Supermom Is a Myth, But Parental Burnout Is Real Day 1: Supermom is a Myth But Parental Burnout is Real

Supermom Is a Myth, But Parental Burnout Is Real

Parenting and motherhood have transformed significantly over the past couple of decades. Today, hands-on parenting is the norm as you may have noticed. The modern mother is expected to have it all – a thriving career, a well run home, and well-raised children. It's a tremendous load to bear, and often, women find themselves stretched to the limit. Many moms feel overwhelmed and exhausted, and a lot of this pressure comes from the unrealistic standards imposed by society, peers, and themselves.

Motherhood: A Full-Time Job You Cannot Quit!

Right from childbirth, mothers are constantly working 24/7. They endure not just the physical and emotional challenges of childbirth but also the often-overlooked struggles of recovery. Postpartum depression and hormonal changes are not usually spoken about, and the new mom may struggle alone. Because new moms are continuously caring for their newborn, they don’t put their needs first. There are also higher cases of depression and anxiety among mothers as well as kids today.

A study showed that 13% mothers are experiencing very high burnout today. Burnout affects the mother’s physical and emotional health leading to weight gain, stress eating, migraines, and chronic pain (due to guilt or isolation).

Supermom Is a Myth, But Parental Burnout Is Real

Parents feel compelled to focus on their kid’s all-round development: physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and professional. There’s a lot of pressure to raise high-achieving and successful children. Many studies show that the risk of burnout is higher in over-committed parents.

Why is this?

When you compare today’s motherhood style to that of 15 years ago, there’s a stark difference.

Number of children

  • Earlier: Mothers would often have multiple children who would grow up without fuss or attention. Older siblings usually helped raise the younger kids.
  • Today: A mom’s ðay-to-day life and decisions may revolve around just one child. This can be stressful due to the various expectations. 

Playtime

  • Earlier: Children always were outside playing with other children. They would follow a disciplined routine at home.
  • Today: Children are engaged through sensory toys, flash cards, learning apps, and play dates. Kids are born in a world of “more” and they’re over-stimulated at a young age.

Working moms

  • Earlier: Most women did not have jobs and if they did, work was not as demanding as it is today.
  • Today: Moms are not just spending more time parenting; they are also spending a lot of time at work. While having house help or nannies may ease the burden a bit, moms still spend a huge number of hours both at home and at work.

Types of family 

  • Earlier: The family structure was different. There were family members, grandparents, or neighbors who helped raise or babysit children.
  • Today: More nuclear and single household families exist today, and people are living in different parts of the world. It’s an isolating role as a parent, especially when you have no one to share the responsibility with!

The Race for Perfectionism 

  • Our society commonly expects that a woman should do everything: be accomplished at work, dress well, cook food, raise good children, be house proud, be fit and healthy… and women are trying to do it all alone. 
  • Women are expected to multitask when in fact they should learn to delegate and ask for help. This is not practical or possible!
  • Women are expected to be agreeable and adjusting. They need to compromise their dreams or needs for those of their partners, kids, or families.
  • Women also tend to prioritize everyone else's needs ahead of their own, and this is particularly true for new or young moms. They feel they are not good enough or not doing enough, and this is simply heart breaking.
  • Women are comparing their lives or their parenting with other women on social media or celebrity moms or their own friends. This creates unnecessary self-talk of “I should be doing this better” and this pressure passes on to the child as well.

 

WE SUGGEST: Self-care and self-compassion are not selfish acts; they are necessary for your well-being! When you take care of yourself, you are better equipped to take care of your baby! When you’re more emotionally balanced, your child too will sense your happiness and calmness.