Working moms today desperately need reassurance & support. Most working mothers today feel burnout, at least some of the time, & the numbers of moms who feel some symptoms of burnout are increasing. These moms are irritable, angry, & exhausted.
Home life factors for working mother burnout:
- Most mothers do not have the support they need at home, from a spouse or partner, a helper, or another caregiver. They are devoting 5 or more hours a day to household chores. Their partners devote only 1-2 hours per day. More household responsibilities translate into chronic stress for mom.
- Most mothers get less than 8 hours sleep each night. Inadequate rest is a major contributor to burnout.
- Most mothers report having little to no time for themselves. Having adequate time & space to consider important issues, to think freely, to make plans & decisions is key to maintaining mental health.
- Mothers are drinking more alcohol & using more CBD products. Using substances to cope with chronic stress is a bad sign, & it contributes to depressive symptoms.
- Most mothers are having less sex & only 40% plan to have more children. They say the reason is inadequate time with their partner. Indeed, marital conflicts contribute to burnout.
Work life factors for working mother burnout:
- Ninety-two percent of mothers feel society is not supporting mothers in general. Nearly seventy percent want more emotional support & more empathy. Most need more caregiving support.
- Most mothers do have some family nearby, although they do not live in multigenerational households. However, 56% of moms feel they lack a supportive “village” outside of family.
- Exhausted mothers pull away from family & friends, & they lose interest in things they once enjoyed. This contributes to burnout. Building support into your life during a pandemic has proven to be impossible.
- Most mothers return to work before they are ready, & only 30% of them believe that they can balance work & motherhood. One third say they are frustrated & cannot do both! The notion that the average working mother can balance all her responsibilities is false.
- Mothers think employers can do more: 1) provide longer, paid maternity leave (64%), 2) increase position flexibility (58%) & 3) provide support for childcare, either on-site or through subsidies (53%).
- Half of working mothers considered leaving the workforce because of childcare costs. Over half of mothers are sometimes or always feeling financial stress or hardship to pay for childcare. Financial stress is a major contributor to burnout.
- Most moms feel that child & household duties have harmed their ability to work. Lack of flexible schedules is a major contributor to burnout.
These are the sad statistics from the Motherly 2021 survey of over 5,800 millennial mothers, aged 25-40 years, a select group designed to represent the US population racially, ethnically, & geographically.
This survey did not inquire about exercise. Nor did it survey mothers about specific self-care & mindfulness techniques, like meditation, yoga, & journaling. All these practices are therapeutic for burnout.