Yay! You’re pregnant. Woo hoo! You’ve just had a baby! I am going to be one of the first to congratulate any new momma because becoming a mother is amazing. It really is a blessing to be celebrated.

“Momma/mommy/mom” will quickly become your identity and it’s a not a bad thing. At all. Like I said, becoming a mother is hands down one of the greatest experiences of life.

But I’m going to be real with you for a second: motherhood is exhausting.

It’s exhausting because it’s nonstop. The newborn phase is new and chaotic and when things start to fall into a new routine, teeth come in and new issues arise. When you get all that figured out, you get to do a variety of trial and error feedings with food, praying there’s no allergy issues to surprise you. Then potty training happens and you’re looking at schools and before you know it you finally close your eyes to rest and you’re packing up your kid for college.

Wait. Weren’t we just looking at preschool?!

For real. While it is the most glorious job I could ever ask for, the job requirements make me exhausted to the point of no return sometimes. And that’s where the burnout comes in.

We went on a 2 week trip to Florida earlier this year with an almost 3 year old and a 3 month old. Half for my husband’s work and half for actual relaxation. By the end of the trip I was more exhausted than I would have been if I had been home. There’s not much relaxing when children are involved. And that’s okay. The memories of the chaos definitely outweigh the exhaustion, but the fact is the exhaustion is there.

But while the lack of relaxation is a reality for all of us parents, we have to factor in what we need to do to combat that exhaustion.

Self care is a must.

Go for a walk. Take a shower. Go sit in your car in the garage in total silence. Get a mani and a pedi while you’re at it. Go grocery shopping by yourself. That’s a vacation in itself.

Most of these require you saying to your husband or someone you can trust to keep your children, “Here are the kids. I’m going to be busy for a bit.” Then leave and go do something. But that’s a must. You have to do that.

I feel it’s SO important to tell new moms that this mommy burnout thing can be real – no one told me about it (and if you did, sorry I didn’t listen), so here I am screaming it out loud so that you can validate those awful feelings you might have been having. You’re not crazy. I promise. I have been there. 

You’re a woman aside from being a mom and you can better yourself if you take the time to recharge your battery, even if it’s just getting up out of the 10% zone.

A mom at 20% works better than a mom at 2%. Trust me.

Avoiding mommy burnout isn’t easy. And it certainly shouldn’t be as taboo as it is, but  the reality is us moms march on through almost everything we’re handed. That’s why we’re mommas.

Keep marching, lady. You’re doing great.