Being a parent is exhausting. It can leave us overwhelmed and vulnerable as we manage the daily invisible job and mental overload.
Without caring for ourselves, it’s easy to find us headed towards parental burnout. While often reserved for the work setting, parental burnout is also recognised as a valid state of prolonged emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion.
Signs of Parental Burnout
- Increased and ongoing fatigue or exhaustion
- Feeling restless or an inability to
- Feeling overly or continually frustrated
- Withdrawing from social occasions
- Withdrawing emotionally from your partner,
children, family, or friends
- Lack of enjoyment
Tips To Combat Parental Exhaustion And Fatigue
Self-care may have grown into the buzzword of the century, but no matter what we call it, everyone needs to care for themselves routinely in a manner that benefits them. Self-care is about recognising that your mind, body, and soul need to be replenished in a fast-paced, overwhelming world. Putting yourself first is the number one thing to remember when life gets tricky. So care for yourself, recharge your batteries, be mindful of all you do, and be kind to yourself. And do it often!
One of the most complex aspects of parenting is wondering whether or not we’re getting it right and worrying that other parents are handling this rollercoaster of parenting life so much better than we are. Social media plays a massive part in how we compare ourselves to other parents. Take a step back and recognise how difficult parenting can be. Now also remember how amazing you are doing. Avoid comparison at all costs.
Mindfulness has a beautiful way of putting things into perspective. First of all, mindfulness is not meditation but rather allowing ourselves to recognise situations and feel our feelings, whether good or bad. Without allowing ourselves to feel our emotions, we block our feelings and thoughts, which can become trapped, heightened, and eat away at us. For example, if you’re frustrated with the kids, allow yourself to feel that frustration or anger and when you do, let it go. Be mindful of your thoughts and emotions; allow yourself to feel your feelings no matter what arises. Daily mindfulness helps us to create stability and calm in our lives.
Finally, remember it is perfectly okay (and necessary) to take time away from your kids and home. Take a walk by yourself, meet a friend, tell everyone you need ten minutes by yourself. We all need time for a mental debrief, refocus our minds and thoughts, and find a little breathing space away from being needed.