Avoiding Parental Burnout
Having kids is something that the vast majority of us would never change. They are the light of our lives. Our world revolves around them and we’d do anything for them. But that’s not to say that parenting is a breeze all of the time. In fact, a lot of the time, parenting is straight up difficult. There’s no guide on how to do it correctly. Instead, we’re left to our own devices, choosing what we feel is right for our kids as we go along. We have to make decisions concerning their wellbeing every day. We have to monitor their safety consistently. And we have to alter our lifestyle to accommodate theirs.
So it’s no surprise that parenting can be tiring or draining. But it’s important that you only let parenting take over your life so far. You don’t want to experience parental burnout. Here’s some more information and advice on the topic to help you make informed decisions that are right for both you and your little ones, giving everyone the best experience in the long run.
What Is Parental Burnout?
Let’s start out by considering what parental burnout actually is. Parental burnout is a form of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that you can experience as a result of the ongoing (or “chronic”) stress that we can all experience as a direct result of parenting. It can show itself in a variety of different ways. You may find that you get upset, become irritable, are angry or experience a host of other negative emotions from the feeling of becoming overwhelmed. You may become forgetful, anxious, confused, guilty, unmotivated or lonely as these feelings go on. It’s important that you understand that this is very common, should you ever experience it. Parental burnout doesn’t meant that you are an inadequate or bad parent. It simply means that you are human. The good news is that parental burnout is manageable, temporary and can be overcome.
Combatting Parental Burnout
Fortunately, there are a host of different ways to combat parental burnout. It’s important that you look into your options and put some of them into play to make life that little bit easier for yourself. Here are just a few different options that you might like to try out. Each could make all the difference, so is definitely worth looking into!
Talking to Your Partner
If you are in a relationship and share childcare, it’s important to make sure that the split of responsibility is balanced. If you find that you are doing a lot more than your partner, it may be time to talk to them. Let them know how you’re feeling. And let them know that they need to pick up a fairer share of responsibility. This can help to make everything more manageable.
[Read: NavigatingNavigating Marriage]
Building a Support Network
You should build a support network around yourself. This will lift a weight from your shoulders and can help you to help other parents too. Support networks can take your children off your hands for a few hours in the form of a playdate or doing the school run. Then you can return the favor at another time. This could be family, friends, other parents from school or other trusted individuals.
Taking Time to Yourself
You need to take time to yourself to do the things you enjoy. This could be a relaxing bath. It could be going to the cinema. It could be having friends around and making this cadillac margaraita. Whatever will allow you to let your hair down and relax, it’s important to make time for it.
You don’t necessarily only need to make use of childcare when you’re going to work. Do you have an event you need to attend? Childcare can come in useful for simply having a break. There are plenty of forms of it out there. From babysitters to kids clubs and activities that will entertain and occupy your kids for a few hours or even a day.
[Read: Childcare Options]
If you find that you’re struggling regardless of a good support network and childcare options, you may be suffering from an underlying condition that is impacting you mood or experiences of day to day parenting. It’s a good idea to reach out to your doctor, who will be able to diagnose any underlying mental health conditions and provide you with the support you may need. This could be anything from medication, to therapy, counseling, or a combination of approaches.
Hopefully, some of the information above will help you to better understand parental burnout and to manage it in a way that suits you.