When you’re trying to juggle parenting duties, personal concerns, and a career, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When you subject yourself to this kind of grind week after week, it’s a sure way to get burnt out. And although you may be able to quit your job, you can never quit being a parent, so it’s important to develop strategies to overcome parental burnout. Check out some of these ideas.
First, make time for daily breaks. Going from your job straight to parenting commitments without a break will burn you out quickly. Instead, schedule some relaxation time between work and home every day – put it in your calendar, make a note, do whatever you have to do to remember. As little as ten minutes of break time will make a big difference in your stress level. Hitting the gym, running, or doing yoga before you get home can be a great way to lower stress and reenergize, but if you need an even briefer break, try walking around the block a few times, or just sitting somewhere and listening to calming music.
Do you ever worry about not doing enough for your kids? Try to leave those concerns at the door. Comparing yourself to “perfect” parents you know or overachieving moms on TV is rarely a positive way to improve your parenting, and certainly not something to stress over. Instead, create your own personal parenting goals and work toward them at your own pace. Your kids will appreciate this approach much more.
Having a strong support network can be the key to beating parental burnout. Share your parenting woes and triumphs with your spouse, friends, family, and whoever else you’re close with. Even if you just vent to them, it can be a relief, but they’ll often have valuable advice to share, too. They might even offer to take the kids for a weekend, a great opportunity to spend some personal time.
Ultimately, if you don’t take care of yourself, you risk sabotaging the quality of your parenting. You know best what you need to do to stay relaxed and focused. Do these things. Even if you have to take a break from the kids for a little while sometimes, they’ll thank you for it later.