Parenting is tough. That goes without saying. Of course, it’s something that the vast majority of us love and wouldn’t change for the world. We adore our little ones and will do whatever we can to make sure that their lives are as happy and full as possible. But at the same time, you do need to remember that you are an individual too. You are a person with needs and it’s important that you don’t completely neglect yourself. If you do, you may find that you quickly experience burnout, which will impact both you and your ability to care for your children as best possible. Caring for yourself is important for everyone’s wellbeing. But what is burnout and what can you do to give yourself a good break? Read on for more information that will guide you on this journey.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that you may experience as a result of facing ongoing stress or pressure in your life. When experiencing burnout, you may find yourself feeling tired or drained most of the time, feeling helpless, trapped or defeated, feeling detached, experiencing loneliness, growing cynical or pessimistic, doubting yourself, procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed. It is officially recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who often speak about it in terms of occupational burnout – resulting from stress resulting from work. However, when you are a parent, you may find yourself experiencing parental burnout. This is a specific subset of burnout that stems from the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that can come hand in hand with the chronic stress of parenting. You may find that experiences of parental burnout result in you emotionally distancing yourself from your child, showing irritability, becoming more easily angered and generally having a short fuse. You may also experience the other symptoms of burnout highlighted above. Some parents will find themselves questioning their parenting ability, feeling inadequate, confused or isolated.
Giving Yourself a Break
Of course, it’s absolutely essential that you provide your children with what they need to lead healthy and happy lives with the best opportunities for the future. But you do need to learn to give yourself a break too. Here are some ideas that could meet your individual needs and preferences.
Getting Up Early
Finding time to rest around kids can be difficult. From the moment they wake until the moment they go to sleep, they can often be demanding and want ongoing interaction. Some parents find that simply getting up a little earlier than their kids in the morning helps them to have some time to themselves. Just giving yourself an extra half an hour where you can have a cup of tea or coffee, sit down and relax can make all the difference.
There are so many different products out there that have been specially designed to help you feel at ease. From Delta 8 THC Vape Carts to hot water bottles, soothing bath salts, cooling face masks or anything else, just indulging a little can really help you to unwind when you don’t have to do anything else.
Getting Your Sleep
It’s essential that you get your eight hours of sleep every night. This number is recommended for good reason. It’s what your body and mind need to process the day, rest and recuperate. Yet all too many parents simply don’t hit these targets. It’s harder when you have newborns keeping you up at night, but once your kids are in a good bedtime routine, it’s important to get yourself into one too!
Remember that if you are feeling a little overwhelmed and just need a little time to yourself, there are plenty of childcare options out there for you. Having a babysitter look after your little ones gives you time to do something grown up that you miss. Meeting up with friends for dinner, going for a spa day or anything else that ticks your boxes.
Know that Nobody is Perfect
There’s way too much pressure being placed on ourselves nowadays as a result of socail media. Remember that when you’re scrolling through parent Instagram pages and more, this is edited to show the highlights and the best bits. Nobody’s life is perfect. Every parent struggles. It’s hard work. Don’t hold yourself to impossible standards, as this will lead to disappointment and feelings of dejection. As long as your children are happy and healthy, all is well.
Parenting is hard. It takes commitment and responsibility. But it also takes you being in the best place you can be. Hopefully, some of the above advice will help you to give yourself a break!