Parental/Carer Burnout

feels like a constant rollercoaster ride you can’t get off. Tiredness as a parent is normal, but when you don’t enjoy life the way you used to you could be burned out.

parental burnout

Picture this: You’ve got these little bundles of joy running around, demanding attention, needing constant care and guidance.

When you can’t even remember a time your job felt good or you keep wishing you could take a veeerrrry long break, you could have professional burnout.

Now, add to that the pressure of trying to be a perfect parent, some hardcore feelings of ‘mum guilt’, sleep deprivation, playing taxi driver for a constant slew of activities and feeling like your days are not your own. It’s the perfect recipe for parent/carer burnout (and cold coffee!).

If you’ve been experiencing chronic fatigue even after adequate rest, increased irritability, emotional exhaustion, frequent physical ailments and reduced enjoyment in activities – especially with your kids, you could be burned out.

How many of these common causes of parental burnout sound like you?

unapologetically yourself

Perfectionism

Do you hold yourself to unrealistic standards as a parent which leaves you feeling intense pressure, mum guilt and inadequacy to all the other families and their perfect looking lives on social media.

remember your fabulousness

Lack of support:

Do you find yourself carrying most of the mental load for the family? Do you wish your partner or family members would help more so parenting didn’t feel so overwhelming?

explore your inner self

Sleep deprivation:

Are you not able to sleep as well as you would like and feel absolutely dead in the morning? Do you sometimes feel like you can’t cope with the day as a result?

find your true north

Overcommitment:

Do you find yourself doing a juggling act between parenting, work, household chores, social obligations, caring for aging family members and more? Do you often drop the ball as a result and feel like a failure?

ignite your relationship

Lack of self-care:

Self-care? What’s that thing again? Has it gone fully off your radar and out of your schedule since having kids? Does it feel selfish to look after yourself when so many people need you?

feel enough

Relationship stress

Is the stress of having kids doing a number on your relationships? Do you feel like you’re supposed to be a united front against your wild bunch but instead your relationship is just adding to the overwhelm?

family photos

As a mum of three, there was a time when I could relate so deeply to what you’re going through.

I juggled being a full-time mum and a part time naturopathy student for 9 years and boy was it HARD.

During the day I was convinced I needed to THE perfect mum. I home cooked them organic meals, did lots of activities with them so they would be well rounded and made sure I was 100% present. Then I would be studying chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology at 10pm each night while everyone was asleep.

I loved my kids. I loved my field of study. But I started to get resentful. I was completely sleep deprived and exhausted. I had no time for any self-care whatsoever. I honestly don’t know how I made it through looking back now.

Eventually, my kids got older, I graduated from my degree and time for myself started to open up. But that was a long time to wait. I don’t want to see you have to go through what I went through, because it really is like living half a life when you deserve a full, rich, vibrant life. And secret no one tells you is that when you start living that way your family won’t just fall apart. You can let go of the reigns a little and everyone will still be thriving, I promise!

As a mum of three, there was a time when I could relate so deeply to what you’re going through.

I juggled being a full-time mum and a part time naturopathy student for 9 years and boy was it HARD.

During the day I was convinced I needed to THE perfect mum. I home cooked them organic meals, did lots of activities with them so they would be well rounded and made sure I was 100% present. Then I would be studying chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology at 10pm each night while everyone was asleep.

I loved my kids. I loved my field of study. But I started to get resentful. I was completely sleep deprived and exhausted. I had no time for any self-care whatsoever. I honestly don’t know how I made it through looking back now.

Eventually, my kids got older, I graduated from my degree and time for myself started to open up. But that was a long time to wait. I don’t want to see you have to go through what I went through, because it really is like living half a life when you deserve a full, rich, vibrant life. And secret no one tells you is that when you start living that way your family won’t just fall apart. You can let go of the reigns a little and everyone will still be thriving, I promise!

family photos

Recovering from parental burnout

1. Acknowledge the issue – The first step to recovery is to recognise and acknowledge the signs. Remember, parenting burnout is common and doesn’t make you a bad parent. Taking care of yourself is essential for both your well-being and your ability to care for your children effectively.

2. Seek support – You might feel like you’re the whole family’s ‘rock’, but staying strong and pretending to have it all together while dying inside is NOT strength. Being brave enough to be honest with your partner, kids and family members that you’re not coping is what true strength looks like and is an essential step in recovery.

3. Set realistic expectations – It’s important to recognise that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Lowering your expectations can alleviate some pressure. Focus on what is manageable and sustainable instead. If that means the house isn’t always perfect or the kids eat toast for dinner sometimes, that’s okay. Be gentle on yourself and practice self-compassion.

4. Ask for help and delegate responsibilities – If you’ve been feeling resentful that you’re being left to manage the lion’s share of the family responsibilites it’s important to speak up and set boundaries. Your partner might not even know you’re unhappy about it. Learn how to say no to the things that don’t serve you so you stop over extending yourself. Take all the help you can get even if no one knows how to do it quite like you. Even if it’s not done perfectly, at least it will be done!

5. Take breaks – Schedule regular breaks from parenting to engage in activities that recharge you. This could involve finding time for hobbies, taking short trips, or simply having alone time. Remember that this is NOT selfish behaviour. It’s essential self-care.

recovering from parental burnout

How I can help you love parenting and life again

1 1 brisbane online counselling

1:1 Brisbane Online Counselling

For individuals and couples who want to heal from burnout, clarify ‘who am I?’, reduce your stress and find greater meaning and purpose.

soul reviver course

Soul Reviver Course

My signature burnout recovery program helps you break the cycle of overgiving. Over 4 weeks you’ll go on a guided journey to go from depleted to repleted and revive your life again.

tree of life course

Tree of Life Course

Not sure who you are anymore and want to answer the question: ‘who am I?’ Well, this course is for you! Create your own tree that brings your strengths and gifts to life.