Getting Real about Who Actually Causes My ‘Mommy Burnout’


I opened my son’s daily work folder from school and saw the note, “Please bring a 2 liter bottle of soda for our weekly soda drive! Whichever class brings the most bottles gets a free dress day!”

Matching note in my daughter’s folder. No problem. I added 2-2 liters of soda to the grocery list.

Mommy Burnout | Coastal Bend Mom Collective

We were new to this school, having moved to Corpus Christi just 3 months ago. Our children attend one of the small private schools in the area on scholarship, due to my husband’s job.

As we toured the school, the principal told us about their fall festival, which was their biggest fundraiser for the year, and at the time I thought nothing of it. The two liters were the first in what would become weekly, even daily, requests for items that would be used for this event: board games, McDonald’s toys, cases of water, baked cakes, sports balls of all kinds, candy bars. Two of each, in our case, since we have two kids at the school. Honestly, I can’t even remember them all. To add to the pressure, the kids had been told that the class that brought the most of each item, would get some kind of prize or party, thus adding to the peer pressure to bring all the things.

The first week I was fine. Two liters were no big deal. But two footballs? Two board games? Baking cakes? I felt myself begin to feel stress and resentment. I scrambled to find the items each week and to add them to our budget.

Then came the raffle tickets. Both of my kids came home with 100 raffle tickets each, that they had to sell before the festival.

At that point, I was D-O-N-E. We knew no one in Corpus Christi. Who the heck were we going to sell raffle tickets to? I angrily stuffed the raffle tickets back in their envelope and jammed them back into kid backpacks. The mommy burnout set it. My next moment was not my finest. I hastily typed up a quick email to the principal about how ridiculous all these things were, and how sick I was of getting all these emails, and would they please leave me alone?!

The next day the school principal found me in the hall.

“Hi Mrs. Edghill,” she said, a look of compassion of her face. “I got your email. Listen, I want to tell you that you don’t have to do all of these drives. You don’t really even have to do any of them. They really are optional. I know this festival sort of takes over everything right now, but you just do what you can do.”

And I realized something. Somehow with each note, with each email, I had created a story in my own head that said, “If I don’t do this I’ll be seen as the slacker mom. If I don’t do this, the other parents will judge me. If I don’t do this, someone might think something bad about my kid. If I don’t do this, maybe my kid will miss out on something.”

And this was the problem. This was why I was unhappy and stressed. The mommy burnout was because I was comparing myself with the other moms, comparing my kids with the other kids, and I was doing things I wouldn’t normally do to try to keep up. And the truth was, the other moms didn’t know or care if I did or did not bring the board games.

I think this is one of the secrets to peaceful motherhood: setting your own priorities for your children and family, and then walking forward confidently, sometimes intentionally putting your blinders on and ignoring all the noise and societal expectations going on around you. Saying no to the things that don’t align with your current priorities.

So the next time you find yourself resentful and stressed, stop and ask yourself, “Who exactly has put this expectation on me?” If you realize it’s actually you, feel free to drop whatever it is you’ve unknowingly committed yourself to. Honestly, I doubt anyone will even notice.

Don’t be the cause of your own “mommy burnout.”

You’re still a great mom…..even if you don’t sell the raffle tickets. 


PIN_ Who actually causes mommy burnout