Taking time away to rest and recharge is important for parents working inside and outside the home for both for the health of the parent and the happiness of the child. Parenting is often about making your child’s needs a priority, but parents need to take time away to meet their own needs as well. Here are some ideas on how to avoid burnout as a parent.
What is Parenting Burnout?
Like marathon runners, parents work long hours caring for their children, often working outside the home as well, and it takes a great deal of energy to keep going for the long haul without taking a break.
Parent burnout can show up in many different forms, but common burnout symptoms are:
- Limited patience
- Physical and mental exhaustion
- Yelling or fighting with children and family members
- Feelings of inadequacy as a parent
- Feelings of depression
- Emotional detachment
- Irritability and frustration
- Sleep disorders
Moms and dads who care for children at home full-time can also be at a high risk of parent burnout because of the lack of tangible rewards and reviews that help keep employees happy and motivated in work outside the home.
Take Time Away from Work and Parenting
The best way to avoid burnout is to take time away from work and parenting, but in today’s busy world where extended families are spread across countries and continents, it is not always as simple as sending the kids to grandma’s for the weekend. If you are lucky enough to have grandparents close enough to care for your kids for a day or two, this is a wonderful option. If family is too far away to take on childcare duties, ask your partner or another family member to care for your children for a day or two while you take some time away.
Plan Time for Yourself in Your Weekly Routine
The best way to avoid burning out as a parent is to incorporate time for yourself into your weekly routine. This can be done by agreeing with your partner or close family member to an evening or part of a weekend day which you can have for yourself to rest and recharge. Even simple things like an uninterrupted bath or an afternoon nap can do wonders for the tired parent.
By asking for help within your family and community, it is possible to get the time and space you need to rest and recharge as a parent to avoid a burnout. A happy, well rested parent is more fun to play with and more patient with his or her child’s needs, so by taking care of yourself you are taking care of your child too. Whether you take a weekend retreat or an afternoon nap, don’t forget to take care of the most important person in your child’s life: you!