- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
When Sophia Muthoni received news that she was pregnant she was thrilled and could not wait to be a mom. However, few months of raising her daughter, she begun experiencing frustration, sadness, fatigue, and feeling of being overwhelmed.
“Taking care of my baby all day single-handedly became difficult with every passing day. I started getting very emotional and offended about small things and the routine was driving me crazy. I needed a break so bad,” she said.
According to a study by Frontiers in Psychology 13 per cent of parents surveyed experienced high parent burn out.
Burnout is a loss of enthusiasm, energy, idealism, perspective, and purpose. It is a state of total exhaustion physical, mental, and spiritual brought on by unrelenting stress.
“Those interviewed felt exhausted, less competent, emotionally withdrawn and less productive at least once a week,” said the research.
Admitting to burnout syndrome are at that point, you may be suffering from mothering burnout. To admit that you are burned out doesn’t mean you’ve failed. On the contrary, it’s often the mothers who cares the most who are the most prone to burnout.
“I knew I was going to explode if I did not speak up. My family was very supportive and someone helped me take care of the baby as I rest or do other things. I know many mothers might suffer in silence since they do not want to look like they are complaining about their babies,” Muthoni said.
The Frontiers in Psychology study found that close to 13 per cent of the parents surveyed, 12 per cent of mothers and 11 per cent of fathers experienced high burnout.
Another study by Katrina Alcorn, Author of Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink 88 per cent of working parents reported to suffer stress-related health problems.
However, burnout syndrome still lacks direct definition and the exact figures and prevalence is rare and studies done are not many thus making the condition undetected or associated with stress and depression.
Common symptoms of someone suffering from burnout include feeling drained physically and emotionally, feeling less effective than usual, feeling low and unfulfilled. These symptoms have are common, with studies showing that 14 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 years knew a relative or close friend who was diagnosed with burnout.
The levels differ from individuals to another and those experiencing are encouraged to speak up and ask for help before the situation gets worse.
Dr. Sears recommends that parents get help raising the baby, knowing you cannot do it all, and getting some rest.