When something in your life like a job or a relationship starts maxing you out, the steps to resolving it are obvious – you either cut back or let go. However, when it comes to an area of your life that is unavoidable, like parenting, slowing down or quitting aren’t an option. Though truly an honor, the responsibility of being a parent requires a great deal of physical and emotional strength. The role can often leave you feeling stretched thin, eventually resulting in a burnout.
Parenting is more than a full-time job. You work 24/7 with no vacations or breaks. It is also one of the hardest jobs as it requires your undivided attention, love, and affection. Trying to be the best parent for your child can cause an undue amount of stress. This stress is heightened when you factor in other areas of your life including a job, your other relatives, your significant other, and your social life. Sometimes being the model mom or dad can leave you feeling overwhelmed and even helpless at times.
Risk Factors and Warning Signs
Feeling stressed, but not sure that you’re dealing with parental burnout? There are risk factors and warning signs you should be aware of. Parents more likely to experience high levels of stress or burnout include single parents with no outside support, parents of children with disabilities, parents who live in poverty, and adults who are coping with their own physical or mental disabilities. If you fall into those categories, you should pay attention to these warning signs:
Feelings of inadequacy as a parent despite your best efforts
Frustration with your children’s needs large and small
The dependency on drugs or alcohol to cope
Withdrawal and isolation from your children
If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, you should consider getting help. By talking with a therapist, your doctor, or enrolling in a female drug detox program you can improve your health and be learning ways to cope with the stresses of parenting in a more constructive manner.
Ways to Avoid Parental Burnout
If left untreated, parental burnout can begin to have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Below are a few strategies to try:
Take care of you. Though you love your children, you must take care of yourself. It is when you practice self-care that you are the best version of yourself and can pass that on to your children.
Find ways to manage stress. Ask for help with your parental duties, go out and do things you enjoy, and find time to relax.
Build a supportive network. Your family, friends, and other parents you may know can be instrumental in helping you reduce the likelihood of a burnout. Don’t be afraid to look to them for help whether it be a listening ear, words of advice, or help with the kids, they are there to make things easier.
It goes without saying that parenting is a stressful job. Though you wouldn’t trade it for the world, it is imperative that you find ways to bring more balance into your life so that you don’t burnout. By putting your needs first, managing stress, looking to your network for support, and getting medical assistance if you need it, you can prevent burnout from ruining your ability to be the much-needed staple in your children’s’ lives.