Six things you and your partner can do to keep your relationship fresh and avoid Mom burnout is to be aware of it. Parenting can sometimes feel like an endless marathon of household chores, errands, pick- ups and deliveries and cooking. Whether you’ve got babies or teenagers you’re on the go 24/7 with no end in sight.
Here are six ways to keep from having Mom or Dad burn out.
1. Tag Your Partner In
If you feel like you’re doing the lion’s share of the parenting it may be time to shift some responsibility to the other parent. Let your partner know that you’re feeling overwhelmed and ask them to shoulder some of the load.Working together and truly co-parenting is a growth experience for you as a couple as well as benefitting the child(ren). Kids need to be interacting with both parents to become well rounded individuals. This goes along way in preventing the Mom or Dad burnout.
2. Get Away As A Couple
If you’re forgetting what it feels like to be a spouse and all you do every day is parent, it is time for you to get away. Set up a regular date night. Clean up, dress up and get romantic. Go for a quiet dinner or a movie and just be together. Leave the kids with a responsible adult and take a weekend every month or so. Let the babysitter deal with the kids for a few hours while you go out. Let go of any guilt you may have. This type of getaway is about you keeping your relationship with your partner alive and strong. The kids will be fine, and you’ll be a much better parent when you’ve returned from some adult activities. It’s exhausting dealing with small children all day long. A couple’s night out will have you feeling refreshed and renewed.
3. Take Some Me Time
Remember that old commercial “Calgon, take me away! “? I’m sure you can relate! Sometimes a simple bubble bath without interruption can be a huge relief. At times you might need an entire spa day on your own! A round of golf or a drink with friends is a great way to refresh your-self. Whatever it is that you like to do without the kids; go do that at least a couple times a month to avoid that feeling of burnout. You know the symptoms. Avoid the disease by taking the time you need to recharge and get a little perspective. Wanting time for yourself doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids. You’re not a bad parent for not wanting to spend every waking moment with them.
4. Have Structured Activities
Older kids can go to after school programs, tennis lessons, vacation bible school, or summer camp. Check with your local Parks and Recreation department to see what’s available in your area. Drop your kids off and go do something fun for yourself. Meet a friend for coffee or go home and read a book or take a nap. You know your kids are in good hands doing something fun, so you can feel free to do that as well. You don’t have to be at EVERY rehearsal, sports practice and gymnastics class; the children will survive if you are not there. There is nothing that can cause Mom burnout than having to sit at the rehearsals and all you can think about is all the things on your checklist.
5. Get Together With Other Parents
Chances are that you know other parents that are feeling just as stressed out as you are. You can cooperate together to have play dates, meetups at the park, go stroller walking with younger children. The adults can interact together while the kids play and you can share in each other’s experiences and help one another out. Single parents benefit greatly from these types of get together with other parents. Sharing your stories with other parents helps you to feel less isolated and allows you to have some of that adult social interaction that you crave. Not feeling alone can really help avoiding the Mom or Dad burnout.
6. Grandparents Are Golden
If you’re fortunate enough to have able-bodied grandparents available to care for your children, by all means take advantage of that! The bond between those two generations is invaluable in part because it’s short-lived. There is so much that grandparents can bring to your children and you want your kids to have that. Grandparent time is also a great time for you to step out of the parental role and just enjoy watching your kids’ relationship grow with your parents.
These are only a few suggestions but the main point is that you don’t have to be the one and only person that ever care for your children. Make use of all the resources available to you. Don’t wait until you’re ready to blow your top before you take some time away. You’ll be a much better parent if you allow others to share the load and give yourself a much needed break.