How to Avoid Burnout as a Working Mom

Heather Downs Russell of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, discusses how to avoid burnout as a working mom.

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Balancing the demands of motherhood with a full-time job can be exhausting. Between running errands, making dinner, attending work meetings, meeting deadlines, helping with homework, and paying the bills, you might feel like you are losing your mind some days. If you allow yourself to live in a state of chronic stress, you will eventually burnout. Fortunately, if you’re aware of this, there are measures you can take to avoid working mom burnout.


Self-care is a trendy topic, but that doesn’t make it any less critical. You need to take care of yourself if you want to take care of others. If you don’t, you’ll be less effective at work and less present at home. 

To create a self-care routine you can stick to, keep it simple. Make a list of some activities or pleasures that recharge you. Your list might include things like walks, hot cups of coffee, reading, biking, or naps. After you create your self-care list, try to treat yourself to something from your list every day. 

Do a daily workout

Exercise is one of the most underutilized ways to relieve stress. Even if you feel like you don’t have time to fit in anything else, a daily workout should be a priority. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 10 minutes— you’ll feel better for having done it.

If you have trouble being consistent with your workouts, set up some accountability. Have a neighbor meet you for a morning run. Do a home workout with your husband. Meet a friend at the gym. You can also opt for virtual accountability in the form of a Facebook group or a group chat. Having accountability in place greatly increases the odds that you’ll stick with your new routine. 

Set boundaries and keep them

We all have a limited amount of time and energy. When you’re giving 40 hours (or more) a week to work and them mothering at home, you have to be very particular about adding anything else to your plate. Find healthy boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Don’t be afraid to say no to commitments.

Keeping your boundaries in place might require some creativity. For example, if your kids are all involved in extracurricular activities and you are running yourself ragged getting everyone where they need to be, try teaming up with other parents to see if you can take turns carpooling. It’s important to ask for help when you need it to keep you from burning out.

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