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  • Parental burnout 

    As a parent I am sure just thinking of being burnt out physically, emotionally, and mentally from your children brings you a sense of guilt or shame. I am here to reassure you that this is a normal response we have as humans. You might be experiencing sharp back pain, ringing in your ears, heart palpitations, and digestive issues and have no idea where this is coming from or how to fix it. As parents, especially to little children, we know that sleep deprivation is something that is real and we struggle with it. Having all of these emotions and not resetting your body or mind with sleep is causing your body to be deprived of cortisol which is the hormone that is responsible for helping respond to stress. 

    You may be experiencing these symptoms because you are hypervigilant to every need your child has. You are playing numerous roles of parent, teacher, partner, employee, caretaker, maybe a coach or part of the PTA. All of these roles are demanding and we get burnt out. We are being pulled in every direction and stretched thin. 

    When your child starts whining or complaining you may notice your responses are a little more rigid than they used to be and that is because you are burnout and replying with a stress response. Your day may look like instant irritation as soon as you open your eyes, not wanting to get out of bed and not looking forward to the day. Other symptoms that may occur is anxiety, low motivation, lack of energy, fatigue and irritability. 

    So what are ways you can resolve burnout? Social media is a huge influence on how we should be parenting and puts unrealistic expectations on us. It causes us to feel we are not the ‘perfect’ parent and puts more pressure on what we should be doing. Take a step back and use the STOP method: STOP. TAKE a deep breath with a longer exhale. Dig your feet into the ground as you tune into your five senses. OBSERVE what you’re thinking and feeling. Then decided on the next thing and PROCEED with intention. 

    Indulge in self care. I know taking a bubble bath, getting away from the kids for the day, or going out and doing something is a challenge, so what is meant by this is to do small things throughout the day to help. Making sure you take time to eat an actual meal, taking five minutes in another room to decompress, watching a tv show when they nap or playing. 

    If you have the support of family or friends, utilize them when you can. They say it takes a village and it’s okay to rely on them. Let them know what your current struggles are and have them give input or simply help you with what your current needs are. 

    And of course, if you are still struggling with parenting burnout or feel alone and don’t have the village, seek professional help. I am here to discuss the difficult moments of parenthood and give an unbiased perspective. I am here to implement new ideas on how to help you and your family and bring fun and life back into the family. 

    Click ‘schedule today’ to complete a free 15 minute consultation with me! 

    Monica Bartley MA, SWT
    Maternal Health Specialist

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