Parenting can be one of the most challenging parts of human existence. While it can be easy for some to fall in love with their little ones from the moment they lay eyes on them, raising children can drain the life of even the most enthusiastic parents. Whether from cultural or societal expectations, many parents neglect their self-care in favor of tending to the needs of their children. This approach, while noble, isn’t realistic and can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.
There are countless memes and forums on the internet that can help parents find solidarity with one another through their experience and share a good laugh (or cry) as they navigate the whirlwind adventure of raising kids.
You may be wondering when parenting gets less exhausting so you can finally catch your breath. The short answer is it doesn’t. Although parenthood doesn’t get less exhausting, there are ways that you can take care of yourself to recover your sanity.
If you’re suffering from burnout, it’s time to take a step back (or have a seat) and look out for yourself. Here are a few ways that you can fight burnout, how burnout occurs, confront your feelings, and how you can take steps to be the best parent possible for your children.
Table of Contents
- Being Honest With Yourself
- Which Part Of Parenting Is The Hardest?
- How to Deal With The Stress
- Remember, It’s All Worth It
Being Honest With Yourself
If you visit a local playground, you’re sure to notice a bleary-eyed parent who is desperate for a break. Parental burnout is a real thing and can push any happy-go-lucky parent to their breaking point. You may want to be superhuman and be the perfect child-rearing specialist, but you’re human. Understanding when you’re close to reaching them is critical.
Being close to your limits can look like several things, which include
- Guilty feelings
It’s unhealthy to deny that you have these feelings, as there is a strong possibility for them to emerge in other ways. Confronting your feelings about how parenting has been a struggle can help get you back on the right path toward addressing the issue.
Which Part Of Parenting Is The Hardest?
Each stage of raising children comes with a unique set of challenges. For instance, when you first bring home a new baby, night feedings, diaper changes, and broken sleep can be a shock to the system. Preparing for how your life instantly changes when you add a baby to the picture is challenging. For these reasons, some parents believe that getting through the newborn stage is the hardest part of parenting.
Other parents believe that having a toddler represents the most challenging age to raise children. While toddlers generally have increased independence, they can also come with a temperament that swings wildly. For example, if you’ve ever given a toddler the wrong (or correct) cup, fork, crayon, toy, etc, there is a good chance that you’ve been on the receiving end of some vicious temper tantrums. Sometimes, these tantrums can make a parent wary of taking a toddler on outings for fear of being embarrassed at the worst time possible.
The most difficult age to raise children varies depending on who you ask. But, some studies suggest that many parents find that parenting a middle schooler is the most challenging. During these years, It can be a delicate balance of keeping your children close while also allowing them the freedom to grow.
The middle school years present children and their parents with sophisticated issues. Middle schoolers often do their best to navigate
- Fluctuating emotions
- Peer Pressure
- Body image issues
Parents want to help their children through these areas, but middle schoolers can become even more frustrated by parental intervention, which can cause disagreements. While parenting at any stage presents its own unique challenges, raising a middle schooler can put parents in a difficult position as communication between children and their parents can break down during these years.
How to Deal With The Stress
Parenting requires substantial investments of time, money, and emotional fortitude. These things can leave you depleted and wondering when the day will (finally) come for the kids to move out and return your sanity. While you may want to pour everything that you have into your children, this approach leaves you empty and can harm your parenting in the long run.
Taking time for yourself and doing things you enjoy can help you decompress for a while, even if it’s less than an hour. A simple form of self-care you can implement is getting 30 minutes of exercise a day. Physical activity can help relieve stress and get the dopamine flowing through your body, helping to improve your mood. You can start with simple activities like going for a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood to get started with an exercise regimen.
If working out isn’t something you care for, take time to find what helps you deal with burnout. You can take some time for yourself to
- Catch up on your favorite novel
- Reconnect with hobbies
- Pamper yourself
- Binge-watch your favorite series
Also, you can cope with burnout by leaning on your support system. Your spouse, other family members, and friends can be great resources when you simply need a moment to step away. Raising children can sometimes be an all-consuming endeavor, but maintaining your other relationships can help you remain balanced, keeping you from being absorbed by your responsibilities. Calling a friend or venting to your significant other during a rough moment can help refresh your perspective and help you recover your joy for your children.
Remember, It’s All Worth It
While you’re in the trenches of parenthood, it can be easy to lose perspective, days can blend together, and you can feel like it’s groundhog day. Although every stage of parenting has its reasons for exhaustion, the act of molding someone into a kind and productive member of society can help motivate you to do the best job possible. But it’s crucial to remember to acknowledge your feelings if you’re getting worn down. Being honest with yourself can help you think about what you need to recharge.
It can be hard to wrestle with guilty feelings when you want to take care of yourself, but caring for yourself is essential for being the best parent you can be.