Staying at home with the kids year after year can lead to burn out. Sometimes, it may take only a few months for this malady to develop. If you know the signs of burn out, you can seek help or make necessary changes before things get too out of hand.
Here are some signs of which you should be aware.
- Short temper – Lots of things can cause a person to have a short temper. When you normally are pretty patient, but you start losing your temper on more and more occasions, especially over small things, it’s time to take inventory. This could signal a problem
- Letting the kids rule the house – If your kids have taken over the house and you no longer are in charge, it could very well mean you are experiencing burn out.
- Lack of discipline for the children – Some parents are permissive and it would seem that there is little discipline in the home to begin with, but if you normally keep a rather disciplined home and now it’s beginning to get ragged around the edges, you might want to look into the cause. Kids need and want discipline even though they are constantly pushing to find out where the boundaries are.
- Lack of energy – This is more than a matter of your get up and go has gotten up and left! If you suffer from a great loss of energy over a period of time, you really need to determine what the problem is. It could be a lack of rest or poor eating habits. It could be some vitamin deficiency or even too many cloudy days. Or it could be burn out from your time with the kids. Find out what’s causing your energy drain so you can remedy the situation.
- Constant fatigue – This is another sign of burn out. However, keep in mind it is also a symptom of other disorders as well. Start with taking a little time away without the kids. If the break doesn’t cure the fatigue, you may need to consult your doctor to get some help determining the cause.
- Feeling guilty all the time – If you are always feeling guilty about every little thing concerning your kids, it could be a burn out problem. It’s really okay to leave them with a sitter for a little while so you can go out and do something for yourself. You need your alone time and some grown up time, both of which will help prevent burn out.
- Nonstop stress – Parenting is stressful at times, but not constantly. You may be experiencing constant stress and this is a problem. Too much time with the kids and not enough away time to balance it out could be the cause.
- Unhappiness – There is a certain joy in parenting, but perhaps you don’t feel that way anymore. If despondency has taken over your life with your kids, it’s time to do something about it. Find ways to rejuvenate yourself and you’ll soon find that joy in parenting returning as well.
- Lack of social life – Many parents will tell you they don’t have a social life at all. Still, most parents have some type of social life, whether it is with other parents, family members, a few close friends, worship services, or playgroups. If you had such relationships, and now they are considerably few or nonexistent, there is probably trouble brewing. Time to reconnect with your friends in the adult world.
- Lack of self-care – Hanging out at home in sweats is one thing, but staying in your pajamas for days at a time is not healthy. If you are not taking care of yourself and have lost interest in personal appearance and hygiene, either you are experiencing burn out or something equally as serious is going on. It’s time to get help and the sooner the better.
There are several factors that can lead to burn out. Dealing with a child that has critical needs is one of the major causes for burn out. Unrealistic expectations for yourself and/or your child are also reasons. What you need to know is that it can be prevented and if you do burn out, there is help available, but you still need to reach out and receive it.
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