One topic that is so relevant today, yet hardly gets spoken, is “parent burnout.” As rewarding as parenting can be, it can also feel beyond time-consuming, emotionally draining, and never-ending. Parenting is more like a marathon than a sprint! A year ago, many parents were overwhelmed with working from home, cooking, cleaning, and helping their kids through virtual school. Now, many parents are playing “taxi service” while juggling work and family commitments with little time to relax. Many parents feel burned out but don’t let others know because they don’t want to feel judged. However, parent burnout is widespread, yet it’s important to note that there are things that you can do to fuel yourself with positivity, gain hope and find relief.
Ways to Overcome Parent Burnout
- It can be helpful to list out all your to-dos and then evaluate each one. Then, ask yourself whether it is necessary to get done everything that you have listed, and whether you must be the one getting it all done. Prioritize what’s most important and look at items on your list that you can take off.
- Find others to support you. For example, if you co-parent, try taking turns going to activities versus both of you going to all of them. If you have extended family who lives nearby, ask if they can help. Carpooling with friends and others who trust can also be time-savers.
- Take micro-breaks and practice self-care. It’s essential to make sure that you do things for yourself that benefit your physical and emotional health. Some examples include taking a walk, reading a chapter or two from a book, listening to music, and eating a healthy lunch. Self-care is one of the things on your list that should be a priority.
- Limit the number of activities that your children are doing. Along with preventing yourself from feeling overwhelmed, children need downtime too. If you’re transporting your children somewhere every night, that’s probably too much. Also, if you have multiple children with different activities, consider having their activities on the same evenings versus spread out throughout the week. Freeing up nights so that some are activity-free can provide more opportunities for family togetherness and downtime.
Finally, remember that your role as a parent is valued. Your children appreciate you more than you may realize or than they may show. By taking steps to regain yourself, create more support, and have more family downtime, you will feel happier, and this will benefit the entire family!
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