Work, Motherhood and Mental Health – Tips for Working Moms

Being a working mom means that your job isn't just a 9 to 5; after finishing work for the day, the second shift begins – taking care of your children. Motherhood is rewarding, yet tiring, especially if you are taking care of young children. Being constantly ‘on shift’ can lead to being subject to continuous stress, and if you don’t take time to relieve some of the pressure, it can take a toll on your mental health.


Being a mom means being selfless and giving, but if you never prioritize your own health and wellbeing, you might feel yourself experiencing burnout or depression. Feeling like this as a mom is more common than you might think – with 42% of moms experiencing depression or anxiety. If you feel that the busy lifestyle of a working mom is taking a toll on your mental health, we’ve got some tips for you!

Burnout in Working Moms

As a mom working full time, balancing work and home life can be a struggle. Feeding, bathing, entertaining and taking children to daycare and school is a round-the-clock job, and requires your undivided care and attention. Doing all of this on top of a fulltime job means that a working mom is never fully ‘off the clock’. Constantly working, both at the office and at home can lead to burnout – a feeling of both mental and physical exhaustion from being overwhelmed and stressed constantly.


New moms can experience burnout, too – as many mothers try to get back to work as quickly as possible after taking maternity leave. Disrupted sleep schedules, night feeds, organizing daycare and hormonal changes after pregnancy and birth can leave newborn moms feeling burnt out whilst they adjust to life with a baby.


When Burnout Becomes Depression

Feeling burnt out can often be resolved by taking a break. However, if you feel as though you are constantly burnt out, or everything you try is not making you feel any better, you could be experiencing depression.


Burnout is different to depression as burnout is situation-dependent, whilst depression can linger regardless of your situation. As hard working moms are never “off the clock”, signs of depression could be confused with being burnt out or stressed. Some key signs of depression are:


  • A lack of motivation, hopelessness or emptiness
  • A constant low mood
  • Not being able to enjoy things like you used to
  • Insomnia and poor sleep
  • Thoughts of suicide or self harm*


A Working Mom’s Brain During Depression

Depression is a genuine mental health concern, and has real implications for your mind, brain and body. Specifically, two important neurotransmitters – serotonin and dopamine, are underproduced or underutilized in a depressed brain. Likewise, if a new mom is experiencing depression, it could be due to the intense hormonal changes which occur during pregnancy and birth. These neurotransmitters are also known as the ‘happy hormones’ since they play an important role in our overall mental wellbeing.


Ways Hard Working Moms Can Address Depression

If you are a working mom experiencing depression or burnout, you are not alone. Recognizing that you are struggling with the stress and pressure of being a working mom is not a weakness; in fact, it is your first step to feeling better. As a working mom, you might feel stretched for time and resources; but there are luckily many simple ways you can address your mental health and improve your overall well being.


Self Care

If you are experiencing burnout or depression as a hard working mom, doing self-care can make you feel more at ease and allow you to express your emotions healthily. Working moms are busy all day, every day, so finding small activities you can do at home can help your overall well being. Try doing a relaxing activity such as reading, light exercise, taking a bath or doing a beauty treatment so you can focus some energy on yourself. We understand it’s not possible to do an elaborate spa day, or take a vacation as a working mom; but finding even five minutes to stretch, meditate, or unwind can greatly benefit your mental health.


Seek Support

Try reaching out to people you trust and talk through how you feel. Sometimes, just expressing your thoughts out loud can help you work through your emotions. Your friends, family or a local mom group can also offer advice and support for you during these times. If you are experiencing severe depression or burnout, consider talking to a psychologist or therapist, so they can support you closely.


Take Care of Your Gut

Did you know that your gut is responsible for producing up to 95% of those happy hormones we mentioned earlier? This is due to the powerful gut-brain axis, a bidirectional channel of communication happening between your gut and brain. Through specific strains of probiotics and care of your gut can lead to improvements in your overall mental wellbeing.


One example is PS128 – the world’s first gut-brain medical probiotic, which has shown to improve outcomes in patients with depression. Through modulating production of those happy hormones, PS128 is able to boost both your gut and mental health, making it a potential option for hard working moms. You can learn more about probiotics for mental health here.


Being a working mom is tough, as your job doesn't finish after leaving the office. Being mindful of your mental wellbeing will help you notice if things are getting too stressful. Trying some self care, seeking support, and supporting your gut-brain axis will help you to overcome periods of burnout or depression. If you feel low, down or depressed for an extended period of time, always seek out help from a licensed mental health practitioner, such as a therapist or psychologist. To all working moms out there – you are not alone, and we appreciate you!


*If you experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm, contact a medical professional immediately


Recommend Reading:

Neurodivergent Women's Self-Care

Three Methods for Natural Stress Relief

What Is the Gut-Brain Axis? How Your Microbiome Can Influence Your Wellbeing

What Are Psychobiotics?


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