Burnout from a parents perspective. 

As parents, we often say,  “I am fine” when actually how often do we give ourselves permission to say how we really are?
How much pressure do we put on ourselves as parents to always get it right and always be our best? 

Well this week’s blog offers you the space and gives you permission to reflect on how you are honestly feeling. 

I read an article this week that resonated about parental burnout. Please do have a read over it at your own leisure.

But after reading it, it had me thinking of what it’s like right now for us parents, especially after the impact of COVID-19. During lockdowns with their restrictions and guidelines etc. it has felt like we have had to spin lots more plates than usual. Whether this is supporting our kids with their emotional regulation or the tantrums or its been trying to keep them on track with guidelines and settling through massive transitions like primary to secondary school.

When considering my own family dynamics, things have taken a huge toll on our family dynamics and the mental health of all of us as individuals and collectively as a family. For my older girls its almost like there is a rush to go through teenage rights of passage. I’ve spoken to them about safety and the speed in which they are ticking off rebellion at, they said they missed out on so much it feels like they need to be too sensible all the time now.

When I asked what they meant they said……

Well we can’t hang out like we usually do, people are scared.
We don’t get to play like we usually do, everyone is told to stay apart.
We don’t get to play sports against other schools because we are always considering the risk of spread.
We don’t make new friends any more, we stick to the group we know.
We can’t even do normal things like hug, touch or kiss even!
We can’t share food, we can’t share things.
It’s not like before when we shared clothes, shoes and make up.
We can only hang outside because it’s not safe to be inside, so the group gets smaller and smaller because it’s wet or cold and some of us don’t have the right kind of clothes or shoes.
It wont be long before we don’t go out for the winter at all cause its too cold and too wet, so we are doing everything we can now while we can.

It made me sad hearing it from their perspective. They feel they have missed out on so much. Whilst we adults know that they have all the time in the world to explore and discover themselves, that’s not their world view. For them it’s all about the here and now.

I also recognised my own feeling of disconnect from everything around me. I have had that trudging feeling. The indifference. That’s when I stopped to consider the toll of all that has transpired and the fall out from it. Gosh, I feel like i am stuck in groundhog day. The constant battles, constantly trying to find the push to motivate them, telling them that things will be good and they will all work out. Telling them that hopefully sometime soon they will be back doing what they love, without restrictions. 

When in reality and all the while….I don’t feel the motivation that I am pretending to have. 
I don’t feel that things will go back to normal, actually I have no idea what things will be like.
 I am struggling to be emotionally resilient and to be emotionally available 24/7 right now.
 I think I honestly really want to say that right now, I don’t have the answers.
I’m not fine, I am kinda rubbish, but that’s okay too because we are trudging through all of this. 

Sure things will be ok in time, but that’s not what I need to hear right now. I think we as parents need to hear that it’s normal to be feeling a little lost, a little off kilter and quite frankly a little burnt out. 

When I started to write this…. 

I considered all the advice that I as a coach and a parent can offer like the amazing self care tips we have on:

Things we love
Communicating our needs
 Asking for help or support from those around you
Days off
Alone time
Love languages

Then I thought, I think we all know the GOOD advice there is in order to take care of ourselves, so I thought today’s blog won’t be about all the amazing things we can do.

Todays blog is all about permission to say how you really feel and that it is okay to say it. 

Naming what is really going on is absolutely SELF-CARE and it is necessary. So I hope you go gently through this week, offer yourself compassion and grace.

You are enough