Yesterday, I was at a training all day for my job (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). At the training, people were openly talking about Caregiver Burnout for people taking care of their elderly parents. It was fantastic! People talking about their true feelings not being judged by others. People who really understood what it was like for them and all of their difficulties. In listening to this conversation (and not specifically relating as my parents are still in good health), I thought, what about Parent Burnout. Having three children, all of my time (except when I am at work), is dedicating to the love and care of my children. I really enjoy my children and love them more than anything. Yet, there were times in the last five years of rearing them that I wasn’t as positive about my role as a parent. As I look back over those times, the biggest issue was not caring for myself. I devoted my entire person to my children (and work) and had no time for self-care. This was partially by choice (a poor choice) and partially due to the fact that I didn’t want to be seen as pawning my children off on someone else.
I am a firm believer (and I think you have to as a working parent) in quality time and quantity time. At that point, my children were getting more quantity time but definitely not as good of quality.
Having three children now and comparing my parenting to others, I realize that I had Parent Burnout.
Still loved my children more than anything else, but never leaving their sides, I didn’t have the chance to miss them.
Balance is a key component in life. Without balance, no happiness can be achieved. However, for each person, that balance changes. I believe that finding your perfect balance is the key to an ultimately happy, successful, and productive life.
It is perfectly ok to have others support you in your attempt to parent your children. You do not need to be with them 24/7 in order to be a good parent but only you can create that perfect harmony.
I want to encourage you to examine your life. Do you have Parent Burnout? Could spending some time away from your children improve your outlook, parenting skills and relationship with those cute little bundles of joy? If so, please find someone to support you in your attempt to find some ME time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in active parenting but I also believe in parenting with balance, happiness and enjoyment.
If you aren’t happy, how can your kids be happy?
So, give me some feedback. Is this your problem? Was this your problem? What did you do to help yourself? What is your perfect balance? How do you stay at home moms balance quality verus quantity and parent burnout?
Can’t wait to hear from you!!