June 6, 2022

Ask Amy: How Can I Get Out of My Mom Funk?

When we’re overwhelmed by the 24/7/365 nature of parenting, we tend to blame ourselves for being in a “mom funk,” and look to attitude adjustment as the best solution. In response to this listener question Amy suggests that it’s the workload that might need adjusting, more than the mindset.

A listener wrote:

I am in a mom funk. I always wanted to be a mom, but I underestimated the amount of work and sacrifice it takes to be a mom. I’m exhausted. I feel like I never get a chance to catch my breath and be ready to be a mom the next morning when my kids wake up, and I spend most of the day with my kids just trying to make it to bedtime.

My kids are seven and four, and I really thought that parenting would have gotten easier by now... but I feel just as burned out and depleted as when they were toddlers, perhaps even more now that they both talk (non-stop) and have so many opinions about everything. Not to mention the endless tantrums and meltdowns which I thought would have ended at least two years ago.

My husband works long hours and I’m solo-parenting 90% of the time. When my husband is home he needs to sleep and wants to relax and has so little time to be with the kids, let alone actually help with any house work.

How do I get through this and still be a good mom at the same time? Being a parent right now feels hopeless and endless and relentless and I’m stuck. Sometimes I find myself wondering why I had kids at all when I feel this depleted.

Amy explains that this "mom funk" has another name: burnout. And it's not that we need to adjust our mindset and just push through it--it's that our practical circumstances need to change.

Here are links to some of the resources Amy mentions in the episode:

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia and Emily Nagoski

The WHO's updated definition of burnout

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