Being a parent is a full-time job, as many moms and dads can well attest. Unlike many other jobs though, moms don’t often get sick days or paid vacation. How can you handle the stress of motherhood and prevent burnout? Here are a few tips.
Avoid Negative People
Criticism and complaining, even when it is not directed at you specifically, can shift your attitude to a negative disposition, making you more critical toward your children, your spouse, and yourself. When that criticism is destructive instead of constructive, it tears at your relationships and attachments, making it even harder to be a parent.
Find a Support System
Trade up the negative relationships that criticize you and your family, for people that genuinely support you and your family. There are two ways people use support systems. The first is to reach out to those who can support you when you are going through crisis moments. Doctors, counselors, and other professionals fit this category.
The second way is in being a mutual supporter of another family when they struggle and receiving their help in return. Meeting with supporting friends like these on a regular basis, not just in times of crisis, can help you prevent some of those crisis moments from occurring in the first place.
Put Yourself First
The common expectation is that you will put your children first. Unfortunately, if you give too much and suffer burnout, you will have nothing to give your children, and they will be disappointed because of their unrealistic expectations of you. It’s a long, drawn out, lose-lose scenario. If you put yourself first instead, you can set realistic expectations for your family and be more successful at being mom (or dad).
Spend Time With Your Partner
Your significant other is your biggest supporter. You need to spend time together because the teamwork you hope to achieve as parents is measured by the strength of your relationships. Spending time with your significant other will help give you the support that you need to be a better parent.
Put Your Partner to Work
As you take time to spend with your significant other, ask them to help bear the burden of parenting with you. Teamwork between parents always works better with clear, open communication channels and by working on your relationship with them, you will have the relational credit to get them to work with you more on parenting your family together.
Watch Your Tech Time
Phones, televisions, computers, tablets… all of these forms of technology eat away at our time. Most often, nothing productive is happening, and that is time that is robbed from you truly being refreshed or spending it with your family. Think to yourself, “If I only had one more hour left to live, what would I do with it? Would I spend it on Facebook or scrolling through other social media?” Take control of your time by taking control of your tech.
Just say No to Overscheduling
Remember, you control the calendar, and you set the example for your family. If you set a schedule that spreads your family too thin and you model behavior that leads to burnout, you will end up teaching your children to do the very same thing. If you want them to lead a safe, happy, healthy life, you need to show them how it is done in your own life.