Parental burnout. I didn’t even know what it was a few weeks ago. When I first read about it, it was like a weight had been lifted.
Firstly, I finally knew why I was feeling so rubbish and secondly, I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling like this.
Parental burnout is an exhaustion syndrome that occurs when a parent has been exposed to too much stress in their parenting role for too long, in the absence of sufficient resources to compensate for the effect of stress. I found this explanation on Google search after seeing a programme talking abut it.
It is easy for me to say that due to everything that is going on in my life that I have parental burnout. It isn’t easy to get over parental burnout though, you can just have time off your ‘job’ or quit. Your children need you to be ok and with parental burnout, that can be really hard.
I thought about writing this post since finding out about it and I realised the easiest way to help people who think they might be experiencing it is to ask advice and find out tips to avoid it.
So I asked on a parenting blogging group and this is the advice that they gave:
Call or chat with a friend who is also a parent who has similar age kids who will get your struggles and will not judge when you pour your heart out about your bad day. It feels better when you know you’re not alone. – Cosmo Mum
Try to take some time for yourself every day. It doesn’t have to be anything big, fancy or expensive. It might be putting on a face mask before bed. Going to bed half hour early to read a book or just to lay in peace and quiet. It might be buying yourself your favourite chocolate bar to eat once the kids are in bed or catching up on a tv show you love. But making time for something you love is so important so you can just be you for those few moments. – Tantrums To Smiles
Try and stick to a routine, keeping to a regular bedtime will give you some time to relax. Don’t worry if standards slide a bit, if you need to give the children a little bit more screen time don’t feel guilty. It’s so hard juggling everything and you need to be kind to yourself. Keep reminding yourself you are doing your best. There will be bad days but try and focus on the positives in each day. – Missing Sleep
Laughter has to be the best tonic. Try to find the humorous side to things where you can. Sharing a giggle with a friend or a loved one can give you just the little boost you need. It may not be the answer to any challenges you’re facing, but it sure makes you feel better for a little while. – Best Lodges With Hot Tubs
Don’t worry if you don’t get through your to do list each day. Prioritise. It can take a while to loosen the grip on trying to be perfect, but once you do, it’ll be liberating. – Blossoming Education
Drive to the supermarket alone and sit in the car park in silence for 15minutes before you go in then another 15minutes when you come out. Enjoy the silence. – All About A Mummy
Try to achieve something for yourself every day. Even if the only time you have is after bedtime, focus some energy on your own projects with that time. – The Diary of Dad
Make yourself a priority too… as women, we tend to prioritise our children, families, home but a tired/ stressed/ unhappy mum cannot be the best parent. Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary to avoid parental burnout. – Tales From Mamaville
Take time everyday to do what makes you happy. You can go for walk, read a book or just 5 minutes to meditate. – Uplifting and Inspiring Content
Eat at set times and eat healthy – it will keep your energy levels stable and up and will hugely help you not have dips in moods and to cope simple but effective! – Eat Simply
Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to eat / drink. I’m terrible for sorting the kids and forgetting to sort myself. – Mother Geek
Away from screens, they breed background anxiety and stress without us realising. – Ready Freddie Go
Go for a walk in nature! It’s so useful for totally resetting your mind and calming stress levels. Try and go by yourself or with with a friend kid-free if possible. It’s amazing how much better you can feel after some greenery and fresh air. – Healthy Vix
Don’t try to do everything yourself. It’s worth the effort to teach children to be helpful, so you don’t have so much on your plate and they also learn to be considerate of others’ needs. The Parent Game
If you have a partner, talk to them about issues that are building up. I was ready to explode and then I sat down with my husband and explained that I just desperately need half an hour completely alone every day otherwise the whole ‘locked in’ situation overwhelms me. He made this happen for me and honestly it’s made me so much calmer! His thing was that he needs to get out for runs for his mental and physical health, so once I understood the importance of that, we scheduled them in a few times per week.
So much focus is, rightly, on the kids at the moment but you can’t pour from any empty cup ❤️. – The Good Thing is Though
Is this lockdown related? Remove the pressure off homeschooling! That’s not to say plan to do nothing – but keep in mind that none of us chose this; not us, and not our babies. Many of us also have younger children to care for too, and/or a job to do. We cannot do it all, nor should our wellbeing suffer trying to! Remove the pressure, so what’s achievable and no more – with no guilt. – The Less-Refined Mind