Parental Burnout :: The Next Health Crisis?

 

It's easy to feel burned out as a mom, especially a working mom.Are you a parent who’s been feeling unusually overwhelmed, super emotional, easily irritated, extremely exhausted, and detached not only from others (your children and family), but from yourself as well? Has parenting become more of a chore than normal? If you answered “yes,” then you could be suffering from a case of parental burnout!

The Struggle Is Real 

Being the super mom and dads that we are, none of us would ever want to admit that at times we’re actually tired of parenting, adulting, and having responsibilities overall. Surviving a pandemic has changed a lot of things for a lot of people and parenting is one of them. How do I know? Because it changed me!

I’m going to be transparent for a moment. During my bout with parental burnout, I never got to the point of not wanting to be a parent and the love for my children never changed.

But I will say there were times when my patience level was totally non-existent. I was irritated by any and every question asked, every chore that needed to be done, every meal that needed to be prepared, every pick-up and drop off, and every homework assignment that required my assistance.

I found myself wanting to be left alone. However, we all know that’s impossible with a house full of kids, pets (I don’t have any), a spouse (or not), work (or not), and chores.

Not only did I want to be left alone, I also began to consume a couple of glasses of wine a day. I had feelings of parental inadequacy, and sometimes I had an excessive appetite or none at all.

>> RELATED READ :: Mommy Doesn’t Need A Drink <<

My current season of mothering may be a little different than yours since three of my “kids” are now adults. My baby girl is a sophomore in high school. However, I am able to empathize with those of you who have babies, toddlers, and young school-aged children. I know you don’t have any breaks at all!

Take time to recognize the signs of burnout.Sharing Is Caring

I feel compelled to share this chapter of my life with you because you could very well be reading from the same book. If you answered “yes” to the questions above and are nodding your head in agreement, just know that you don’t have to suffer alone and that you’re not alone.

I learned that in order to show up for my loved ones, I had to show up for myself first. For me, this was not something that was done overnight, but little by little things began to improve. Through the years I’ve learned that it’s very important to take care of myself. I found by developing and utilizing just a few simple self-care tactics, my burnout no longer burns as ferocious. Instead it has calmed to a manageable smolder.

Here’s a few self-care suggestions that worked for me:

  1. Learn to be kind to yourself! You’re only human. You’re doing the best you can.
  2. Learn to live in the moment. I know this sounds cliche, but allow yourself to feel what’s actually taking place. Don’t try to get rid of or suppress your emotions and feelings. What you’re feeling is real and needs to be acknowledged.  
  3. Sit down and have a cup of tea. What seems simple might actually be all that you need to improve your mood and your sense of well-being at that time. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
>> RECOMMENDED RESOURCE :: Spill the Tea :: Guide to Tea Shops & Cafes in North Texas <<

I also recommend aromatherapy, lighting a candle while having your tea, practicing deep breathing exercises, and lowering your self expectations.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful to still be here and to have the privilege to be the parent that I am today. I challenge you to be the best that you can be, not only to your family but to yourself as well.

Lastly, develop and practice your own set of burnout coping skills. Do what feels good and works for you!

Laurie H
Laurie, known to many as “L,” is an only child born in Cleburne, Texas. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and relocated back to Big T almost 20 years ago. Laurie married her husband Taiwan in 2006, and they’ve collectively raised three sons and a daughter. Her professional experience includes working for city municipalities, independent school districts, and as a youth case worker. In 2015, she became the owner of CakePopsByL, a cottage bakery boutique. When she’s not filling dessert orders, she spends the majority of her time creating innovative digital content for more than eight social media accounts, where she shares recipes, baking tips, and cooking tutorials. She’s a self-proclaimed chef and spends a lot of time in the kitchen filming content and preparing delicious meals for her family. Laurie is a homebody who considers herself an extroverted introvert. She likes to travel, spend time with her family, and feels most rewarded when she’s teaching and helping others.

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