Pandemic Study Shows Moms Are Overwhelmed And Burnt Out

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The study, conducted by TODAY Parents, found that 83 percent of moms are feeling burnt out by parenting during the pandemic

In today’s edition of “things you don’t need us to tell you,” parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic has been far from a picnic in the park. But in a new study conducted by TODAY Parents, the overwhelming majority of moms report feeling, well, overwhelmed, and ‘mom burnout’ during the pandemic is very, very real for the vast majority of mamas these days.

More than 1,200 moms responded to the survey, with 69 percent reporting feeling overwhelmed, and 64 percent sharing that the past year has been “extremely hard.” Along with navigating keeping families safe and protected from the effects of the virus, it seems that job changes, relocating, adding to families by way of new babies and pets, managing added responsibilities — along, of course, with figuring out how to keep kids sane and entertained at home — and honestly it’s a wonder that any of us are still standing.

Colorado mom Elizabeth Jenkins Madaris told TODAY Parents that becoming a stay-at-home mom of two sons is harder than working full-time. “I had a baby in February 2020, moved cross country in March 2020, attempted to start working full time in August, but had to end up quitting because the kids’ daycare kept closing down,” she shared. “Now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom who never wanted to be with two rambunctious boys in Colorado desperately trying to find things for them to do together, take them places on a budget — that are opened — and keep my sanity.”

New York mom Michelle Hudson opened up about the toll it’s taken on her mental health. “My mental health was really suffering for a while,” she admitted. “Being a parent isn’t easy to begin with, but then add on being contained in a home, limiting social interactions, working full time and taking care of the household.”

Even worse: It seems that having everyone home has only added to most moms’ already full plates, with 83 percent noting that they’re doing 60 percent or more of the housework or home responsibilities, and 60 percent saying they rarely or never take time for their own well-being during this time — putting them on the fast track to full-on burnout.

“All moms need consistent opportunities to reflect and re-group, even if for just a few moments at a time,” said pediatrician Dr. Whitney Casares. “When we practice making the world around us a little quieter and attuning to our own inner needs and feelings, we’re more centered. Centeredness allows moms to ride the waves of chaos that inevitably come crashing down throughout the day — be it a toddler’s marathon tantrum, a zoom-bombing six-year-old’s ill-timed intrusion, or a baby’s diaper blowout on our best shirt. When we’re centered and present, we can face motherhood’s challenges with more perspective and less frustration.”

Still, moms remain ever the optimists about the future, with 55 percent reporting that they think the upcoming year will be better, no doubt thanks to increased availability of COVID vaccines and more schools, places, and activities opening up across the country. Here’s hoping we all get the much-deserved rest and ‘me’ time that has been sorely missing since last spring.