Depleted mother syndrome is real and here are the signs
Depleted Mother Syndrome (DMS), also known as mum burnout, parental burn out and stay at home mum burn out. This occur when demands on the mother increases and her resources decrease. As a result of this imbalance, mother’s become more emotional sensitive and can easily be triggered. DMS can also be experienced by all parents and caregivers, no matter the child’s age.
Increased demand may include:
Changes in physical appearance due to pregnancy, and weaning often negatively affect mother’s self-esteem and confidence.
Mothers may also be recovering from pregnancy, breastfeeding, and/or weaning, attachment issues – all of which affects you physically, mentally and psychologically.
Mothers find it tough to maintain their professional status after becoming parents.
Mothers today juggle more tasks, work longer, and sleep less than their own mothers did.
Mothers need to be available 24 hours a day, without sick days, mental health days, weekends, or vacations.
The roles of the mother include: home coordinator, counsellor, organizer, playmate, cook, cleaner, shopper, night watcher, lover and many more.
Some mothers also work full-time jobs, in addition to the many tasks of motherhood, wife, daughter and friend.
The average mother works up to 20 more hours per week than her partner, whether she is earning a paycheck or not.
Too much pressure put on mothers, you are expected to have super-human powers, and resilience. High expectations from family, society, themselves, their husbands, and other mums guilt pressure of feeling that you are never good enough.
Research shows that mothers take parenting-related events more personally than fathers.
Decreased resources may include:
Sleep deprivation and interrupted REM sleep is very real and have long lasting and detrimental effects on the mother including depression, weakened immune system and high blood pressure.
Mothers have very little me-time to recharge, rest, or do ant fun for themselves.
Many mothers have no time to release stress, socialise, exercise, release stress or keep fit.
Sadly, alot of mothers live far from family and friends, and are less connected with a strong community.
The relationship with your significant other becomes more distant and stressful. Statistically, couples with children have 8 times more arguments than couples without children.
Mothers’ diet is usually rushed, unbalanced and sometimes unhealthy – grabbing whatever is easy, available and as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately the result of both decreased and increased demands results in increased emotional sensitivity. When you’re emotionally sensitive, you experience emotions more intensely than others. Your feelings of happiness, love, joy, anger, sorrow, and fear are stronger than average. And if you are not able to manage your emotions, you struggle every day to cope. Here are some signs of increased emotional sensitivity.
Buttons are pushed easily and frequently. Every little thing that wrong upsets you.
All the negative beliefs about yourself as a parent or partner gets heightened –that feeling of am I a good enough parent/wife/.
Your fears get magnified – What if something bad happens to the kids? What if something bad happens to me, who will take of the kids?
Shame, disappointments and anger rise up from no where – I thought this would be easier, everyone else can do it – why can’t I?
Grief also gets magnified over everything you lost since becoming a mum: professional status, body, old self, feeling sexy, friends and family support.
Where sensitivity is at a high, emotional traumas are often remembered, and sometimes re-experienced. Old wound opens up.
Automatic coping mechanisms get engaged. Knee-jerk reactions (you hurt me, I hurt you back), and fight-or-flight reactions are much more easily accessible than mindful actions and empathy.