5 Sneaky Signs That You May Be Suffering from Mom Burnout

Being a mom is such a demanding 24/7 job it is no wonder that so many moms feel burned out at one point or another in their motherhood journey. It is quite common for moms to feel burned out when they have young children, under the age of 5, as they are still quite dependent for most of their day to day needs.

Many moms think that they are “just a little tired” not necessarily burned out because they don’t feel like they need an IV caffeine drip, but there are more subtle signs before you get to this degree of burnout. The earlier you can catch and correct course on burnout the easier it is to recover from it.


5 Sneaky Signs That You May Be Suffering from Mom Burnout

  • You are “Wired but Tired”- What does this mean?? Well it means that you wake up in the morning, not feeling rested, drag your butt until you get your first coffee, then you feel pretty good mid-morning. You have lunch, or not, then at around 1-2 pm you feel like you could take a nap, you have another coffee and rebound through until dinner. After dinner you feel tired again, but then come 10-11 pm you can’t sleep?! You are tired but wired. This results in you staying up too late and the cycle starts again the next day. Sound familiar? If you are having issues waking throughout the night, check out this blog post.
  • You have a 1-2 pm Energy Crash- I talked about above, that 1-2 pm energy crash, where if you sit till for too long you will fall asleep may be common, but it is not normal! Please don’t go for that 2nd or 3rd coffee, it will not help your energy in the long run. If you want my free guide on how to get through that energy crash, send me an email or DM. The #1 cause of the crash is not having enough protein at breakfast. Aim for 20 g. You should also have a 10 g protein snack between 1-2 pm to help stabilize energy. The other reason it happens is due to you high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Especially when you don’t eat enough protein, high levels of cortisol cause your body to release glucose (sugar) from the liver. High levels of sugar give us a quick burst of energy for a short period of time, followed by the crash.
  • Your PMS is Out of Control! - You may think bad PMS is just part of getting older or something that happens once you have kids, but it is not. It can be avoided. Chronic moderate to high levels of stress contribute to PMS in a few different ways
    1. Estrogen- it dips at 2 times in the cycle: right after ovulation and right before your period starts. Estrogen is lower across the whole second half of your cycle. Estrogen works to increase serotonin, your feel-good hormone. During the week before your period, your estrogen levels are lower, which lowers your serotonin levels. There are specific foods you can eat, as well as supplementation to help support your serotonin levels
    2. Progesterone- High levels of cortisol lower progesterone, the dominant hormone of the 2nd half of your cycle. Progesterone itself has not been shown to have effects on mood. Progesterone is converted to a neurosteroid called allopregnanolone in the brain which has a serious impact on mood and mental function. Other symptoms of low progesterone include breast tenderness, heavy bleeding, acne, fatigue, brain fog, weight again around abdomen and mood swings.
  • Your Patience has Left the Building- Chronic long-term stress leads to irritability and mood changes by disrupting sex hormone levels, reducing fell good neurotransmitters in the brain and disrupting your sleep. When you are feeling irritable and on edge it is VERY difficult to have the patience you want to have, even with your children. Because your fight or flight response is always on you feel like you have a hair trigger, and it is physically impossible for you to be as patient as you normally could be. This is not something that you can use mind of matter for. Your biology is working against you because of the chronic long-term stress.
  • Reduced Productivity- After reading the 4 other signs above it is probably not a shock to you that all of these things added together cause reduced productivity! One of the big signs of burnout is “brain fog”. What I mean by brain fog is the inability to think quickly and clearly, forgetting what you were doing, or what you were going in a room to get, difficulty concentrating on tasks that you used to be able to easily complete. Moms also have a huge mental load relating to their children, more about that here, so this coupled with being burned out really reduces your ability to be productive. Again, it is not the kind of thing you can yourself to do, it is biology and physiology. It’s not your fault!

These are some of the more frequent sneaky signs that I have seen in my practice treating hundreds of women with mom burnout. This is not a complete list of the signs and it will be a little different for everyone, but if you are identifying with at least 2-3 of these there is a very good chance that you are burned out or on your way to being so very quickly.


If you want to see what your food cravings tell you about your level of burnout, click here to take the 45 second quiz.


I hope that helped to give you some insight on the breadth of symptoms that are associated with mom burnout.


Are you suffering from the above symptoms? I would love to hear from you. Either hit reply or post in the comments below.


Dr Alexis


Dr Alexis practices online via telemedicine and is currently accepting new patients. Click here to book your appointment


Naturopathic Medicine is covered by most extended health benefits




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