You’ve had it!
The kids are driving you nut, and you have reached your breaking point. And that’s not hyperbole. It’s the truth. Parents have so many demands placed upon them. At times, it feels that they are more than you can handle.
Of course, you love your kids, want to provide for them, and ensure that they have a healthy upbringing. But the day-to-day stress of parenting is causing you to experience parental burnout.
Yet what does that mean? Here are some signs that you might be experiencing parental burnout, and what to do about it.
You’re Tired All the Time
One sign that you’re burned out is that you feel tired all the time. We’re not just talking about feeling exhausted after one night of taking care of the kids. It’s a constant state of being where you are just flat-out exhausted. You have no energy left to do anything.
When you need to rally, you do your best to tap into a reserve of energy. Yet now even that’s gone. “Sucking it up” won’t help. What you need is sleep and rest. Sleep is critically important for both the body and mind. Without it, you just don’t function.
When You Get Stressed You Snap Back
Another sign that you’re struggling is that you are snappy all the time. This means that when something stressful is occurring, even a minor issue, you snap back at the other person in anger. For instance, your child refuses to put on their shirt. Instead of patiently working with them to get dressed, you angrily say “Put on your shirt now!”
This phenomenon doesn’t even have to occur when someone is being defiant. For example, your partner might say something, and, in response, you angrily quip back. Keep in mind you’re not actually angry at your child or your partner. It’s just that your mind is so stressed that any perceived problem or issue gets an over-the-top response.
Overwhelm is Your Mainstay
You might be angry and frustrated all the time because, deep down, you are overwhelmed. New problems keep arising when you least expect them. For instance:
- The coach called reminding you the sports fee is overdue.
- You just found out your child has a project that requires special materials.
- Your partner forgot to schedule that appointment and doesn’t have the time, so the task falls on you.
These issues seem little, but the cumulative effect is that they overwhelm your ability to cope with stress, which is even more overwhelming!
There’s Never Time for Yourself
Because there are so many demands on your time and attention, it feels as if there is never any time for yourself. Even for an hour! That’s a problem. Taking time for yourself is not an indulgence. Rather, it’s necessary maintenance time that you need to ensure you are taken care of. For example:
- Bathing, grooming, etc.
- Reading or listening to music.
- Relaxing with some peace and quiet.
These moments help you take care of your body and allow your mind to rest. But if you are constantly being drawn away to take care of others, then there is precious little time to do the things you need to function.
What to Do About Parental Burnout
If you suspect you are struggling with parental burnout, ask for help. Talk today to a therapist who understands stress and anxiety. Keep in mind that asking for help doesn’t mean that you are a failure as a parent. Far from it!
Counseling will help you find more manageable ways to deal with your responsibilities. And, perhaps even reduce them! Plus, you will have a place to direct your anger, frustration, and resentment in a healthy way that doesn’t damage your relationships with those whom you love.
Parenting is never easy. Even with the most perfect children, parents can occasionally feel stressed. But for some, parental burnout is a very real concern. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Reach out today to learn more about stress counseling and how it works, 256-686-9195.