Parenting is the only job that requires your attention all day, every day, year round, so it’s natural to be concerned about burning out. Life can be stressful enough without kids, so if you have multiple children, a job, school, other relatives you need to care for, and/or pets, all of these things can compound and add to your levels of stress and may lead to burn out.
Raising children isn’t always immediately gratifying, so parenting requires a lot of time, love and patience. If you have many other things going on in your life, your patience and energy can be spread thin. Wanting to be a good parent and having a high standard of parenting can add even more stress to your life and lead to burnout more quickly.
Many parents are unable or unwilling to recognise burnout in themselves – many become so used to feeling tired and exhausted that they may not realise there is a more serious problem at hand. Click here to read How to Recognise Your Partner’s Burnout. Others feel a sense of shame in admitting to needing help, especially if they feel the need to maintain an image of being the perfect parent. Some parents who stay at home raising the kids while the other parent goes to work feel even less able to admit to needing help, as there is a perception that this should be manageable. However, as anyone with children will understand, sometimes looking after even just one child can be more tiring than holding down two conventional jobs.
Most of the time, we’re all struggling with something – whether it’s parenting, our health, relationships, work – and we need to recognise when to let go of a self-imposed standard or expectation that we are holding above what is best for ourselves and our family. Your health and well-being is number one – if you come crashing down, then your children will suffer as a result. Whatever some women believe, you do need to put your needs first from time to time – in the end, everyone will benefit if you are happy & healthy.
Don’t suffer in silence – seek help and begin to take care of yourself so that you – and your family – can find balance.