Right from the time you turn off your 6 a.m alarm and get up from the bed, there is so much that you have to do! You are on your feet the entire day without taking a proper break for yourself. Just when your kids are about to leave for school and you inhale a fresh breath, your little one shouts from outside “Mum! I forgot my lunch box!” With all the hustle-bustle going around the house, you almost forget to prioritize your health, which makes connecting with kids harder when they wish to play with you.
But have you wondered why it happens? Why do you get so exhausted that you become too tired to parent your kids? Well, we know why. You are pushing yourself too hard to become Super Parent of the town all the time, without taking time out for yourself! Even Wonder Woman and Superman take some time off to relax and work on their superpowers. They come out stronger than ever after taking a break and this is exactly what you should be doing to avoid parental burnout.
Here are four things you can do to beat parental fatigue.
- Let your kid be – It is a common belief among parents that they need to be around their children all the time. Well, you don’t have to! Kids should be given time to play and explore things by themselves. Individual play among kids has a lot of benefits. Let them explore their surroundings and imagination. In an attempt to be there for your child 24/7, you might make them too dependent on yourself even when they grow up. Once you start giving them their own space of being, you will find time to work on yourself – probably register for that online Zumba class you have been wanting to do?
- Walk on a realistic path – Society has glorified parenting a little too much. It is indeed a unique experience but let’s be realistic, it’s not a walk in the park. You are only human to experience parental fatigue every now and then. Set your own parenting goals which conform to your idea of parenting. In order to please everyone else around you by showing how “active” a parent you are, juggling life, work, and kids, you will end up disappointing yourself. You are doing just fine!
- Power nap – As soon as you get even 15 mins to yourself, catch a power nap then and there! You will be surprised to see how energized you are once you wake up. It is observed that power naps help in the alertness of the brain and better cognitive functioning of the mind. Nap away!
- Ask for help – Parenting can become too exhausting for some parents making it difficult for them to deal with it all by themselves. And it is absolutely okay to ask for help in such a situation. You can hire a babysitter or even get an extra helping hand from your family members!
While you may run out of energy every few hours, your kids can play endlessly without taking any time out! Connecting with kids while relaxing can seem like a task but it does not have to be so. There are a few activities that you can perform with your child while you lie down to relax!
Activities you can do with your kids while relaxing :
- Doctor – This is one of the most popular games that we all have played during childhood. You can be the patient and your toddler can act as the doctor treating you. You may complain of imaginary (or maybe real) pain that needs immediate attention from a doctor! You can ask your little one to check you and prescribe medicines or even ask him/her to give you a nice soothing massage which will help the pain go away. This is a fun way of connecting with kids who do not require physical activity from your side. On the bright side, this will also teach your child how to care for a sick person!
- Read/recite stories – Another useful activity is to read a storybook together. You can ask your kid to read a story from any of his/her favorite books and you can listen to it lying beside her. This is a great way to initiate reading habits in your child and for you to relax while they do so. You can also ask your little tot to write down a story and later recite it to you. So, while they are busy in the world of imagination, you can get your power nap!
- Audiobooks – These are great for budding readers as it helps in enhancing their fluency of language by listening. What better way to relax on your couch with your little one listening to wonderful stories than audiobooks! These are available online on various sites, even for free.
The methods of parenting are different for everyone. Every parent wants to care for their child in every way they can. However, if you are too tired to parent, it is time to take some time off and look after yourself too. As most of the parents are both working, it might seem that you are missing out on certain things or are unable to connect with your kids. Parental burnout is common and experiencing it does not make you weak. It is essential for you to understand when it has become too much for you and what you can do to combat it. You have handled it well till now, and you will continue to do so! Happy parenting.