“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”
Parental self-care is one of the core principles of positive parenting and there is a solid reason behind that. Parenting is mentally and physically exhausting and most parents will agree that it can put any full-time job to shame.
Parents experience a range of emotions every day from affection and pride to stress and disappointment. Parents also deal with different ‘stressors’ or things that cause stress, on a daily basis — from daily hassles such as homework to acute ones such as behavioural and health problems of children. A paper published in the Clinical Psychological Science states that when parents chronically lack the resources to handle these stressors, they are at risk of parental burnout.
In this article, we will cover:
Parental burnout is more than just stress. Research suggests that it is a state of intense exhaustion related to one’s parental role, in which one becomes emotionally detached from one’s children and doubtful of one’s capacity to be a good parent.
Here are a few conditions researchers have found that put some parents at a greater risk of parental burnout:
Parental burnout has dire consequences such as child neglect, escape ideation, i.e. wanting to run away, and parental violence. Hence, it is crucial that parents get the support they deserve in combating burnout.
The book Attached at the Heart: Eight Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker suggests a few ways of regaining balance and combating burnout.
Parental burnout is a serious concern. More often than not, parents are expected to be selfless superheroes who do not need any help. Parents need to remember that exhaustion is not a status symbol or a hallmark of good parenting. Parents must remind themselves and their co-parents that self-care is good for them, their children and their family life.
What are some other things that parents go through but never speak of? Do let us know in the comments below, and we will try our best to address them.
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as complements unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.
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