Why Mum Body Burnout Is Costing More Than Her Health

Dec 29, 2021

If you follow us on socials, you might’ve seen that our health practice, Chris & Filly Functional Medicine, was announced as a State Finalist (for Tassie) in the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards. With over 24,000 nominations and a rigorous judging process, the Telstra Best of Business Awards is the most prestigious business award in Australia. Gahhhhh!!! You should’ve heard my squeal of delight when I opened up that email, lol.

We were selected as a finalist in the category Accelerating Women, and I want to share with our community why!

This article was written as part of our submission for the judging process. Prepare for me to get on my EMPOWERING WOMEN high-horse...


Juggling All The Things

Let me just say: as a mum with two little ones (6yo & 9yo), running a business, writing a book, managing the finances, keeping up a household, AND making sure my kids are healthy & happy (and the hubby too!)…is a TOUGH GIG. It can absolutely feel like you’re doing everything for everyone else, and the big responsibility of ensuring the family and finances tick along can feel very heavy. 

For many high-achieving mums, juggling all the things, their physical and mental health is often last on the list. And this is a BIG ISSUE. I know! Because I was there once too! I know (professionally & personally) that if mum goes down, everyone goes down.

This is one of the main reasons why I started my functional medicine practice. I was struggling big time with my own health issues: low immunity, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, fatigue, gut issues, skin issues, chronic pain, plus more. My joy in life was low, and I was constantly showing up as a crabby Dragon Mum and wife. It was even affecting my productivity in our business, and as a result, affecting our finances. There were literally days on end (sometimes even weeks) where I felt so physically and mentally low, that I couldn’t bring myself to work properly, let alone feel creatively inspired to work on the business.


Research Shows Mum Burnout Is Costing Her Health, Sanity & Equity

And it wasn’t just me who struggled with these issues - many other professionally working mums do too. The fact of the matter is, that working mums are very susceptible to physical & mental ‘burnout’ as they struggle to juggle work, life, and family. 

One study revealed that working mums are 18% more stressed than other people. And this is absolutely affecting their health, and their ability to work or run businesses. 

Data also shows that in Australia women do more than men when it comes to housework and caring for the kids - even if both mum and dad are working full time. These studies show that after the first child is born, women do far more housework than men, and that, as the children grow up, the dynamic only worsens. 

On top of this, Mums also have to deal with post-baby depletion, which can physically and mentally continue to drag her down, even 8+ years after a baby is born, which will obviously become worse the more children a mother has. These things are a huge issue, and it’s not only affecting mum’s health and happiness, but also her equity. 

Many working mothers, can fall behind in growing their businesses and careers, as they try to juggle all the things that are traditionally expected of stay-at-home mothers. The National Working Families Report even showed that one-quarter of working mothers are considering leaving their job in the next year due to stress caused by the conflict between work and caring responsibilities. Add on the physical demands of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights, and it’s easy to see the inequalities that can occur between mums and dads who are both working. 

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

How We Help High-Achieving Mums Transform Their Health & Their Life

For the reasons above, I am so incredibly passionate about helping mums transform their health, regain their life, and make a huge impact in their families, their businesses, and essentially the world. And this is why we created Chris & Filly Functional Medicine because we wanted to create a holistic healing environment that not only heals mum’s burned-out body, but that also helps her to create a deep and respectful love for herself. And we do this most effectively in our Root Cause membership, where we help our clients implement deep healing of the body, mind, and environment.

We help mums to establish boundaries and to prioritise their health. We help mums establish health-promoting eating, sleep, and movement habits, so she can have the capacity to do all that she wants to do. We help mums get clear on her values and priorities, and to help her with time management, both personally and in her career or business. We help mums become motivated and excited about life and her professional sense of purpose. And we also help Mums create deeper relationships with her family, and those she associates with. 

Our holistic method of treatment in our Root Cause membership also gets the whole family involved - we help mum get the support she needs within her family, by helping members of the family (including Dad!) equally share household chores and caring for the children because this is a major underlying cause for working-mum burnout. While many mums come to us to get relief from their energy, mood, and gut issues, they leave us having gained so much more! 


How our Functional Medicine Practice Champions Gender Equality

Essentially, our whole service is about improving gender equality, because if we can help mum recover and repair from burnout as quick as possible (right from repairing her body post-babies, as well as establishing boundaries and rituals and routines to prevent burnout, AND get her partner and family supporting her in the home), then this enables high-achieving, ambitious women, to be successful in their businesses and career. Mum will have more health, energy, and capacity, and her mind will be clearer. This leads to better productivity, more creativity, and more space to build her business or career. So many of our mothers have become leaders and advocates for health and preventing burnout after working with us (in their own industries), which is so beautiful to see as they share our message into the world.

I feel our success in our endeavours to support high-achieving mums is shown through our countless client testimonials.

I’d like to share Lara’s story. Lara came to us stuck on the ‘merry-go-round’ of her never-ending to-do list. She is an extremely high-achieving woman, with big state government responsibilities, as well as juggling, being a mum and a wife. She was struggling with energy, weight gain, gut issues, and felt very frazzled and overwhelmed with all she needed to do. We took Lara on a holistic healing journey - healing her body systems, getting her life and priorities organised, establishing a strong mindset, and most importantly putting her self-care high up on her to-do list. Lara up-leveled her health, her life, and her performance to the point where she was able to run for the Tasmanian state parliament. She says: 

“If it wasn't for these two amazing people Chris and Filly and their program, I could never have survived the energy required to run for the Liberal team in this State Election. It's a whole lot of crazy miles and hours to ensure I engage with as many people as possible, to understand what matters to them, so I can truly represent. Their program mentally and physically prepared me to be able to do that. Keep up the amazing work - I am your biggest advocate!! You made a real difference in my life. Thank you.” 

If that’s not an awesome success measure, I don’t know what is! Lara, unfortunately, didn’t get voted into state parliament, but she has made a big impact in the political sphere (which is predominantly a male game). We could honestly go on and on sharing these success stories. You can actually read more here.


Keeping Girls Safe & In School, & Out of Sex Brothels

And finally, another way that our business works towards empowering women and improving gender equality, is in our partnership with the child protection organisation, Free To Shine, which keeps girls in Cambodia safe & in school, and out of sex brothels. For every new client that books in for a “Connect The Dots” Initial Consult, the first step to ending your body burnout, we give a girl in Cambodia 3-weeks of safety & education, to prevent her from getting sold for sex. Our donations also help these girls go to university, and become leaders in their own communities. The more people we can serve in our own practice, the more we can, together, give to girls in Cambodia. Essentially we are helping empower women in Australia, and globally, on different levels.


What Next?

What’s next for us? We will wait patiently until Feb 2022 to see if we are the State Finalist winners, which will then mean presenting to more judges in Sydney nationally! In the meantime, we will continue working passionately and wholeheartedly on our mission to end body burnout in high-achieving parents!

What’s next for you? If you’ve read this far, and you feel like our mission and vision resonates with you, AND you’re struggling with energy, mood, and/or gut issues, we would absolutely love to help. The first step to getting started on ending your own body burnout is to book in for a “Connect The Dots” Initial Consult. You can do this here.

We’re always looking to partner with like-minded businesses as well to give our mission big wings. Whether it’s a podcast appearance, a guest media article, speaking at your next event, or collaborating in another way, we’re open to a chat. If you’d like to connect, feel free to email us at [email protected]  


Filipa Bellette is Co-Founder of Chris & Filly Functional Medicine. She is an accredited Clinical Nutritionist & Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is also a Ph.D. thought-leader, award-winning writer, and regularly published as a guest blogger & in the media. Together with her husband Chris Bellette, Filipa has worked with over 2,000+ busy, burnout clients in the last 10+ years, and specialises in producing healthy, balanced, and happy Mums & Dads...or as she calls it, a Power Parent! Filipa’s own passion for producing high-performance Power Parents came from her own personal experience of Mummy Burnout, after having babies and juggling the demands of business, family, and her failing health.

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