that leads to stress and burnout among single moms. Poor credit, debt, inconsistent child support, and low income are all financial-related reasons that give rise to burnout. Taking care of your finances is a form of self-care. Single moms can remove the major source of anxiety, stress, and burnout in their lives by paying attention to their present financial situation. If you’re struggling with finances then try to make a budget and stick to your budget. Debt is a major obstacle to saving money and building wealth as a single mom.
4. Do Not Feel Guilty
Single moms suffer from self-doubt and think that they are not perfect mothers and are unable to take good care of their household work and children. Single-working mom burnout is a common stressor for women who have to take up jobs to provide for their families and are also unable to make time for their children. The guilt of not being physically there for children every time can be overwhelming however it is important to remember that you cannot multitask every time and this is acceptable. Keep yourself calm and do not let self-doubt and guilt take over.
5. Have A Positive Outlook
Indulging in negative self-talk may hurt your mental well-being and confidence as a parent. As per research parents going to anxiety, stress, and burnout tend to pay more attention to negative information and threats. This innovation affects the bond relationship with their children. Therefore, attempt to keep a positive outlook in life and avoid indulging in negative self-talk irrespective of whether it’s coming from yourself or through outside influences. Like other mothers, your top priority should be in focusing on raising a healthy, loving, and happy child. While fulfilling your responsibility you may run the risk of getting a burnout however it is important for you to start your day with ease and stop multitasking. Plan for the day in advance and stick to your plan. Take time to encourage and motivate yourself as you are doing a fantastic job alone.
6. Set Boundaries
Single moms need to set limits or boundaries on what they cannot accept or what can be acceptable. Never allow outsiders to take advantage of your energy or time. Generally, single moms are subjected to societal judgment about their parenting decisions and choices. You need to be clear to others whether you are accepting or welcoming such judgments. Setting boundaries will help you in managing your energy and time and avoid getting overwhelmed or burnout. Single moms who want to avoid feelings of burnout and anxiety should find ways to manage stress. Establishing boundaries, avoiding negativity, finding time for yourself, and building a strong support system, are a few strategies to cope better with life challenges.
7. Seek For Support
It is no doubt that children are the biggest support system for single moms and dads. With enormous responsibilities and duties on your shoulder, it is natural to feel lonely and burnout at times. This is more pronounced if you have little opportunity to go out and socialize with others. Emotions may exacerbate feelings of depression and isolation and give rise to burnout. This is why seeking support is necessary for single moms. You can get emotional and financial assistance from your friends and family and there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you are suffering from mental health problems and witnessing burnout symptoms then do not hesitate to go for professional help. When you seek support from others you get emotional support, feel encouraged, and overcome feelings of loneliness and burnout.
8. Incorporate Stress And Burnout Management Strategies In Your Routine
Practicing stress management techniques is a helpful way for single moms and dads to cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and burnout. Take good care of yourself, pay attention to your mental health, make healthy lifestyle choices, make a relaxation routine, and stick to it. Single moms tend to overlook their health while taking care of their children and juggling parental obligations. It is imperative to stay active, eat healthy, and have good sleep to handle pressure and burnout. Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation visualization are some helpful tactics that you can practice every day to take care of your mental health.
Single mom burnout in today’s era is extremely overwhelming however addressing parental burnout and focusing on your mental and physical health will help you to create a plan and move forward in life. Reach out to your church family, coworkers, and next-door neighbors, or join online-mom mom support if you are struggling emotionally. Remember help and support for single moms is available and you need to reach out if you need it. Burnout can leave a detrimental impact on your life. Following the above-mentioned tips and strategies will help to keep burnout at bay and raise your child properly.