Dealing with Parental Burnout

September 25, 2021

Quote of the Week

"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." -- Anne Lamott

Six Ways To Deal With Parental Burnout

"Over 10 years ago, I experienced some mysterious symptoms doctors couldn’t easily explain. Sharp back pain, ringing ears, heart palpitations, and digestive issues didn’t add up. I was fatigued beyond belief, but a decent night’s sleep didn’t make a dent. As a young mother with three children, I couldn’t afford to fall apart.

My kids were not what you’d consider “easy.” I was one of those moms who was always on edge, waiting for the next call from school, wondering if I was making the right choices. I had a wealth of parenting advice but not a wealth of support, in a society that often says, “Here’s what you can do…” and not so much, “How are YOU holding up?” With little to counteract the pressure, I often felt exhausted and overwhelmed.

It turns out my hypervigilance was taking a toll. After several doctors dismissed me, I eventually learned that I had almost no more cortisol, an important hormone responsible for helping us respond to stress. In order to be there for my family, I had to change my relationship with stress. I spent the next several years researching and experimenting, trying to figure out how to restore myself even as my circumstances remained the same.

My recovery from parental burnout taught me many powerful lessons about resilience that happen to be even more relevant these days, as we transition into this next phase of pandemic life. There’s a pull to go back to “normal,” high-speed living. And yet we’re still holding—somewhere inside—the stress and grief of this last year-plus. While it’s tempting to push ahead and try to forget about what we’ve been through, we need to process it so that we can move forward in a healthy way, for ourselves and our kids." [Read Article]

Reading Corner

Title: Perfectly Imperfect Parenting - Connection Not Perfection
By: Mary O'Kane
Stage: All

"With these simple words a new world of parenting opens. There is no such creature as the perfect parent. The impossible nature of trying to raise and develop individual lives is daunting at the best of times. Yet, throughout the generations there is one constant at the heart of parenting - a willingness to learn and develop, to connect with our children, and to grow with them.

Becoming the Perfectly Imperfect Parent is a unique look into how we connect with our children and the impacts those interactions produce. By appreciating our children’s needs and potential we become more responsive to them. We build strong relationships and secure attachments which will ensure our children become the best version of themselves." -- Publisher

Be the Change

As the article suggests, start where you are this week: when you find yourself feeling burntout, overwhelmed or simply exhausted at any point this week, stop and take a deep breath with a longer, slower exhale.