8 Signs of Parental Burn Out
While parenting is certainly the most rewarding job in the world, it can also be the most exhausting - and that’s okay. Naturally, looking after little ones and keeping them safe, healthy, and engaged is tough on the body and mind. This is especially the case when those kiddos have special needs, including autism, as it introduces additional variables for concern and stress. As parents, it can be nearly impossible to find time for ourselves to refresh, relax, or recharge our batteries before having to do it all over again. This constant feeling of fatigue and running on empty is known as burnout, and it leaves little room for the R&R we need to be at our best.
If you’re suffering from parental burnout, it’s important to prioritize some time for yourself, especially because mental health and wellbeing is crucial for anybody who is looking after children. If you aren’t thriving, it can be hard for your kids to thrive, and sometimes, that means you have to put yourself first. Take our advice; finding time to recharge and the space in your schedule to do things that give you energy is a great first step towards conquering burnout.
Curious about whether or not you’re struggling with parental burnout? Here are 8 signs that it’s time for a break:
- 1. Trouble sleeping. Whether you’re struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get out of bed in the morning, consistent sleep troubles are often a sign of something more concerning.
- 2. Increased irritability. If your fuse to frustration feels extra short lately, this can be a sign that you’re struggling with parental burnout. Being irritable for no reason, or struggling not to snap at the small things should be a sign that it’s time for some rest.
- 3. Anxiety and depression.Not feeling like yourself lately or struggling to feel joyful and relaxed? Feelings of anxiety and depression can often be the result of burnout. Consider addressing these difficulties through therapy or discuss medication options with your doctor.
- 4. Feeling extra forgetful. If things are slipping your mind a bit more than they used to, it might be because your brain is running on overdrive.
- 5. Weight loss or gain. Struggling with your appetite or rapid weight loss/gain? This could be a sign of something serious, including parental fatigue and burnout.
- 6. General brain fog and confusion. Similar to feeling forgetful, if you feel trapped in brain fog throughout the day, it’s likely a sign that your brain is running on empty.
- 7. High stress levels. If you’ve been feeling like stress is at an all-time high in your household, and has been for a while, this can definitely lead to or be the result of parental burnout.
- 8. Feelings of loneliness or isolation. When we’re surrounded by little ones, you’d think it would be hard to feel alone, but this is actually a common symptom for many parents suffering from parental burnout.
If these signs resonate with you, you’re not alone. Parental burnout is common, especially among parents who are navigating parenthood with children who have special needs. Knowing that you aren’t alone can be helpful, but one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is prioritizing your wellbeing and finding more time in your schedule to rest. When in doubt, address your concerns of parental burnout with a doctor or therapist.