Parental Burnout: Stop, Drop, and Roll With It
Pack me up and send me to Maui!
This momma is leaving town.
Okay, so I’m not really skipping town. I would never leave my child, but oh have I had it today. Parents, if you’re reading this post and can honestly say that you have never been pushed to the brink of exhaustion (or nearly lost your freaking mind), I might just give you the Cardi B look of doubt.
For the rest of us that know parenting isn’t always lollipops and rainbows, this blog post might push you to have a revelation - - just like the one had earlier today. You see, I have been tired before. We all have. Between work, laundry, dinner, grocery shopping, and every other parental duty it’s not uncommon to be completely pooped by the end of the day.
But this feeling…this wasn’t pooped. No, today I think I finally realized that parental burnout IS a thing.
Let me rewind back 3 hours prior to this post and tell you all about the moment that helped me realized I was depleted and it was time I did something about it.
Today was like any other ordinary day. My 7 year old son was being his usual self - - calling my name 100 times per minute (in case I didn’t hear him the first 99 times), pleading for just one more Hershey Bar from the store (because he practically inhaled the first one too fast to really enjoy it), and playing one of his favorite games called, “Challenge.” You know, the game where you make a request and instead of following the request, your child challenges your why.
For me, it goes a little something like this:
Me: “Hey son. Can I brush your hair really quick?”
Son: “Why do we have to brush my hair? We just brushed it yesterday.”
Or even this…
Me: “Hey son. Can you tie your shoes?”
Son: “I just tied them like 5 minutes ago. They keep coming unloose. Why do I have to keep tying them”?
Though I am used to my son just doing what kids do, today it finally happened.
You know… IT.
My son asked me the most benign question, “When will dinner be ready?” I snapped. “I had a long day at work son. Can I just get settled first before you start asking questions?” It was ice cold and judging from the look on his face, he wasn’t expecting such an overreaction. I was on edge but as soon as the reply escaped my lips, I immediately felt bad.
He didn’t break any rule. He wasn’t being disobedient. He was just being a kid and I screamed.
Parents, our kids don’t know what it’s like to have adult roles and responsibilities so the little things they do that can drive us up a wall is most often done unintentionally. However, if you find yourself growing more irritated about the simplest of things (like being asked when will dinner be ready) it might be one of the many signs that you are burned out and it’s time you re-charge - - like I had to.
So, How Did I Do It?
I decided to STOP, DROP, and ROLL WITH IT. If parenting is wearing you out, don’t feel like you’re a horrible person. It’s natural, but the key is to do something about it. Try this:
Stop: That’s right. Stop. Breathe. Woosah. Of course you can’t neglect the necessary duties like feeding your child, but there are some things that can be put on hold. Put those dishes off until tomorrow. Push that laundry pile to the side. It will get done. Disturb your normal routine for some YOU time. Sometimes I wake up, throw my hair in a bun, bypass the make-up, spend two seconds on selecting and outfit, and probably leave my house looking a hot mess for work. The gag is, I don’t feel bad about it. shrugs In fact, I own it. I am a hard-working momma so if I need to stop my ordinary routine for a few extra hours of sleep then by God I’m doing it. Bloop!
Drop: Revaluate your schedule and drop those obligations that put immense strain on you. Being pulled in so many directions can seriously deplete you. Again, I’m not encouraging you to neglect your children. I’m not even encouraging you to neglect yourself or your goals. However, as bad as we want to do it all, sometimes it’s unrealistic and we can’t. This is when you prioritize and decipher what can be included in your routine. I’ll admit, fitness is where I struggled with this. After scrolling through Instagram and seeing all of the “body goals” pictures, I told myself that would be me (y’all be looking GOOD). In doing so, I tried to go to the gym EVERY night in addition to my mommy responsibilities. Listen, this just did not work for me. I was exhausted and found myself doing more harm than good (i.e. getting to bed way later and losing sleep). I dropped the idea of going to the gym every day in exchange for at least three days a week. It was more manageable. Now, I might not be body goals but you’re going to see this mommy-fit body and you’re going to love it! snaps fingers
Roll With It: Excuse my French, but sh*t happens. The sooner you learn that with having kids, things won’t always go as planned, the less anxious you’ll be. In fact, you will be more relaxed and feel less drained overall. Roll with it. So, what? You get your child all cleaned up and dressed to go and the moment you leave the door he or she spills something on their shirt. If it’s not terribly bad, wipe it up as best as possible and keep on moving. If your child is anything like my child, he or she was going to get dirty at some point in the day anyway. All I’m saying, is sometimes we make a mountain out of a mole hill. You can’t roll with everything but there is PLENTY that we CAN roll with.
Wrapping Up With SimplyMei
I’m not saying I have all of the parenting answers. I’m just giving you something to think about. Our kids don’t deserve to get the short end of the stick, but that’s exactly what they get when we are burned out and have nothing to give. Recognize when it's time to unplug and recharge to be the best parent you can be. Kicks up feet and sips wine… I have to go reclaim my time now.
But what do I know…
I’m just a blogger that writes down her opinions. Until next time with #SimplyMei…
If you like anything you have read or would like to make a comment, feel more than welcome to do so! Private thoughts or comments? Email SimplyMei: email@example.com . You may also share blog posts to all of your friends on your social media outlets and tag SimplyMei. Find SimplyMei on:
Facebook: Like Page “Simply Mei Subscribers' Page"