Resolving Parent Burnout
Furthermore, realize your limitations and donít over commit yourself to causes outside the home. Clearly defined goals can guide you in knowing what responsibilities to accept and what to say no to.
- Use babysitters. If you are married, it is imperative that you set regular time aside to spend with your spouse. Use a babysitter so you can go out on a date with your wife or husband at least once a week. Do something you both enjoy where you get away from pressures, relax and have a good time together. If you are single, be sure to take care of your social needs, too.
- Verbalize your feelings. Emotions are a part of life. When under pressure, it is normal to feel hurt, angry, guilty and so on. One of the worst things we can do is to deny or bottle up these feelings. Itís not the pressures we are under that lead to burnout nearly as much as how we react to these pressures and how we handle our emotional responses. If we donít find a way to express our pent-up feelings in healthy ways, we can be certain we will act them out in unhealthy ways. Find a trusted friend besides your spouse or partner, with whom you can share all your feelings without being judged or told you shouldnít feel that way. Write your feelings out as well. If necessary, talk to your minister or see a counselor. Repressing your feelings is one of the most destructive things you can do.
- Join a support group with people who are facing similar pressures, and where you can share without fear of criticism or being given unwanted advice. Without meaningful relationships and a sense of belonging to other adults, one can get into emotional deep water very quickly.
Itís not the pressures we are under
that lead to burnout nearly as much as
how we react to these pressures and how
we handle our emotional responses.
- Seek outside help. If you donít have other family members to help with your load, donít be adverse to paying for outside help, especially if both husband and wife are working. If youíre like me, you probably hate to pay somebody else for doing what you can do for yourself. However, Iíve had to give up the false notion that I can do everything myself. Iím neither a super dad or a superman, so there are some tasks I now pay others to do.
- Resolve personal issues. Parents who havenít resolved their codependency, perfectionism, false guilt, and other personal issues, drive themselves into burnout. The codependent is driven by his or her need to fix and meet everybody elseís problems and needs. Nothing is ever good enough for the perfectionist, so he drives himself and those around him into despair. Unresolved personal issues are probably the greatest cause of burnout. Professional counseling may be needed to resolve them.
- Share the work load. In homes where both husband and wife work, it is important that both share the work load equally in the home and in the nurturing of the children. Donít settle for anything less.
- Take time to meet spiritual needs. Read the Bible and other inspirational material, and take time to meditate and pray EVERY DAY. Write out your feelings and share them with God. Ask him to give you the wisdom you need to meet the demands of the day. And find a church where you can experience meaningful worship and recharge your spiritual batteries every week.
Taking care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs will give you the strength to carry on and the inspiration needed to help you avoid or resolve parent burnout.
For additional help, see helpful articles under the heading, "Marriage and Faily: Relationships That Matter. Click HERE.
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