Every parent feels run-down and worn-out from time to time. Parenting, after all, is the most time-consuming, intensive, 24/7 job anyone can ever shoulder. But what if you feel exhausted constantly? What if, even after the first few baby years are behind you, you can’t remember what having energy feels like? What happens when you start getting a normal sleeping pattern going, but you still wake up feeling tired every day?
Parents that are burnt-out experience more intense feelings of frustration and even anxiety than normal. If you’re a working parent, when you come home, all you want to do is eat something, have some alone time and get an early night. If you manage to muster up the energy to spend time with your children, it can start to feel like a chore, and feel like it’s draining the last tiny bit of reserve. You feel like you just have no more left to give. You may start to find reasons not to be at home like ‘working late’ or spending more time on hobbies. Even when you are physically present you may distance yourself by shutting off and watching TV or sitting on front of your computer, busying yourself with things that require less emotional energy.
Your exhaustion leads to frustration. Feelings of frustration grow into resentment, depression and even apathy. You have lost the joy of spending time with your children and start to feel like you can’t even pretend anymore. You may also say things you don’t mean at the expense of your own children. Your patience is non-existent; you lash out and soon you’ll find your relationships becoming strained.
If you can relate to this, then I encourage you to consider professional help. If left unchecked, burnout can have negative consequences to the relationship you have with your children, your partner and other family relationships.
If you’re still trying to assess as to whether your fatigue is ‘normal’ or not, read through this list and see how many of these you can relate to:
Do you feel irritated, annoyed or stressed most days?
Do you feel withdrawn and introverted?
Do you find yourself snapping at your children, partner/spouse, friends or co-workers?
Do you wish you had never had any children?
Do you feel exhausted most days regardless of how much rest and sleep you get?
Have you lost interest in doing activities you once enjoyed?
Do you have difficulty taking care of your children and find their needs overwhelming?
Do you believe you have to be perfect?
Do you believe in Super Mom or wonder woman?
Do you have low productivity, never able to get things done?
Do you have Problems sleeping?
Do you feel reduced enjoyment of your children?
Do you have negative attitudes (about oneself or others?)
Do you lack of motivation?
Do you feel reduced affection to your children and spouse?
Do you get accused you of being moody?
Do you water down your mom routine and let the kids fend for themselves?
Do you frequently wake up in the morning still feeling drained?
Do you go to bed feeling guilty as if you’re not being a loving Mom with the kids?
Do you feel a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as they should?
Do you feel a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work?
Do you feel that you just can’t wait for your children to go to bed?
Do you feel a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop?
Do forget things constantly? It’s a sign you’re burnt-out!