Contributed By:

Amy Geller on April 15, 2021

Parenting can be exhausting. With the added dimension of more time at home due to the pandemic over the past year, many parents may feel extra tired, extra impatient, and extra in need of a break. As much as you love your children, working from home or homeschooling can feel never-ending. You may feel that you’re alone in this–that this problem is specific to you as a parent or to your family. However, psychologically speaking, the concept of “parental burnout” is real.

 

Several researchers decide to explore the topic of burnout and parse out whether this is a unique consequence of parental exhaustion. Parental burnout can be described as feelings of being overwhelmingly exhausted, overextended, and depleted of one’s emotional and physical resources. Through their measures, the study found that a questionnaire of parental burnout had only low or moderate correlations to professional burnout, stress, and depression. This means that parental burnout is a separate and district result of the difficulties of parenting compared to other career or life stressors. These researchers found that the prevalence of parental burnout was between 2-12% of the participants they had in their study. Arguably–this proportion is likely way higher due to the circumstances of the past 12 months.

 

Now that you are aware of the existence of “parental burnout”– how can you combat it?

 

  • The first tip is to consider hiring a nanny or babysitting. In times of increased stress, it is noble to admit that an extra hand around the house with the children can be an immense help. Our nannies possess training and certification so that you can trust her with your children and finally alleviate a portion of the chaos at home.

 

  • The second tip is to arrange a vacation or even a staycation. Many people have not traveled in over a year’s time which is likely quite difficult than “normal” life. Perhaps a road trip to a neighboring state with your partner, a solo spa trip in your very city, or a weekend girls/boys getaway will vastly transform the challenges you are currently facing. Though only short-term, a small trip is a large step in the right direction.

 

  • What if what you’re experiencing is more lasting? If you have an infant, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of Postpartum Depression. It may be important to self-reflect on the prevalence and severity of the feelings you are having and assess if this spans further than parental burnout. Holistic care for mothers such as adequate sleep, good nutrition, and household help can assist in treating postpartum depression. Additionally, there are many types of therapeutic treatment from licensed professionals for postpartum depression, major depression, and anxiety.

 

Ultimately, it is crucial as a parent to be able to take a step back and have introspection on yourself and your family to strengthen the state of your mental health.

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