Parenting can easily burn you out and make you feel tired. Here are 7 simple ways to prevent parent burnout.
Seriously, some days I’m too tired to even be tired. Sometimes my toddler sleeps late (8:15pm… oooh!) which means more time chasing after a little guy, and less relaxing, drink-some-tea time for me. My husband also drives through an insane commute and doesn’t get home til much later, so I tend to have sole duty of the evening chaos.
Parenting seems to come with its own guaranteed exhaustion that arrives right along with the baby, no matter how organized or prepared you normally are. When you realize that changing his diaper, giving him a bath, picking him up, and every other parenting duty isn’t likely to go away any time soon, you’re hit with parent burnout.
I wanted to just crash after he was down for the night only to remember I still had to pack his lunch for the next day and realized, “Holy cow, I have to do this practically every day for the next several years!” Not a good way to start a supposedly relaxing evening.
During the moment, I feel all doom and gloom: “What has my life come to?… Weekends aren’t any better because you just have to go right back to it in two days…” and so on.
How to prevent parent burnout
We’ve all had our bouts of parent burnout. Left unchecked, burnout can lead to unhappy parents, discontented kids and insurmountable pressures.
When the days grow rough and you’re ready to down a glass of wine and “forget” all the tasks, consider the following ways you can prevent and deal with parent burnout.
1. Don’t over-commit
It’s okay to say ‘no’ to invitations. As parents, extra time isn’t always easy to come by. Determine a schedule that works for you and your family, even if it means less outings and social events.
2. Take care of yourself
Parent burnout often results from neglecting our bodies. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy meals and exercise.
3. Set realistic expectations
We can’t do everything we used to do before having kids. Make time for any hobbies or activities that are important to you and leave the rest to when you have more time.
4. Spend time alone
Even a few minutes to yourself is enough to choose how you want to spend your time. The activity doesn’t matter, as long as you feel good doing so, whether it’s finally getting some chores done or sleeping in.
5. Find support
Share household duties with your partner, family and friends. Join a mom or dad group to socialize with other parents and kids. Visit blogs and parenting forums and boards for an online community as well.
6. Don’t compare
Every family is doing what’s best for themselves, and there’s little good in comparing your life to others.
7. Remember your legacy
Ask yourself: How do you want your children to see you? When we remind ourselves of what’s truly important, we realize that it’s often our own loving company, and not a tidy house or busy schedule that make children happy.
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Tell me in the comments: How do you prevent and deal with parent burnout? Are there certain conditions that make you more likely to feel burned out?
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