Mum & Dad Burnouts
What It is and how it may be creeping up in disguise.
Some ways to identify mum burnout.
Feelings of shame or guilt.
Low motivation for day to day activities.
Difficulty knowing how you feel.
Doing things for yourself is hard.
Exhaustion, Easily triggered.
Overwhelmed with emotion and tasks.
What is it?
Mum & Dad burnout; The emotional and physical exhaustion that you feel from the chronic stress of parenting. This can happen at any age of your children. Every time they grow and change, so does your social situation and responsibilities, so there is no telling when this may hit. If you feel it, know you are not alone and this is not anything to do with the love for your children. This is not about your abilities to parent, you got this. This is your body, mind and soul's way of showing up to make you reflect by manifesting itself in a psychical way.
Take this opportunity to acknowledge the challenges we now face with 21st century parenting. We live in such a high pressured society to eat a certain way, look a certain way, homework a certain way and well, do everything in a certain way... to get it perfect.
If you are in the eye of the storm;
If this is playing a huge part in your life. Take a day off from motherhood. Leave the washing, forget the veg and the homework can wait. Ask for a day off by leaning on a friend or family member you trust. Or play with your kids guilt free. Whatever you need to breath when it's too much.
Ways to work on the long term
Use this time every month to address and delegate ongoing tasks. Upgrade kids chores/ revisit the calendars and calve the time out to make sure everyone's love cup is full. The key to family meetings being successful is putting the date in your diary. Do not let anything interrupt this time or let work / other engagements get put in it's place. Everyone's
happier when everyone is happy. Here is your time to ASK FOR HELP- it does not make you weak. Keep a family meeting diary and action what was spoken about.
A great tool I have known people to use is a daily communication book. Everyone checks the book daily and can see if anyone needs help.
Mum; Please can someone put the bin out, feed the cat.
Daughter: Emptied dishwasher, Please can I have help with math's homework and we are running out of milk.
Dad; Got the milk, did the bins, thankyou for dinner, helped with homework, please can someone iron my red shirt for Thursday.
This is particularly useful for families on shift patterns or single parents with older children. The book makes communication and actioning tasks easy.
2. Lower your Expectations.
We all look for happy and love. Ask yourself what that looks like in your version of life. Will the healthiest lunchbox bring that? Will Cooking the best cakes in the bake sale bring that? The cleanest windows? Maybe it will, if that is the case, go you and keep it up. My point is, if something gets in the way of your joy because it's something you think you should be doing, rather than something you WANT to be doing... look for ways to lower expectations in areas that do not serve your own happiness.
3. Stop comparing
Check yourself when you do this. Maybe wear an elastic band and snap it every time you have this thought to see if this thought process rules your life.
Has comparing yourself to others EVER served you? Does it enable you to be the most authentic self? Every time you compare yourself or your children to others, you are squishing your own amazing individual and awesome selves. In a world where you can be anything- BE YOU! If you compare yourself to others so you feel good about your life, I encourage some deep meditation in this area.
4. Move your body
In times of stress, we often over look our own needs, when we should actually be putting out own gas masks on first. Even if it means dragging the pushchair along, do it. Natural resources such as fresh air and nature, combined with walking and jogging can get you the physical adjustment you need to snap out the chains of stress. Do not underestimate the power of this- push past your mind. If you have too, get up early and do it straight away so nothing can get in your way!
5. Journal to track your mood;
Writing down your day in a way that allows you to step back and reflect on your achievements, as well as your areas of imperfection, catapults you into mindfulness and allows you to be the observer of your own life and family dynamics. You can over time easily identify areas that may need bringing up in family meetings.