Parental Burnout: Moms Need Self-Care For Effective Parenting
Published in Apr 2020 / Updated in Sep 2021
Moms NEED self-care—to adequately take care of households or careers—and making time every day for self-care routine should be non-negotiable.
Parental burnout is a real thing, and over the years, it has received the attention it deserves from the scientific community.
Burnout occurs when someone is in an extended state of emotional imbalance, and their stress and anxieties overwhelm their abilities to cope.
Being a mom is hard work, no matter what stage you’re in. And life has a way of dropping all parenting problems all at once.
From one child acting up at school, another gets sick with the flu, the laundry machine crashes, and you’re trying to fight a migraine when the toddler flushes your phone down the toilet.
Also, burnout can occur at a ‘normal’ time.
Moms tend to spread themselves too thin. You feel responsible for your little kids and the household and everything else in between.
You work into a burnout to fight the guilt and nagging fear of not being a good enough mother, and it seems pretty impossible to find time for yourself.
Why Moms Need Self-Care
Mothers often complain they don’t have time for self-care. Still, they manage to complete dozens of responsibilities every single day—all for the sake of others.
It’s possible to squeeze in some “me time” into that To-Do list, whether it’s one day a week or five minutes a day.
It’s beneficial to your health—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Genevieve Shaw Brown, a mom of three and a reporter for ABC News in New York, says:
“You can’t just think, ‘Someday soon I’m going to take a day for myself.’”
“We have to prioritize the same as we would prioritize things for our kids.”
“We’d never miss an appointment for our kids because they are important. Equally important is prioritizing yourself and your own needs.”
However, self-care may sound selfish to some people.
Taking time out to ‘relax and do nothing’ makes them downright anxious as they always think about the ‘more important’ things they should be doing.
Aimee Danielson, director of the Women’s Mental Health Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in the District, explains:
“The question I ask moms is, ‘If you were choosing a child-care provider, and you had a choice between someone who seemed stressed, tired, and overwhelmed versus someone who seemed rested, contented, happy and healthy, who would you want for your kids?’”
“If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids.”
Effective Self-Care Ideas
Self-care goes beyond bubble baths. It’s all about finding any energizing and enjoyable activity and working it into a routine.
Remember, self-care slows you down enough to unveil the joy of being a parent.
Try one or two activities, to see test out which self-care thing works best for you.
Take yoga classes
Unplug from your devices
Take deep breaths, like when eagerly waiting for something to happen
Get a manicure or pedicure
Eat a healthy snack
Go for a walk or a jog
Sit in the sun
Write in a journal
Catch up with a friend
Listen to your favorite music
Paint or color
Ask for help
Go to bed early
Visit a museum
Listen to a podcast
Go on a date with the significant other
Despite how impossible (or how unimportant) it feels to incorporate a self-care routine, you need to give it a shot.
If you manage to incorporate even the most basic acts of self-care routine into your daily life, you’ll definitely see and feel a huge difference in your overall well-being.