A recent study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, found that close to 13% of parents surveyed, had what they called "high burnout". Meaning, they felt exhausted, less productive and competent and emotionally withdrawn - qualities similar to professional burnout - at least once per week. There are a few reasons why parents today may be experiencing burnout more than parents did in previous generations.
They feel pressured to be a superhero. The modern mindset that you have to essentially be a superhero in everything that you do is just part of the problem. Many moms in this survey said they have high-powered jobs and they have kids, and they want to be the best at both. But when they want to take time for themselves, they feel guilty. But they can't feel guilty.
Social media certainly isn't helping. Thanks to Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, parents now feel "less than" for throwing what's deemed as a mediocre birthday party. Parents exhaust themselves trying to keep up with the false standard of perfection they see around them. It doesn't matter that these family portraits conjured up on social media do not offer a true depiction of what families are really going through. But this is the perfect recipe for parental burnout.
Self-care and finding that "me" time are so important in avoiding parental burnout. When you're not at work, you're running errands, going to your children's after school activities, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, etc. But making time to take care of yourself, even if that's reading a book after putting your kids to sleep, is key.
If you are feeling burned out as a parent, know that you are not alone. Many parents are feeling the same stress and pressure to be on their A-game 24/7. Try talking to another parent about how you're feeling and see if they have any helpful tips for avoiding burnout.