I found myself being very stressed recently. My husband left for another long-term business trip, I haven’t had a rest since… hmm… I think it was March. Oh well, I had a rest reeeealy long time ago and my life resources melting. What really scares me is that I started to scream! This is the worst part. I get angry in a moment, scream like a bear and throw things around me.
I feel awful after such moments. As I have already written, the first and the most important thing in such cases is to not hurt my baby. This is not her fault, this is me trying to do more than I can, and I love her so much that I can’t breath – that much I love her! But still, the situation is scary – so I started to research.
Have you ever heard about a burnout syndrome? It’s when a person emotionally and physically gets so tired, that he or she can’t handle it. An emotional state becomes unstable, a person gets frustrated, angry with no reason, apathetic and even cruel. This syndrome presents in caring professions mostly: helpers, nurses, other care-givers.
But what about parenting? I can’t imagine more care-giving occupation than parenting. Well, thank you for your question. Yes – there’s a parenting burnout too. We just not used to discuss it.
The trouble of being a parent is that you can’t take a break. Actually, you can – but it’s not that break like a monthly vacation or Everest climbing (please, no climbing, safe my energy!). I also don’t speak about parents who easily leave their children to grannies or other relatives. I want to talk about full-time parenting.
My personal problem now is that due to many reasons – I’m all alone and I’m tired. The way out I used to have is screaming and throwing thing, which is not okay. The good news – I found the other way to handle this situation.
Easy, girl! Don’t punish yourself
I read this in the ‘Tapped out mom’ (Russian edition) and felt like this is exactly my case. Each time I struggle with myself this awful way, I punish my inner child – who also been punished in childhood. I grew up in a Soviet Dissolution period, very tough time for my family and not a shiny period for being a kid. Struggling to be a good mom for my baby, on the other hand, recovers all my fears and troubles.
When I scream – I scream for my inner child when I throw things – I try to scare it or simply to shut it up. This is very hard, I can’t describe to you how awful I feel after such scenes.
The other option I found from the book mentioned above. Try to CARY, not PUNISH. Stop right at the moment when you want to scream. Sit (you can’t scream sitting, it’s not comfortable), hug yourself, take a break. Leave a baby alone for a second and think: what do you afraid of at the moment? What do you really feel? Does your inner child worth it?
The next part is the hardest – but it needs to be done. In easy steps, one at a time, no rush. Just listen: do something good for yourself. Go and wash your face, drink water, take a snack, look at the window, hug a pillow. Anything that will make you rewarded. Something very easy so it can be done in a moment.
It’s a good start for me. Will see how it works. But thinking of such an option gives me a huge relief already.
- A Guide to Burnout – Healthline
- How to Avoid Burnout When You Have Little Ones – The Parenting, New York Times
- Living in the age of ‘continuous parenting’ is burning out parents – Motherly
- Parental burnout: It’s really a thing – CNN Health
- How to Avoid Parental Burnout: Practical Steps to Take to Avoid Burning Out Parenting Junkie