Parenting has been the toughest job for millions of years. As human beings and technology have both evolved, that job has only gotten tougher. With the ever-increasing cost of living, school fees, and even the bare necessities it has become the norm for both the parents to work. Juggling kids, daily chores, and a job can make you feel burnout often. Job deadlines and school project deadlines will clash. Your most important meeting for the quarter will fall on the same day as your little one’s Sports Day. The to-do list for your kids and your job is never-ending.
For the stay-at-home parents, the stress is of a different kind. They have no one to even talk to. Cooped up within four walls, all they get to hear is the ruckus the children create. They reach their wit’s end trying to clean up the house, which mysteriously gets messy in the next half hour. They would just want to run away some days because they cannot take it anymore.
We know the stress that builds up is too much and it often results in breakdowns. It is safer to handle your situation before it reaches a saturation point and we are jotting down some pointers to help out overwhelmed parents. We get you…
1. Accept Your Feelings:
Many parents push away the dreadful frustration and stress building up, thinking that it would go away. They can’t be more wrong. The build-up will just remain hidden until one day it pops like a balloon. It is always a good idea to accept and acknowledge that you are stressed. Acceptance is the first step to any problem and it is easier to find a solution, post that. Accept that you are overwhelmed and then follow the following steps to calm yourself and diffuse the situation.
2. Sensory Deprivation:
More often than not, many parents would feel sensory overload. The noise, the lights, the touch, the smells – all gets too much to handle.
The children would have been especially whiny/quarreling loudly and clingy with you. The TV, food grinder, and washing machine would create a cacophony of electronic din. Your laptop and/or mobile would be ringing up with notifications continuously. Your senses will get overwhelmed when all this happens and this leads to a breaking point in you.
When you feel too overwhelmed this way, just go alone for some time to a quiet room; ensure all the curtains are drawn and there’s no light or sound. If someone can look after your children, please ask them to do so and go into this darkened and silent room. Just close your eyes and either lie down or sit silently. You can use earplugs and eye masks for more effectiveness. Do not think of anything. Your sensory overload needs to vanish and once you feel you have calmed down considerably, then head out.
Tips: There are sensory deprivation pods and tanks, enquire about their location in your city and try them once in a while.
3. Discuss With Your Partner And Immediate Family:
When you feel burnout is impending, talk openly to your partner or either of your parents. Tell them you have been taking too much on your plate and would like their help. They would understand your situation and offer their help.
4. Have A Hobby:
This may be anything – from reading magazines or books to gardening. While you get free time, go immerse yourself in your hobby. This will refresh your mind and let you be yourself for that time and not just someone’s caretaker. If you have any clubs or classes nearby related to your specific hobby – like a book club or a dance/aerobics class, join in and do this regularly. This will break your monotony, even for just a few hours per week.
5. Couples Retreat:
Both you and your partner may not be having enough time together like before and this may lead to feeling lost in your relationship. Set a date, drop your kid(s) off at their grandparents, and head out together. This will refresh your mind and help you relax. If you can spare a few days, then go on a trip and rejuvenate yourselves.
Even if you do not want to go out, just have a home date. Order food, set up your living room with dim lights, play a nice feel-good movie, and eat together. Both of you need a break from parenting, even if it is just for a few hours or a couple of days.
6. Seek Professional Help:
This would be really helpful if you have almost reached the stage of a breakdown or have already begun having them. You may have low energy for your daily tasks, no interest in doing anything, or you may feel like crying or just feel like being alone.
Seek professional help, you can see a therapist in your locality or even online, based on your comfort. Do not feel that you would be stigmatized for it, as each of us has our battles to fight. We need to equip ourselves in the best way we can.
Hope this article offers you some clarity. Stay strong and happy parenting…