As more and more parents are forced to be home with their children, we gathered our best tips for stay-at-home moms to avoid burnout.
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Ladies, we know you’re all Super Moms in your own way. Yes, that applies to you, too, dads! Right now, parents across the country are spending more time at home with their kids than anyone really expected. There’s no doubt it’s exhausting, especially as summer comes to an end with little hope for schools to reopen right away. That’s why utilizing tips for stay-at-home moms to avoid burnout can apply to all parents at home with their kids full-time, including working parents.
How to Manage Burnout as a Parent
Preventing parental burnout may not be completely preventable, but learning to manage that stress will make it easier to move forward. The primary symptom of burnout is exhaustion. It’s normal to feel very overwhelmed right now – just like it’s normal to feel this way in a normal stay-at-home parent situation. Here’s how you can start actively avoiding burnout as a parent.
Pick your Battles
Shifting your expectations during stressful times can improve your mental health. No one is perfect, and although you probably try very hard to be the perfect parent, it will exhaust you. Pick the battles to fight it out and know when to step back. Fighting every battle could easily result in a blowout that you’ll later regret. When you can, step away and ask yourself “how do I want to see this moment when I look back at it?”
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Find a Support System
For now, your support system might be online. That’s OK! Make time for phone conversations with people outside the home to maintain support. When the time is right, it’s also helpful to have in-person support from friends and family who can give you occasional breaks from parenting.
Make Time for Yourself and Your Relationship
It’s OK to tell your kids “I need you not to bother me for 15 minutes.” Set a timer and give them an activity, and they can come to you again when the timer dings. If you can, split responsibilities with your partner to give you each time to yourselves. It’s harder than ever to find alone time, so scheduling it into your days will be the only way to make it happen. Then dress the kids in a comfy pajamas set, put them to bed early and enjoy a relaxing evening with your partner to reconnect.
At a time when most of our connections with others are forced to move online, it’s also important to know when to step back. Technology fuels a lot of stress. Social media, in particular, can set unrealistic expectations and put additional pressure on parents to be perfect. Step away from technology whenever you can to both maintain your mental health and set a good example for your kids.
Manage your Physical Health
Your physical health can drastically impact your mental health (and vice versa). Despite the craziness of your stay-at-home life, make time to do something active for yourself. That might just mean taking a walk as a family to get outside and get moving. Additionally, try to avoid using substances like alcohol as a crutch. While they help your stress in the moment, they can drain your energy in the long run.
Don’t hold back how you’re feeling from your kids or your partner. Tell your children when you need a moment, and provide them activities that keep them occupied, even if that means increased screen time. Sharing your specific emotions with your kids can help stay aware. For example, it’s OK to say that you were angry but now you feel better and happy. Hiding your stress from your partner and people in your life means that they don’t know to provide the help you might need. You can also consider online therapy as a way to reduce burnout and manage the stress in your life.
We know it’s particularly hard right now to be a stay-at-home parent. You undoubtedly spend all of your time worrying about your family. Please take care of yourselves the best that you can too!
What other tips do you have to help stay-at-home moms avoid burnout?!
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