Has your life been feeling unbalanced lately?
Does it seem like you focus all your attention and energy on your children and have nothing left for yourself?
Being a parent can be wonderful, but it is also natural to sometimes feel overwhelmed by the responsibility. When this overwhelm reaches a certain point, it may even seem difficult to go on. In fact, many parents express feeling depressed or burnt out from the pressure of their parenting duties.
If you are struggling with feelings of parental burnout or depression, the key is to find a healthy balance.
In order to be happy, you must make time for both your children and your own needs. How?
Here are five ways you can regain balance.
1. Keep a Realistic Schedule
Parental burnout and depression are often the result of a severely overcrowded schedule.
Are your children involved in every possible extracurricular activity? Do you spend hours each day chauffeuring them around from school to music lessons to soccer practice? Busy family schedules only add to existing stress, especially if you also work long hours.
Rather than trying to do everything and be everywhere, keep your schedule realistic. Consider the needs and wants of both you and your children and set attainable goals for everyone.
2. Ask for Help
When you are feeling burnt out or depressed, even everyday tasks can seem like major, insurmountable roadblocks. You only have so many hours each day and so many resources to devote to your many parenting responsibilities.
Thus, when you begin to feel overwhelmed, ask for help! You do not need to wait until you’ve reached your breaking point before learning to delegate.
Ask your spouse, neighbor, friend, coworker, or a fellow parent to help with some of the tasks that feel overwhelming. You can only be the best parent for your children after you have first taken care of yourself. So, identify your problem areas as early as you can.
3. Give Your Children Space
Being a supportive parent is probably very important to you. While it is wonderful that you want to be there for your children when they need you, you should also allow them space to grow and mature.
Unless your children are very young or are dealing with a physical or mental disability, they do not need you to be around all the time.
Children need independence and opportunities to learn things for themselves. It is perfectly okay to ask a child to entertain themselves or spend time alone while you read a book, take a bath, make a phone call, or just take a few minutes of “me” time.
4. Adjust Your Expectations
Do you base your happiness and worth solely on how well you are parenting on any given day? Expecting your parenting skills to be your primary source of validation is a recipe for disaster.
As a result, you may be feeling depressed or worthless just because you are not the “perfect” parent. You, like so many other parents, may want to raise your children in an ideal way. But when you and your children cannot live up to the exceedingly high expectations you have set, you will undoubtedly feel like you have failed.
Rather than feeling exhausted, dissatisfied, inadequate, and distant about not living up to “perfection,” try to instead focus on the many wonderful things you and your child are doing right. Work on valuing your relationship and the time you have together rather than your shortcomings.
5. Seek Professional Help When Needed
While there are many steps you can take to independently regain balance with your parenting responsibilities, sometimes professional help is needed. Parental depression and burnout are extremely real, and their symptoms can make it very hard to function on a daily basis.
If you are regularly having feelings of guilt, overwhelming sadness, exhaustion, worthlessness, or frustration, you do not have to struggle alone. Depression counseling has helped parents nationwide to cope more effectively with the demands of parenthood, and it may be able to help you too.
If you are shackled by the chains of parental burnout and depression, you can take back your life! Please, please feel free to contact me here or call me at (281) 693-1455 if you are ready to begin your journey of liberation and healing.