The myth of the perfect mother and the race for success weigh more and more on many moms who end up giving up under the weight of exhaustion and guilt. Close up on the alarming phenomenon of parental burn-out.
Moms are acting up
"Being a parent has become a way of defining oneself," says Céline Abi Rached, psychotherapist. "Some parents make their children symbols of success to make up for their own failure. They want them to do better than they did, so much that parents communicate their anxiety to their children, which adds a strong emotional charge", she says. "When a child has problems, parents feel a narcissistic injury. A parent looks for the success of his child so that he or she thinks of herself/himself as a 'good' parent."
Have you ever heard of professional burnout that can lead employees into a state of deep depression? The maternal burnout, not to be confused with the baby blues, shares the same principle. Moms are totally exhausted, both morally and physically, and exhaustion sometimes develops into a chronic depressive state. The maternal burnout progresses slowly and begins with a feeling of fatigue. Among the warning symptoms of maternal burnout, the psychotherapist cites the reduction of positive emotions for children. Loss of self-confidence is also a common sign of maternal burn-out; she no longer feels up to it, which makes her become more irritable and verbally and physically abusive towards her children.
According to the psychotherapist, several physical symptoms can also announce a burn out: eating disorders and sleep disorders in particular. "Everyday becomes mechanical, so the mother tries to save her strength and distances herself especially on the emotional level, as well as in her relationship," says the expert.
The imposture of perfect mothers
"As much as we hear about 'happy mothers', future mothers don't expect this level of stress and fatigue," says the psychotherapist. After confronting the reality of things, those mothers do not manage to mourn this ideal maternity and remain attached to this image of a 'perfect mother', since the need to succeed has moved from the professional sphere to the family.
The main idea is to accept not being a perfect mother. While waiting for the entourage to recognize and understand your tiredness, go get help, delegate some tasks and do not hesitate to talk about how you feel with those around you and other moms, and you can even consult a psychologist.