Friends, I’m not going to lie – I am ready for a break. This mom needs a break. I love being busy, I really do, but there comes a point where mom needs a break!  There is no shame in recognizing the signs of mom exhaustion.

I’m sure you’ve been here too; it’s a place that looks a little like exhaustion, and a lot like self-care. 

3 signs mom needs a break - pictured mom and child sleeping next to relaxing water
If you can’t even imagine yourself in this picture, it may be time for a break!

Warning Signs That Mom Needs a Break

I saw a picture on a friend’s Facebook post the other day that said:

You can’t fill someone else’s needs, when you don’t feel as if your own needs are being met. 

It struck a chord with me because so many of my friends are mothers and I know that we all feel exhausted at times. It made me think about some of the signs that pop up when I’m truly in need of a break.  

If I’m more aware of my own needs ahead of time, I’ll be able to circumvent the exhaustion that comes with neglecting myself for too long.

Do you see yourself in any of the signs below too?

Warning Sign #1: You see sleep as a luxury

I remember one particular week when I was so tired but had so many things to do, that I stayed up almost all night – two nights in a row. I was exhausted, but I had somehow convinced myself that short 15-minute naps during the day would suffice. Needless to say, they didn’t and by the third day, I was useless.  

When sleep starts to feel like a luxury and is sacrificed for tasks that are not a matter of life or death, it’s time to step back and take a break. Our bodies were not designed to go without rest, and when we deny ourselves sleep, we open ourselves to a greater risk of illness, unclear thinking, and irrational decisions.  

Sleep should never be considered a luxury.

Warning Sign #2: Your patience is at an all-time low

When you start snapping at the people around you, it’s time to take a break. With exhaustion comes an acute lack of patience. Small things that were easy to brush off last week, now become huge issues that demand arguing and tension.

Your patience is non-existent and no matter how hard you try, you can’t keep things from getting under your skin. When you start to feel like this, it’s time to step back, take a deep breath, and declare a time-out for yourself.  

Trust me, I’ve been there and if you don’t take that break, you’ll end up saying things you don’t mean to the people you love the most.

Warning Sign #3: Shower? What shower?

You know how people joke that showering goes to the wayside when you have a newborn? Well, when you’re overworked, over stressed, and just need a break, the same thing happens.  

If you can’t remember the last time you had a long enough shower that you could wash your hair and shave your legs, it’s time to make that happen.  

When I’m at my breaking point, sometimes all it takes to reset is a long, hot shower followed by cozy pajamas and a good book.  

If you need a break… it’s because you deserve a break. 

I used to feel guilty about needing a break.

About not being able to just keep going with a cheerful heart and patience galore.

Thankfully, that changed after my husband kindly but pointedly asked if I would want our daughter to mimic my constant, no-rest for mom lifestyle.

Children model what they see, and I am now more determined than ever to show them that it is absolutely okay for mom to take a break as often as she needs to. There should never be any guilt about taking care of your own basic needs. So, when you start to see the signs in yourself that a break is needed, take it guilt-free with grace and acceptance.

You are worth it.

Take Care of Mom First - photo of a mom laughing in a tropical area
Let’s start with mom!

More Mom Self Care Tips

Stay here at Kids Activities Blog for all sorts of REAL life tips.  If you haven’t read this article about how to love being a mom, go read it right now!  It is one of my favorites.

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