15 Warning Signs You’re Too Busy as a Mom (Avoid Mom Burnout)

For me, one of the biggest challenges in being a wife, stay-at-home mom of 8, and homeschooler was not allowing myself to get too busy. Finding balance while keeping my priorities on top required constant effort. When I wasn’t paying attention, it was so easy to miss signs that I was neglecting those things while getting caught up with GOOD but less important tasks.


How do you know when you have allowed too much busyness? There are always tell-tale signs! 

15 Warning Signs You’re Too Busy as a Mom (Avoid Mom Burnout)

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1. Neglecting time with God.

Jeremiah 2:32 Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

Spending time with God is the foundation that everything we do needs to rest upon. When we let this time get crowded out by a busy schedule, we begin trying to do things in our own strength, quickly become overwhelmed, and end up with mommy burnout.

The busier you are, the more important it is to spend time seeking God and His wisdom in daily life

2. Neglecting your priorities.

When you find that your priorities are often being pushed aside for other activities like play dates, soccer practice, dance class or any other good thing, take a few minutes to evaluate your daily schedule and look for any red flags. Because at the end of the day, we are called to keep the most important thing in first place, not put it as the last thing.

Seeking Him - Moms in the Word

3. Neglecting your spouse.

The relationship with your spouse is the most important one, after your relationship with God. It’s important to be purposeful in nurturing your marriage.

Here are some tips to help you keep your marriage strong and avoid much stress and negative feelings: How To Avoid An Expiration Date On Your Marriage.

4. Neglecting your family members.

Do you find yourself just rushing through the things that you “have” to do with or for your family? Are you too busy online, with social media, our cell phones or with outside extracurricular activities to be available for them? When you find yourself feeling resentment about serving your family, you are too busy. I share a time when I wasn’t exactly being an available parent in this post: 7 Tips For Being An Available Parent. 

5. Neglecting the care of your house.

I will be the first to say that as busy moms, home care often isn’t our top priority and that is ok! It certainly wasn’t when I had lots of little ones running around. When you have don’t have much time and you have high levels of stress in the first place, this is something that you may let slide. However, it is important to at least make time for regular maintenance cleaning, and keeping things picked up. (Enlist the help of your kids!)

6. Neglecting time for rest.

It is never okay to go for long periods of time with too little sleep if you can avoid it. This can cause chronic stress, high blood pressure, and other physical challenges. Sometimes we have an extra full schedule that may cause us to have a bit less sleep for a few days, or maybe sick kids that are keeping us up at night. But sleep is essential and can make a huge difference to reduce stress levels and help you be a happy mom!

You need it for your own health, as well as your spirit. You may get away with skimping on it for a while, but it WILL catch up with you in the long run.

Learn to choose what really needs to be done, and what can be left undone in order for you to get the rest you need! Sleep deprivation is not empowering to moms.

7. Neglecting self care, and self renewal.

Making time for self-care and improving your emotional health is just as important as getting enough sleep. You can’t give and serve without taking time to refill your well. Let’s say you can’t remember the last time you had a shower… I’ve been there! 

Mom, it’s time for rest. You will run dry. You will get burned out. There is no doubt you will have less to give, and you will be ineffective in the things you are doing. 

You also need time for self-renewal–maybe it’s a book or activity that feeds your soul, an exercise routine, alone time with God, etc., but make sure there is at least one block of unscheduled downtime each week to focus on just YOU!

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8. You feel like no one understands what you’re going through as a mom

One of the signs you’re too busy as a mom is when you feel people around you don’t understand your life circumstances or challenges. We all need mom friends and social support. We need other people in our own life to encourage us to be the good mom that we are working towards every single day.

Even if it’s true that they really don’t understand what, this can lead to discouragement for feeling alone and like no one has “been there” before. I’ve been there many times and felt totally discouraged. One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to make us feel like we are alone. This way we don’t feel motivated or hopeful that we can make a change and stay stuck in our busy day in and day out.

9. You are constantly tired, even after getting 8 hours of sleep. 

Maybe you finally decide to make sleep a priority and work on your stress response, so you start getting 8 hours of sleep a day. But once that requirement is met, you still feel tired and drained. Worse yet, you feel like there’s still not enough time to get everything done because you are using up some of your “productive time” for sleep. So what’s going on? Chances are you are living a busy life and it’s affecting your emotional state.

You need adequate time for rest and rejuvenation if you want to be able to function at 100% capacity in everything that you do. If you aren’t feeling like your best, even after sleep. Take a look at the rest of the signs below… they will reveal some possible places for you to make a change.

10. Your children are starting to act out because they know they get your attention by acting up. 

It seems like every time you get on the phone or the computer a fight breaks out! This could actually be a sign that the negative attention they are getting is better than not enough attention. So what do you do? Maybe you snap at them to quit and turn your attention back to your phone. Or, maybe you yell at them for fighting without addressing the heart or pointing them to Christ. 

And maybe you find yourself overwhelmed with the acting up and disobedience and you sneak off to the bathroom or another room in your home, once again, to get a few precious minutes of “you time”. BUT the fingers follow and grasping under the door continues. 

Next time, instead of jumping into your busy day or before sneaking away, try spending some time with them before you get started with work or school for the day. Your children’s tanks will be filled and there will be less of a chance of pulling for your attention.

11. You can’t remember the last time you went on a date with your spouse, but you know it’s been too long.

If this is you, please know I understand! But I do want to challenge you to figure out how to fit in dates, alone time together, or quality time with your spouse. Here’s a hint – it involves saying “no” at times. And most importantly, you need to be intentional about making time for each other regularly it won’t just “happen”.

12. You’ve stopped entertaining your children because you just don’t have the energy

When we are mentally and emotionally exhausted from being too busy, we will find it very hard to think creatively. This makes playing games and telling stories (not to mention having patience) hard to do. Often we will just stop entirely.

13. The only exercise you get is from chasing after your children

If you are a busy mom, chances are pretty good that working out is a thing of the past unless it comes to vacuuming, carrying things around, and chasing your kids. This can do horrible things to your body over time: not just regarding weight. Lack of exercise decreases stamina and healthy sleep and may contribute to health conditions in the future like a higher risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. If you’re a mom who has stopped exercising, I want to challenge you to increase your movement each day until you work back into some type of routine.

14. You use food to numb yourself instead of dealing with emotions, stress, and anxiety. 

Often as moms, we operate like we are SUPERMoms. It’s hard to admit, but sometimes we have to acknowledge signs of struggle or even depression that tell us we need help. Maybe it is time for some therapy to help you navigate these emotions, or maybe it’s time for an outside babysitter. Someone who could take over some of your responsibilities while you get to have some alone time to refocus on what matters most. Mom burnout can seriously affect our mental health and if I’m being honest signs aren’t always as clear to us as we think they would be.

15. You’re getting up most mornings and thinking about what needs to be done that day instead of greeting the Lord in prayer and worship before you start your tasks for the day.

God is taking a back seat in your life because He’s not as high on your priority list as doing EVERYTHING else (work schedules, meal plans, play dates/activities with kids, school work schedules) PLUS squeezing in Bible reading. I know this is an Ouch! Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, but it’s time to make a change 🙂 Join me for our Intentional Living Course – Life Management for Busy Moms!

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The signs you are too busy as a mom can be subtle, occurring gradually so that you don’t really notice or they can land all at once. You may even think that being too busy is just part of life–no big deal. 

Perhaps you find yourself growing more and more resentful toward people who seem to have time for church, devotions, outdoors activities, etc., yet somehow still manage to get it “all done” with nice houses/yards, clean bathrooms, dinner on the table at a decent hour…you get the picture.

The truth is no one has it all together. We all struggle somewhere and we all have seasons that we’re too busy. The important thing is to get the help we need!

But the signs that you are TOO BUSY as a mom can’t be ignored! But, when your kids suffer because of it or you are on the edge of burnout, use these tips to help you reevaluate and get back on track!

1. Identify what you’re doing that has the potential to lead to mom burnout

2. Evaluate your priorities and make a list of things that are most important in order of importance

3. Prioritize tasks by how much they contribute to your family’s wellbeing and happiness

4. Schedule time for yourself, even if it means staying home or skipping an event with friends

5. Take care of your physical health – eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, etc. 

6. Connect with other moms in real life and online who can provide support when you need it the most

7. Focus on creating quality family time as often as you can

8. Prioritize spending time with Jesus every day and putting Him first in your life

9. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help from others

10. Practice using the word “no” and don’t feel pressured to say yes when it’s not a good fit.

So what should you do when you realize you are too busy and are neglecting some of these areas?

Read a Busy Mom’s Guide to Finding Time With God

Ask God to :

  • Give you the wisdom to know what matters
  • Show you what can be left undone
  • Give you the self-discipline to keep your God-given priorities in place

The signs that you’ve allowed yourself to become TOO BUSY are often pretty easy to spot IF we are paying attention.

If you find yourself in more than one of these situations, then it’s time to make some changes!

Text on image reads Intentional Living – Life Management For Busy Moms (Online Course)

Regularly check to make sure you are being faithful in the areas that matter, and not letting busyness distract you from your priorities.

Which of these 15 signs you’re too busy as a mom do you relate to? Drop a number in the comments below!

If you desire to be more intentional in your parenting, join me for this FREE challenge!

Show Me How to Live Intentionally As A Busy Mom! [FREE] 5 Day Challenge!
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15 Responses

  1. Kathie, sometimes it’s the little things that trip us up. Taking time for God, our family, and our spouse and so important. When we miss these times, it seems little like no big deal, but it all adds up over time. I love the quote from Jill Briscoe you included. Thank you for sharing at Mom-to-Mom Mondays.

  2. Michele, I never thought of misplacing things as a sign of being too busy, but you’re right! When I’m extra busy and stressed, I tend to lose things….of course, after 8 kids my brain function is a bit slow anyway. lol

  3. Shelby, I remember the days with young ones and how hard it was to find alone time. I share some things that helped me with this in a post called “Who Has Time To Be Spiritual?!” https://thecharactercorner.com/?p=1892 Maybe it will give you some ideas to help you. I always suggest just grabbing a verse to cling to if nothing else, and a quick prayer as you are getting dressed, if nothing else. I also listen to Bible reading on a phone app on days that are crazy.

  4. Liz, that made me laugh! Cleaning isn’t always my first choice either. 🙂 Hmm, I’ll see what I can do about a printable.

  5. Karen, as homeschooling moms our time is always at a premium. I think it’s a constant thing to have to keep seeking God’s wisdom for what we should do and what we should let go. And even when we eliminate some things, it’s still a battle to keep our focus and priorities. I’m glad God is patient with me!

  6. Betty, I love that quote! So true, but yet it’s so easy to get too busy and often the first thing we let go, is our quiet time with the Lord.

  7. I agree. I especially like the one about neglecting time with God. Someone once said, “If you are too busy to make time for God, then you are just too busy.”

  8. Neglecting time for rest… and time alone with God… yep. too busy. It’s hard to know what to cut out though with homeschooling, full time job, and ministry responsibilities. seems like the demands just keep piling up. It’s often easy to get to the end of the day and wonder how life got so busy. thanks for the reminders though. I’ll think about what you said here!

  9. It is so easy to become overloaded with too many things and lose focus of our true priorities. My house and then family usually take the first hits when I’m too busy. It’s always good to get a reminder to shift my focus, thanks!

  10. What if I do #5 on purpose…. I just don’t love cleaning, so it’s the first thing to go when I have more desirable things to do! Great points here in this post. It would make a great bathroom mirror printable… Just sayin’! Blessings!

  11. Oh, #1 is a big one for me. I’m at the point in my life when I am so busy with my kids that it seems literally impossible to even get a few minutes to completely devote myself to reading his Word. This is something I’ve been praying about, but, so far, my time with God has been very sparse. I know that people tell me that this is just a season in my life, but I feel that my relationship with Him has reached a plateau.

  12. Yes to every one of these points.
    I’ve come to realize that my first sign of being too busy is that I start to misplace things. That’s my indicator that something has to slow down so my brain can catch up!

  13. Pam, thanks for stopping in! You’re right — it’s so easy to lose our focus, if we aren’t purposeful.

  14. This is a great reminder to keep our priorities in their rightful place!

  15. Kathie, these are absolutely on point tips. This is something that creeps up in all of our lives no matter what season unless we are intentional about keeping it in check. Happy tone visiting as your neighbor at the Linkup at The Modest Mom today.

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