Quarantine has been hard on everyone, especially parents. Families that normally spend their days at work, school, and daycare have been living in close proximity almost 24/7, with no space for the personal solitude that many people crave. New parents have had to adjust to caring for a newborn without the customary community support that usually arrives with a new baby.
Moms have always carried a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders. Aside from the fact that many mothers are working jobs from home, there are lots of parenting responsibilities they have to attend to. From cooking meals and doing laundry to helping with homework and entertaining the kids, a mother’s work is never done. Though many moms have partners to take on a large share of these responsibilities, many moms just don’t get a break, especially during quarantine.
But here’s the catch: breaks are essential to maintaining mental health and well-being. Here are just a few reasons moms in quarantine need to take mental health breaks once in a while.
New Moms Have so Much Responsibility. Take a Moment for Self-Care & Sleep For Once!
All moms are busy, but new moms are dealing with a lot of different challenges all at once. They’re usually sleep-deprived, may be battling postpartum depression, and may be healing from childbirth. Newborns require round-the-clock care, and fulfilling those responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially if the baby is fussy or has health problems.
Moms really need to take a break once in a while and take some time for self-care and sleep, even with a newborn. Each family situation is different, but it’s important to make sure that a new mom gets the chance to shower and nap as often as possible. Sleep has an enormous impact on mental health and can make a big difference in a new mother’s mood and well-being.
Breaks Can Be a Time to Reset and Refocus Priorities
We get so caught up in our day-to-day activities that we often don’t stop to think about whether or not we’re focusing on things that are actually making our lives better. Yes, the dishes need to be done eventually, but housekeeping might not be as important as something like reading with your family.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, taking a break can really help. Stepping back and taking time for yourself can give you the space to reset and refocus your priorities. Moms put a lot of unnecessary expectations on themselves—expectations that can lead to burnout or missing out on what’s really important. Take some time to think about your values and priorities so you can center your days around the most important activities.
Take a Break From Work Could Actually Be Good Strategy for Long-Term Productivity
Feeling like you’re spinning your wheels? That’s not uncommon. When you’re overwhelmed and burned out from the work involved with keeping a household running AND working to earn money, it’s easy to become less productive and more stressed out.
Though it’s counterintuitive and hard to do, stepping away from work could be a good business strategy for long-term productivity. Whether that means taking a vacation or sabbatical, or simply taking more breaks during the day, you have to take some time away from work if you want to stay productive. Your brain needs a break—both from work and from the responsibilities of being a mom.
Sleep Deprivation is Real & Can Impact More than Just Moms
Moms are tired! Even though people aren’t rushing around during the COVID-19 pandemic like they were before, it’s exhausting emotionally to stay home all day every day with kids. Sleep deprivation among parents continues to be a problem and can impact the whole family.
A lack of sleep is detrimental to mental health and can influence conditions like depression and anxiety. Parents who don’t get enough sleep aren’t going to be functioning at their peak levels and may struggle with their mood. This can influence the sleep habits of the kids in the house as well and lead to chronic sleep deprivation.
Take a Break! You Need It
It’s often difficult to convince mothers to step back and take a break. But remember, you’re not going to be able to show up for your family the way you want to if you’re struggling with preventable mental health challenges. Taking a break during quarantine isn’t just for you—it’s for the well-being of your whole family. Plus, you deserve it!