Do you wake up in the middle of the night panicked trying to remember what you’ve already forgotten to do tomorrow?
Or maybe you are so busy getting all the things done that you barely have time to sleep? It’s no wonder you are tired mom.
I bet you are exhausted mom!
So what’s a mom to do when the weight of the world is on her shoulders?
When she’s feeling depleted and the mental load feels crushing?
I talked with a lot of working moms, moms who work from home and home school moms about how they carve out mom time so they can keep their heads above water.
Not to mention keep their eyes open on endless Zoom calls!
Below is a list of what other working moms shared with me that they do when they start to fall into the tired mom danger zone.
Tired Mom Danger Zone
The Tired Mom Danger Zone is when mom fatigue has crept into your brain and you feel exhausted. It’s when you need tired mom tricks to keep from burning out.
You feel depleted and your energy is gone.
You are snappish with your family and angry about little things that normally wouldn’t phase you.
You are tired mom because you are carrying the weight of your family on your shoulders.
There are decisions to be made, homework to be checked, laundry to be folded and kids to be fed.
When you are exhausted mom, its time to make some trades.
7 Tired Mom Tricks to Keep from Burning Out
1. Prep for the day at 6am
I know not everyone is a morning person. But if you are desperate for more hours in the day, early morning is the best place to find them.
A working mom friend of mine previews her family and work tasks at 6am each day.
She spends 30 minutes double checking calendars, making lunches and prepping for dinner while her family sleeps.
She told me those 30 morning minutes preparing for the day help her to stay sane.
It also allows her to be present with her children at breakfast and not distracted by what else needs to get done.
If you’d like to give waking up earlier a try and need some help getting started check out my article Create a Morning Routine You Can Stick With.
2. Hide in the Shower
Before my daughter was born my OB/GYN gave me this advice.
She said she wanted all her working mom patients to know its okay to use the bathroom as the break room.
As a working mom herself, my OB/GYN understands how hard it is to juggle all the mom things and the mental load that moms carry.
She knows that working moms put themselves last – even when it comes to cleanliness.
My OB/GYN even recommended which baby bouncy seat to register for.
It fits nicely in a small bathroom.
Now that my daughter is older I still hide in the shower.
Sometimes she follows me in and asks a zillion questions. Even if I can’t always get a mental break, the warm water still washes away some of the stress.
3. Make a List of Everything on Your Mind
Another mom friend I know doesn’t go anywhere without her lists.
She knows she can’t remember everything and doesn’t put pressure on herself anymore to try to remember.
Clear up space in your head by brain dumping you to-do list and everything you’ve been thinking about onto paper.
Your nerves, that are raw from you trying to remember everything, will thank you!
I know it’s hard to find time to stop and make a list.
Give it a try while your kid is in the tub.
Grab a pen and paper and start writing. Write until you hand hurts or their bath water goes cold.
Circle two or three things that you HAVE TO get done – like paying the electric bill.
Do those tasks then move on to the next few things.
I like to keep track of my most important must to do’s on this affordable collapsible wipe board the Quartet Glass Whiteboard Desktop Easel, 9″ x 11″, Dry Erase Surface, White (GDE119).
4. Do Something Fun and Spontaneous
Home School Moms I’m directing this one at you – but really all tired moms should try this!
My good friend, who has been homeschooling her children for a long time, will spontaneously take her crew out for a day of fun.
Fun that has zero learning associated with it.
Sure, a trip to the Zoo can technically be education, but worn out Mom you need a break too!
Let the Zoo just be a fun time.
Mom you need to take a mental break!
And yes, I know you are exhausted and don’t have time to take a break for fun.
Because the thing is, you need to recharge your soul when you are wiped out.
Having fun and being present with your kids is a great way to do that!
5. Clean off Your Desk
Working at Home Mom this one is for you!
My personal two step trick to get my crap back together when I’m feeling tired, exhausted and burnt out is
- Go for a long walk with a really good podcast or book.
- Then use the energy from the walk to clean off my desk.
If you are anything like me, it’s easy to let paper clutter take over your desk.
Work papers, family papers and the junk mail all commingled in a giant mess.
When the mental clutter and the paper clutter get overwhelming I tend to shut down.
And its really hard to keep it all together when you’ve shut down, right?
Grab a trash bag and start with the junk mail, envelopes from bills, old printables and anything out of date that you don’t need to keep.
Then sort what’s left and file it.
File it as soon as its sorted so it doesn’t sit in the way for another week or month (or two).
6. Accept Help
This lesson comes from the teenager who lives across the street from me. She’s not a mom but she’s a mom’s angel.
One Saturday morning she knocked on my door and offered to be a “Mommy’s helper”.
I almost said no.
But thankfully I said yes.
The couple of weekend hours that she and my daughter play give me much needed mom down time.
Have you turned down an opportunity for mom time alone because you aren’t good at asking for or accepting help?
Please reconsider this!
Maybe you don’t have a pre-teen or teenager across the street but how about a niece or nephew? Or a retired neighbor?
A great way to practice letting people help you is by using Target Drive Up, Shipt or Instacart.
Letting go and letting others do your shopping is a great first step in asking for help.
7. Be Loyal to Yourself
I learned this one from a boss early in my career, be loyal to yourself.
It’s another hard one for exhausted moms to do. But once you implement this the ROI is huge.
Moms spend so much time carrying the load for our families, trying to keep everyone happy and healthy, that we put ourselves last.
So what does it mean to be loyal to yourself?
This is a little different for everyone but you can start by
- Stop comparing yourself to other moms
- Say no to things you don’t have time for
- Say yes to the things that are meaningful to you
- Set realistic expectations for yourself
- Stick to your routine
- When you think about going for a walk and your little voice tells you that time should be spent doing something for your family – ignore it!
- The movie on TV no one else in your house wants to watch? Watch it!
- That mom who’s hair is always perfect? Don’t try to be her – just be you.
It’s exhausting trying to keep everyone happy.
Put yourself first. A least some of the time.
But if you aren’t loyal to you then who will be?
There’s Always Tomorrow
When all else fail, take a cute from Elsa and just Let it Go.
Give yourself grace and let go of the guilt.
You’re carrying the world on your shoulders of course you are tired mom.
Today and tonight make the best choices you have with whatever energy you have left for your family.
Then go to bed as early as you can and tomorrow try
- Prepping for the day at 6am
- Hiding in the shower if you need to escape
- Make a list of everything that’s on your mind
- Do something fun and spontaneous
- Clean off your desk
- Accept Help
- Be loyal to yourself
- And there is always tomorrow.
You aren’t alone tired mom. We are all in this together.
Check out my article 13 Stress Busters to Cope with Overwhelm for more ideas on how to keep on keeping on.