You’re stressed, frustrated, feeling inadequate, and questioning everything about your parenting. The kids won’t listen, your spouse has tuned you out, and you’re having fantasies of running away. You’ve stopped complaining about the sink full of dirty dishes, and if the laundry gets done, it’s a miracle. You might find that going to work a reprieve from the madness going on in your home.
We get it and have been there, too. It’s what we call parent burnout.
Here are some common signs:
–You don’t care anymore.
–You’re patience gone.
–The thought of cooking meals makes you want to cry.
–You isolate yourself.
–Your energy level is at zero.
— You’re irritable all the time.
–You hardly recognize yourself when looking in the mirror.
If you’re experiencing two or more of the above, you may be burnt out.
Why does burn out happen? It is the result of not prioritizing yourself and your needs. It’s as simple as that. As parents, we learn to put the needs of our kids, co-workers, neighbors and just about everyone else, ahead of our own. When we try to be everything to everyone it depletes our energy, time, and happiness.
Here are some simple things you can do to improve your self-care and avoid burning out–
1. Say no more often. Decide you’re not going to feel guilty and remind yourself of how this is healthy for you.
2. Find an activity that you enjoy. Take a class, exercise, read or do anything that is healthy and brings your pleasure
3. Stop trying to be perfect. Sometimes it is better to focus on getting a task done rather than it being done perfectly. So what dinner isn’t the perfect meal–they’re eating, right?
4. Put yourself in time-out. Make sure the kids are safe, close your room door and take the time to decompress.
5. Speak up. Stop being a doormat and make your needs known. Set expectations for how you want to be treated and don’t waiver. You can’t expect others to know what you need unless you tell them.
You’ll be a better partner, parent and more importantly, you’ll nurture yourself by implementing daily self-care measures. Start today.