For sure, summer vacations always filled us with joy, excitement, and happiness until we became parents ourselves. In addition to this, the hit of covid made the situation worse. Everything got close. People became strictly bound inside their homes.
No schools. No outdoor sports. It means there was nothing left for children to do. Moreover, parents have to do their jobs plus manage children all the time inside the home. This complex situation kindled a lot of stress and anxiety in parents.
No doubt, the pandemic was the most suffering period for the parents. For example, during covid, parents were over-burdened with jobs and children while there remained no activities for the children. Thus, the long pandemic period drained out all the energy of parents, which resulted in a problem called ‘parents burnout.’
What is Parental burnout?
It’s natural that parents give their best to their children. In fact, they don’t even care about themselves. Sometimes, this continuous struggle of raising children makes parents overwhelmed. This situation causes exhaustion and anxiety in parents.
Similarly, parental burnout is defined as overwhelming exhaustion, a situation in which parents are left with no energy to spend, complete irritability, and disappointment in their parental role. Often, it becomes tough to differentiate parental burnout from usual mood swings. However, if the problem remains neglected, it may cause serious mental health issues.
In the early 1980s, it was first identified by the researchers Isabelle Roskam and Moira Mikolajczak, who termed it ‘Exhaustion syndrome.’ They characterized Parental burnout as physically and mentally overwhelmed by their role as a parent.
According to studies, parental burnout was rising after the Covid-19 and lockdowns. Parenting is a lifetime commitment. Thus, one can’t be excused from performing the responsibilities. Therefore, we have to be keen about recognizing the initial signs of parental burnout before it gets worse.
Impacts of Parental burnout on Mental Health:
It can badly affect the parents’ mental health if left unchecked. Following are some of the signs and symptoms of parental burnout. Includes,
- Brain fog
- Increased level of stress
- Short temper
- Sensitivity to emotions and feelings
- Upset stomach
- Disturbed sleep routine
- Obsessive-compulsive tendency
In addition to mental health, it can also affect your overall health. Thus, it may cause hormonal imbalance, which can disrupt the sleep cycle. Furthermore, poor sleep can lead to severe heart issues such as coronary heart disease.
Parental burnout may also affect your relationship with your children and partner. For instance, you may not feel connected with them. Consequently, it causes an increase in destructive arguments and miscommunication and can flare up tension.
Will Parental burnout be particularly Rough this summer?
There are possibilities that parental burnout will be rough this summer. What’s the reason behind it? We certainly try our best to pass through the perplexed pandemic period smoothly. However, it somehow has adverse effects on our mental health. More specifically, it ignited parental burnout issues severely.
‘Action for Children’ published a report stating that approximately 80% of parents are currently suffering from parental burnout due to the pandemic. Furthermore, the situation can become awful because of the unavailability of resources to cope with it.
Every day with young children in itself is a challenge. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a routine to maintain your home and kids. However, routines got changed abruptly due to the pandemic.
There has been the ease in lockdown, which allows parents to breathe a sigh of relaxation as older children return to everyday life. However, it’s summer now, shifting routine and schedule and throwing everyone off balance.
Moreover, the government hasn’t scheduled any vaccine program for kids aged five or below. Therefore, parents with toddlers and preschoolers still have to restrict themselves from freely enjoying everyday life routines.
Furthermore, when they see clothes moving freely without considering that a large group of kids is still vulnerable. Thus, it may develop feelings of isolation among parents, which will flare up anxiety and stress.
Tips for managing Parental burnout this summer:
Do you think stress will be released by taking a bubble bath or five-minute meditation? No, it’s not going to work. Managing parental burnout is not about adding more activities to your daily routine but deleting some tasks and trying to relax for some time.
There are some strategies mentioned below to follow and have a period of relaxation this summer.
- Take Control of your Calendar:
It is better to control your calendar yourself instead of panicking by abrupt changes to run your life smoothly. Thus, it’s not an easy task to ideally schedule your life. However, by doing a little research, you may be able to design a proper plan for the summer. When you create a plan, you prepare your brain for upcoming tasks. Therefore, your mind will not react in a way as to sudden challenges.
- Prioritize yourself:
Most parents forget themselves when kids add to their lives. They often repress their health and well-being for the children’s happiness. Moreover, they try to spend all their energy on raising kids.
But think once. Is it okay? How is it going to work? Every person has a natural capacity for doing work. So, what will happen when you’re burnt out? Because it is you who has to manage all the matters. Thus, you can do nothing if you are not healthy and sound. Therefore, it is also equally important to do self-care and kids’ care.
Give yourself a priority. Go out for a walk or have dinner with friends. Watch your favorite movie and do exercise daily. Hence, it will be the best way to cope with the bummer summer.
- Communicate your feelings:
It is good to ask for help if you are feeling isolated. Tell your partner about your feelings and the stress you are suffering. If you don’t express your feelings will exacerbate the stress and lead to severe parental burnout.
Furthermore, hire a caretaker for your kids if you have drained out. Do whatever you are comfortable with, which relaxes you. In short, it’s a challenging task to be active for the whole day, but you can manage if you have a healthy mind and body. That’s why to focus on yourself first, then anything else.
- Admire Yourself:
For sure, parenting is the most demanding job in the world. Unfortunately, we never have any discussion about it on any forum. It is an awful thing that we don’t admire parents for the continuous tasks they do without taking any break.
In fact, parents should admire themselves for the arduous duty they offer to their kids and home without asking for any reward. Thus, this practice will be beneficial in preventing parental burnout.
To cut a long story short:
- Make a proper plan and schedule before stepping into any new task.
- Keep yourself relaxed by doing what you want, like watching movies, going out with friends, etc.
- Instead of keeping yourself in the dark box, communicate with your family, friends, and children.
Furthermore, make sure that you are still a priority and give credit to yourself.