April 10, 2017

7 Ways Negative Family Communication Contributes to Mom Burnout & How to Fix It

Written by Rachel Eddins

Mother and son arguing

The list of factors that can potentially cause mom burnout is long. Very long. Up near the top is negative family communication. Mom is almost always the nerve center of family activities and emotions. That alone is enough to cause burnout. When communication has turned sour—or stopped completely—all bets are off.

7 Ways Negative Family Communication Contributes to Mom Burnout

1. Stressful surprises
When a team is not communicating, things can get unpredictable. That means mom will be playing catch-up on a regular basis. How can she be prepared for something when no one is clearly communicating with each other? These stressful surprises add up and take their toll.

2. Passive aggression
When emotions are not openly expressed, they find other ways to introduce themselves. Sarcastic comments, unclear facial expressions, and even vague social media posts only add to the issues.

3. Growing resentment
How can a mom not resent being the primary caretaker while operating with minimal input? There’s tension in the air but all she gets is screaming or silence. At some point, she will shut down and start feeling anger and resentment. This contributes mightily to burnout.

4. Misplaced blame
When we don’t air our feelings, the blame can land in the nearest convenient place. Mom gets blamed. Sometimes mom blames dad. Rather than being addressed, the problems get touchier.

5. Taking on too much work
Without communication, everything breaks down. Mom may try (for a while) to simply do it all herself. While yes, we Houstonians may max out due to  extra time spent in traffic, this is a whole ‘nother level.

6. Lack of self-care
Everyone needs self-care. This goes double for mom. As her stress and workload increases, the first thing to go is usually what she does for herself. Without healthy sleep, eating, and exercise habits along with stress management, burnout becomes inevitable.

7. A sense of hopelessness
Problems are part of everyone’s life. Often, they bring out the best in us. But when communication has stopped or become negative, problems fester. This is where hopelessness sets in. Solutions appear impossible and mom may even start blaming herself.

How to Fix It: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT was originally created in the 1980s to help those individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It has been the gold standard treatment for that condition. Over the years, therapists have effectively applied DBT for a wide range of patient issues.

How does DBT work?

DBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It works on the premise that people often do their best. But without the skills needed to succeed, positive results don’t happen. Since some people react more intensely to emotional situations, the patient(s) and therapist work as a team to identify such patterns. DBT can take place one-on-one or in groups. In either setting, patients learn awareness and new skills.

How can DBT help with family communication?

Emotional situations and family go hand-in-hand. Practically every hour offers an opportunity for us to react intensely or even aggressively. DBT family counseling can work with several members of your family to discover the root causes of the negative interactions. This will empower each family member to recognize situations before they occur and utilize new skills when they do. When a family comes together to work on problems, they can grow as a unit and as individuals.

At Eddins Counseling Group, we provide compassionate and effective individual and family counseling in Houston using DBT. Contact Alexandra today to learn more about how to prevent or manage mom burnout. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.

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