How-To Overcome Burnout the G.R.E.A.T. Parenting Way!Sep 27, 2021
How many times have you felt exhausted, overwhelmed or irritable on your parenting journey? I know for me the number is somewhere close to the infinites. We often hear people talk about how these feelings just come with being a parent, but what if this didn't have to be the norm?
When I am talking with parents they often feel like they are failing. Wondering why they are so impatient with their children and wishing they could be more level headed and reasonable when dealing with behaviours. Those three feelings that we have so often as parents, overwhelm, exhaustion and irritability are all side effects of one great word - burnout.
Burnout has become a trending a word and is often used to describe a person who is over run with work in their career, however it is also a good description of how many parents are feeling across the world. Burnout can not only make you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and irritable, but when you add in the pressures of parenting most parents also feeling as though they are failing. Burnout is our bodies response to an overload of work and stress. Signaling our body to shut down (exhaustion) and step back. Now how in the world can we possible step back when the burnout we feel is not caused by our career but instead caused by the role of parenting?
The G.R.E.A.T. Parenting Journey works through five steps to overcome the burnout by breaking down our parenting role to find the joy in the GREAT side of parenting.
The first step in the G.R.E.A.T. Parenting Journey is Goals! For this step you must really look deep into how you are feeling on a day to day basis. What is working well for you, and what is working against you. After taking the time to understand and lean into those feelings, you can start to outline goals for yourself by asking some thought provoking questions. How do you want to feel? What does patience look like to you? How would it feel to have more energy throughout the day? Outline those goals in detail.
The next step on our journey is Routines! This step is so simple but also crucial. Take the time to outline your day. Break it all down and identify areas you feel need to change. For example, picture that the morning routine in your home is always a battle setting your day off on the wrong foot. Rushing out the door, yelling at your children to "Hurry up!". The whole process in reality takes 30 minutes but you notice that you only really allot for 10 minutes (no wonder you're so rushed). By writing out the routine you can identify where those issues are and we can easily alter them in the following steps.
The third step is by far my most favourite and the most important, Evaluate! In this step you will start to dig into the feelings you identified in your goals and identify the boundary around those feelings. Really getting to the pinpoint of what is causing you to feel so impatient and WHY. One example I always fall back to, and if you've been following me for a while bear with me, is my need for peace in the morning. I am not a morning person, and if I do not have my need of peace in the morning met I am grumpy, impatient, and just not my best self. This then causes a problem because it will most certainly carry into my day fulfilling all the feelings of burnout. So knowing this feeling, and understanding why I need to be alone (so I am not miserable), I am able to identify my boundary of needing at least 30 minutes alone in the morning. How do I get this boundary met? Keep reading!
Next we have Action! This is the step all parents are waiting for. Tell me what to do! Unfortunately it is not as simple as a Parent Coach giving you a direction sheet of do A, B and C and watch the magic! You have the secret to your family and know their needs and behaviours the best. After understanding where the burnout is coming from, you can sit with that for a while and brain storm ways for you to meet that boundary. One to one coaching comes in handy here as you work TOGETHER to come up with custom strategies for your family. To continue with the above example, action steps for me look using a GRO-clock for my son to stay in his room when he wakes up in the morning, allowing me that first 30 minutes of quiet. With lots of practice, and consistency it has become a smooth part of his routine, and I get to steer clear of feeling burnt out just a little longer.
Finally the last step on the parenting journey to overcome burnout is Troubleshooting! This step is simply a space for trial and error. Know that whatever action strategies you put in place, new routines and boundaries take time. However once everything is running smoothly, imagine the peace and senses of calm you will be able to feel in your home.
After doing the hard work you really can find the joy and start enjoying the GREAT side of parenting again!
If you are struggling with feelings of burnout, you are NOT alone! Remember it is so common for parents to feel this way, but it doesn't have to be.
I support parents of young children who are over run with burnout find joy in the GREAT side of parenting. By working one on one through these 5 steps as well as in our G.R.E.A.T. Parenting Membership!
You got this! xoxo