Raise your hand if in the past few months you’ve used one of these terms to describe yourself:
- A Zombie
- A Robot
- A shell of a person
- A ghost of your former self
- Floating through life
- Just getting by
- No more exhausted than that.
- Emotionally exhausted.
- The kind of tired a nap won’t help.
- “Fresh out of giddy up” – Glennon Doyle
The past few years have led to more and more parents self-identifying with burnout. We are so tired. And not the kind of tired that some extra sleep will help. The world as we know it today has demanded so much of us mentally and emotionally that so many days you may feel like you’ve got nothing left to give.
When we hear about a new problem, we jump into mommy fix-it mode instead of empathy and compassion mode. That is what burnout looks like. To do lists before compassion.
I’m thankful that as a behavior analyst, I’ve learned to step back and look at the big picture affecting us moms who are feeling burnt out. What contingencies are at play here? What small behavior changes can we make to improve this rather sad burnout situation?
Behavior occurs within an environment. What we say and do is directly affected by what is going on in our world in that exact moment.
A very scaled down version of the scientific definition of behavior (Johnston & Pennypacker) states: “…that portion of an organism’s interaction with its environment…”
Behavior does not occur in a vacuum. It’s all about the environment.
So what do you have control over in your environment? What minor environmental variables can you work with to help set yourself up for success?
Inside the Banish Mommy Burnout Workshop, we’ll look at this in detail. Track your own moods and then look back at what was going on around you in those moments. Let’s find the environmental variables that are actually helpful in preventing burnout for you. Can’t find any? Let’s identify some baby steps to build some in!
From the father of Applied Behavior Analysis, B.F. Skinner : “The environment shapes people’s actions.” So what can you do to shape your own environment?
When it comes to parental burnout specifically, the types of behaviors or actions that we want to see more of include connection and self-care. Don’t let these big broad terms overwhelm you. It can be as simple as adding in 5 minutes of phone free play time with your child each day to help strengthen that relationship. It can be as simple as telling yourself “this is hard” once every day to build in more self-compassion.
Inside the Banish Mommy Burnout Workshop, learn some more simple behaviors to build up and identify which ones work best for you. Using the science of behavior, we start small and build momentum as we go. Small behavior changes that last can help us defeat, prevent, and banish mommy burnout.
Sign up today for this FREE workshop here: https://www.parentingwithaba.org/parental-burnout-masterclass/