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We are not OK: Pandemic survey finds moms are burnt out, overwhelmed

We asked about pandemic parenting burnout, and more than 1,200 moms answered
/ Source: TODAY

Moms across the country are sending out an SOS!

A survey conducted by TODAY Parents found that 83% of moms are feeling burnt out by pandemic parenting.

"My mental health was really suffering for a while," New York mom Michelle Hudson shared. "Being a parent isn’t easy to begin with, but then add on being contained in a home, limiting social interactions, working full time and taking care of the household."

More than two-thirds of moms (69%) reported feeling overwhelmed, according to our online, unscientific survey of more than 1,200 moms, and 64% shared that the past year has been extremely hard.

Elizabeth Jenkins Madaris, a mom of two in Colorado, became a stay-at-home mom because of the pandemic.

"I had a baby in February 2020, moved cross country in March 2020, attempted to start working full time in August, but had to end up quitting because the kids' daycare kept closing down," Madaris told TODAY Parents, adding that staying at home with her sons is harder than working full time. "Now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom who never wanted to be with two rambunctious boys in Colorado desperately trying to find things for them to do together, take them places on a budget — that are opened — and keep my sanity."

TODAY's survey showed that 83% of moms say they are doing 60 percent or more of the housework or home responsibilities.

Most moms, 60%, say they rarely or never take time for their own well-being, something Dr. Whitney Casares cautions against to avoid burnout.

"All moms need consistent opportunities to reflect and re-group, even if for just a few moments at a time," the pediatrician and mom of two told TODAY Parents.

"When we practice making the world around us a little quieter and attuning to our own inner needs and feelings, we’re more centered. Centeredness allows moms to ride the waves of chaos that inevitably come crashing down throughout the day — be it a toddler’s marathon tantrum, a zoom-bombing six-year-old’s ill-timed intrusion, or a baby’s diaper blowout on our best shirt. When we’re centered and present, we can face motherhood’s challenges with more perspective and less frustration."

While the present feels never-ending for many, hope is on the horizon: 55 percent of moms report that they think next year will be better.

"I always have high hopes, for the boys and for myself," Jenkins Madaris said. "Colt starts Kindergarten in August and is so excited. I can see normalcy in the horizon."