Mommy Overwhelm! Until recently, I didn’t realize this was an actual thing. I thought it was just me, being weak and pathetic, unable to cope. But as my sense of overwhelm has gotten progressively worse over the past few months, I’ve come to realize this is a thing so many of us moms struggle with.
The Final Straw – How I Knew I Had Mommy Overwhelm
I went to research the signs I might have Mommy Overwhelm or Burnout after collapsing in a pile of tears recently, simply because I had forgotten to remind my child of her extra lesson after school. Once I’d calmed down, I realized I had probably completely overreacted but at that moment, not knowing if my kid would pitch up for her lesson, I felt the overwhelm well up inside me like a volcanic eruption that came from deep in my belly and explode out of my mouth in a stream of acidic vitriol and leak from my eyes in a cascade of burning hot, rage-filled tears.
The Signs Of Mommy Overwhelm
- Tired all the time! I don’t know if anyone else will relate to this, but I am bone achingly exhausted all the freaking time. Someone asked me while I was walking up the stairs at work recently if I was in pain. No, I’m just so deep in my bones exhausted, I can’t climb stairs anymore. I literally start counting down the minutes to when I can fall into my bed from the time I leave the office every afternoon.
- Low frustration tolerance and irritability – I have been convinced that my low moods and quick temper, which feel like I’m in a perpetual state of PMS, recently has related back to the fact that I am perimenopausal. But now I’m starting to second guess that. Guys, my kids’ homework is enough to make me collapse in a pile of hot, steaming tears of frustration if the instructions aren’t clear enough. Life has just begun to feel like it’s all too flipping much for me to cope with! Everything has me breathing into a paper bag with a racing heart and hyperventilating.
- Life is a blur & you’ve become forgetful – ah yes! Hard relate. While seemingly ridiculous and mundane things have the power to push me over the edge or have me fixated in the most obsessive kind of way, it’s the important stuff I’m incapable of remembering. I forget important dates and events!
- Sometimes you long for the days when you were child-free! Yes and then I’m overwhelmed by guilt for feeling that way because I wanted these children to badly and I worked so hard to have them and we should be living this happily ever after, instead I feel frantic half the time and have, at my lowest moments considered running away. I love them SO FREAKING much but I feel so lost in my life, so overwhelmed by all the requirements, it feels sometimes like I’m the rope in a tug of war and at some point, I’m going to be torn in half.
- Feel obligated to say you’re happy all the time? Yup! Because I realize I live an extremely privileged life and even though my husband works ridiculously long hours, he is an involved father so I actually should just shut up and suck it up because I have no reason to be feeling this way.
So How Do We Deal When The Overwhelm Becomes Overwhelming?
I tried to research this too and honestly, the answers I found weren’t really helpful.
Drink a glass of water? Ja, no, ok thanks FOR NOTHING!
Exercise – girl I already smash my 900 points Vitality fitness goal every week and guess what I am still overwhelmed and exhausted. Even worse, I have dig SO deep every day to go and exercise because my exhaustion has reached the point of debilitation!
Ask for help – FROM WHO?????????? Because everyone I know is in the same position as me right now!
Hard Truth – I have made an appointment to see my Dr! After almost a year of being medication free, I am accepting that I am NOT coping and I’m going back on medication. Previously, I had been on anxiety and depression medication for years, after being diagnosed with PTSD and Post Adoption Depression Syndrom after Ava was born and my medication levels were fixed up a bit back in 2015 when I had a nervous breakdown.
If I’m honest, I’ve been teetering on the edge of a very high cliff for quite some time now and I truly believe if I don’t get the medical intervention I need NOW, my overwhelming overwhelm is going to push me over the edge and back into another nervous breakdown.
Mamas, I see you, how are you all holding up? Are you ok? It’s ok to admit if you’re not. I’m not and I won’t allow shame to prevent me from getting the help I need to survive this.