A marathon, not a sprint
With so much demand on parents to feel like they are always doing the best for their children, it is easy to forget the need to take care of ourselves as well as the little people we are responsible for.
In any profession, there is an ability to experience burnout.
That feeling of utter exhaustion, being ‘done’, losing the motivation to continue to perform, and most of all, creating a sense of being overwhelmed, emotionally drained and worn out.
There is no role that is more susceptible to burnout than parenting- either on a small or significant scale. After all, it is a role that requires our attention all day, every day; whether that be when we are with our children, or simply the background planning, thinking and ‘mental load’ that every parent experiences. Whilst we are driven by love, care and responsibility- there is only so much energy and time that we have to give.
It can be so helpful to remember that we are not only creating a deficit of self-care when we over-commit or overload as a parent, we are also modelling to our children that taking time for ourselves isn’t a priority.
Particularly in this technologically-advanced and ‘busy’ world, it is getting harder for children to both experience and observe moments of quiet, pause, or- heaven forbid- boredom!
While each day may seem like a race to help our kids develop, learn, play and perfect, you might find it helpful to create daily pauses for yourself. Time without purpose, with the ability to recharge, and with the added bonus of allowing our children to become their own entertainers, and learn how to slow down too!
Whether it’s a few moments in the morning to finish a hot coffee, or taking time to read chapters of a novel in the afternoon, not only will the feeling of parental burnout be avoided, the importance of ‘taking a break’ and self-care will teach our kids to do the same as they grow into busy adults themselves.