Being a Mom is Exhausting

Motherhood is a job that is not determined by typical work hours. From the moment their child is born, a woman is faced with many new duties that have a strong impact on her life. Mothers with children have many daily duties that revolve around her offspring, and those duties can cause for a mother to feel worn out and exhausted.

Many mothers suffer from what is known as “mommy fatigue”. This is often caused by exhaustion due to the many duties that come with being a parent. Mom’s are typically the main provider for their children, which causes for a mother to experience fatigue from parenting more than a father.

Continue reading to learn more about mommy fatigue and what typically causes a mother to feel exhausted. Also, learn about why it is dangerous for a mother to be tired as well as how mothers can take care of themselves when they are feeling this level of exhaustion.

What Is Mommy Fatigue?

Mommy fatigue is defined as a form of exhaustion that is the result of feeling emotionally and physically overwhelmed by the stresses brought on by parenting. 

Some experiences of women who have mommy fatigue include:

  • Fears that relate to not being good enough
  • Fears of losing her sense of self
  • Fears of relinquishing control

Being judged on whether you have well-behaved children is a fear that many parents, especially moms, will have. Symptoms of mommy fatigue are similar to symptoms of professional burnout; the primary difference between the two is that the symptoms of mommy fatigue relate to parenting. 

Mommy Fatigue Symptoms

Some symptoms of mommy fatigue include:

  • Emotional distancing from children
  • An overall sense of parental incompetence
  • Physical and emotional exhaustion as a result of trying to do too much

Another difference between mommy fatigue and professional burnout is that mommy fatigue cannot be cured by changing jobs or leaving your place of work, which are two common solutions to resolving professional burnout. Mommy fatigue involves a sense of being trapped in this situation and being unable to escape. The role of parenting is a 24/

Women who are first-time moms and women who have had many children and are a more experienced parent can experience mommy fatigue. New moms can develop mommy fatigue due to the restless nights they may have with their newborn or any of the other responsibilities that come with newborn babies.

What Causes Mommy Fatigue?

Mommy fatigue is primarily caused by the stress put on mothers due to the duties that come with parenthood. An added contribution to the exhaustion a mother may face is the lack of sleep and sleep disruption they may face. 

A new mom or a mom with a newborn can face sleep disruption due to the feeding schedule of their newborn. Depending on the method the baby is fed can determine the feeding schedule of the newborn.

Breastfed babies that are 1 to 3 months old tend to need to be fed 7 to 9 times over the course of 24 hours. Bottle-fed babies on the other hand need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours at this age. These variables change as the child ages. As you can see, the types of feeding can play a role in sleep disruption. 

On average, a mother will lose 41.2 minutes of sleep at night during pregnancy and postpartum. This loss of sleep will affect the mother’s physical and mental health, and the relationships the mother has, her employment, and her parental competence will suffer. No matter the period of time you are awake for, any sleep disruption will soon takes it’s toll. 

After it reaches the point where the child will sleep through the night, many mothers find themselves still waking up tired despite having a full-night rest. This form of tiredness has to do less with the physical exertion put on by parenting, but rather is the result of the mental exertion.

Along with caring for children, moms are tasked with many things throughout the day and will have a running to-do list in their minds of everything that has to be done. From cleaning the house, to shopping, to doing any work for their career, to caring for the children, many moms have a long list of things they need to get completed, and the mental exhaustion that comes with this plays into the mommy fatigue.

The Dangers of Being a Tired Mother

As previously described, being a mother is not an easy job. Many mothers find themselves exhausted and feeling a sense of fear that they are not being the best parent they can be. Being a tired mother can be bad for both you and your child.

Some dangers of being a tired mother are included below.

Missing Out On Many Good Things

The exhaustion a mother may feel may cause her to miss out on important events and things in life. For example, if an exhausted mother distances herself too far from her children, she may miss many of the major milestones of her children’s lives, such as first words, first steps, or big achievements when it comes to academics or sports.

Your Child May Start To Feel The Detachment and Sense of Guilt

If a mother looks exhausted or begins to distance herself from her children, they will begin to notice. When the child realizes that their mother is doing this, they may begin to feel a sense of blame, and this can cause the child to not develop properly.

Everything Begins To Seem Meaningless

When you are exhausted, it is hard to find something that brings you enough joy to distract you from that exhaustion. Everything begins to lose its meaning and importance to you. You begin to no longer try as you will feel as though everything you do has no importance and will not help you to overcome the exhaustion you are feeling.

Increased Chance of Catching A Disease

This exhaustion can also have an effect on your immune system which can lead to you being more likely to contract some sort of illness or disease. Your immune system may also begin to feel tired, and it will lack the energy to fight off the diseases. 

This can cause you to more easily contract pneumonia, the flu, or constipation. It is also possible for depression to begin to take its effect on you.

Why Are Moms So Tired?

As previously stated, a mother has many things she must do every day which pertains to her work life, her home, her relationships, and her children. Balancing all of these tasks can be mentally and physically draining which can cause a mother to feel exhausted.

The mental load a mother has to handle every day can be overwhelming and cause for a feeling of burnout. A mother must be “on” 24/7. The job of a parent is not a 40-hour a week job; it is a constant role that will have a person stay awake all hours of the night and constantly run around doing different things for their children.

A mom will always put the needs of her children before her own needs, which can cause a mom to forget to do things for herself, like making sure she eats healthy and gets enough sleep at night.

Not getting enough sleep is one of the major factors which can contribute to the feeling of fatigue a mother will experience. A mom may sacrifice the ability to have a nice nap in her comfortable bed in order to lie next to their child in order to ensure that their child gets some rest. 

Self Care For Moms Who Are Tired

In order to fight the exhaustion and mommy fatigue, it is important that a mother take some time to care for herself. Self-care is important for moms who will put everyone else’s needs before their own. 

Whether it is taking five minutes to be alone or meeting with friends to take a break from the children, self-care for a mother is the best solution to the troubles exhaustion and mommy fatigue can bring. Give yourself some mom check in time so that you can regroup and recharge. 

Moms spend hours every week taking care of their family, so it is only fair for a mom to seek out a way to care for herself every week. There are ways that moms can do this without leaving their children, and there are ways a mom can do this by leaving her children with another trusted adult.

Some things a mom can do to care for herself are included below.


Lack of sleep contributes a lot to the feeling of exhaustion. Mothers will sacrifice their own sleep schedules in order to care for their children. When a baby is very young, the feeding schedule of the baby can be what determines the sleep schedule of the mother. This will cause the mother to be waking up at various hours throughout the night, thus causing her to lose sleep.

In order to combat fatigue, it is important to try to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night. This will provide a restful night for the mother and allow for her body to get on a better sleep schedule.


Exercise has always been a good self-care method. This does not have to involve making a trip to the gym to do a heavy workout session. Instead, you can do some light aerobics exercises with your children. 

Some ideas for exercise include:

  • Going for a walk around the neighborhood
  • Turning up the music and having a dance party
  • Doing a light aerobics session
  • Yoga
  • Playing with the children

Any of these can help to increase your endorphin levels and reduce the feeling of exhaustion and stress. You do not have to exercise every day, but incorporating exercise into your routine two to three times a week can allow for a major difference in your mood.

Relax And Let Off Some Steam

Another great way to curb the feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted is to take time to relax. Most are able to find a spouse or grandparent who can help care for the children in order to give the mother a much-needed break.

Another way to let off some steam from parenting is finding a mommy support group. This is typically a group of mothers in your neighborhood who can meet together to discuss the issues of parenting and support each other.

If you are unable to find a mommy support group, you can also look to finding a therapist. This will allow for an hour every week to be dedicated to your needs. A mother can speak to the therapist to learn that she is not the only woman who can feel this way and be assured that she is doing her best.

Final Thoughts

Mommy fatigue is a form of exhaustion experienced by mothers that is the result of their many duties as a parent. Many women who experience mommy fatigue fear that they have lost themselves, feel inadequate as a parent, and are physically and emotionally exhausted. 

Since the mother is the primary caretaker of the infant or child, the mother is more likely to face some form of fatigue rather than the father, although the father can also find himself feeling exhausted.

The main solution to mommy fatigue is self-care. Self-care can come in many forms, such as getting enough sleep, taking time to exercise, or taking a night out without the children. This will help to give a mom the break she deserves and help to calm the feeling of being overwhelmed.

About the author
Piper is a seasoned parent who has been through the ups and downs of raising toddlers. As a writer, she shares her experiences and offers practical advice to help other parents navigate the challenges of parenthood.