As a parent, burnout has come to define your circumstances. Every day, you feel drained, even if you’ve managed to get more sleep than usual. You feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Not only are you responsible for caring for yourself, you’re responsible for your children’s wellbeing. You might be juggling a full-time job and parenting, or you may feel like your partner isn’t pulling their weight.

Alternatively, you may be parenting entirely on your own, or you might be struggling with undiagnosed mental health conditions that are contributing to your burnout, even if your life seems ideal to outsiders.

Parental burnout can feel inescapable. It’s true that there is no overnight “cure” to this problem. However, you can start taking steps towards finding real, lasting solutions that bring the relief you crave. Here are a few ideas to help you address parental burnout.

Assess All of Your Regular Responsibilities

First, it’s important to evaluate everything that you’re actually responsible for doing on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You may want to track your schedule for a while to get an idea of all of the responsibilities and tasks that fall on your shoulders. It’s important to get a clear, big-picture view of exactly what’s burning you out so that you can address these specific areas and get to the roots of the problem.

Determine What You Can Say “No” To

Next, take a long, critical look at all of the responsibilities that you’ve jotted down. Ask yourself honestly: is there anything that is burning you out that you could stop doing without consequence? The authentic answer to this question might be “No,” depending on your situation.

But what if you could cut back on hours or clients at work because your household has plenty of wiggle room, or turn down a volunteering gig? You might be able to free up a few hours every week to give yourself some breathing room.

Figure Out What You Can Delegate

When you’re a parent, most of the tasks you handle can’t just be ditched. Either you need to do them, or someone else has to do them. But they can’t go undone. This is where delegation comes in.

Review your schedule with your partner to see where you can divide things more fairly, check in with your nearby friends and relatives and find out if they can give you a hand with childcare, get your older children to pitch in with more chores around the house, or see if you can outsource tasks like cleaning.

Change Your Approach to Non-Negotiable Responsibilities

What if there are tasks that you can’t delegate, but you also can’t afford to outsource them? Try changing your approach.

For example, maybe you’re the only one who can prepare dinners for your family because your partner works at night, yet cooking nightly is wearing you down, and you can’t afford a meal delivery service. Meal prepping on the weekends and freezing meals ahead of time can be a cost-effective way to save time.

Adjust Your Environment

Finally, see if you can make your environment a little more relaxing. Can you add some organizational and storage solutions to keep toys out of your way, or incorporate sound-proofing decor into your space to quiet things down? Are there any changes you can make to your bedroom to create a better space for real rest?

Sometimes, changing your environment can boost your mood.

Are you struggling to cope with parental burnout? A therapist can help you find balance. Reach out to us to learn more about our therapy options for parents.

 

 

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