Burnout and I are old friends. It has been a part of my life for many years, and I know why. There's the easy answer, and there's the real answer.
The easy answer - which, by the way, is definately not a wrong answer - is that I simply take on more than I can handle. A type-A, "I can do it all" person since childhood, I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to take on a new responsibility. There are a lot of things I love doing, and I have a hard time letting go of one to make room for another. Which is why I ended up coordinating Vacation Bible School in August while working and taking anatomy and physiology II during the second summer session of college...yeah, huge burnout.
Then you have the real answer. When I reach down deep, I know that the real reason I'm burned out is because of expectations. I juggle so many roles in a day - wife, mom, manager/trainer at a women's gym, student, daughter, friend, pastor's wife, and CHO (chief home officer). Sometimes I need to drop something, but no one is willing to let it be them. Everyone needs me right now, and everyone needs me to give 100%.
I goes way beyond mommy guilt. I think a lot of people would be surprized to know how much of the time I feel like I'm failing. I think a lot of moms feel that way. I try to do it all, and do it all well, and it's simply not possible. When school gets crazy busy, my house is wreck. When I'm stressed about what's going on at home, it's hard to give work my full attention. When I have obligations because I'm a pastor's wife, I feel like my family doesn't my attention the way they need to. I feel like the guy at the circus spinning plates, always running from one place to another to keep them all spinning. Sometimes I need to let a plate fall - but no one wants it to be their plate.
Peer pressure doesn't end when you graduate from high school or even college. I think that moms everywhere are pressured to do it all and be perfect at it all, and that pressure is what truly leads to burnout.