How to survive parenting and keep your sanity
By Dr. Julie Reese, 944th Department of Psychological Health
/ Published January 05, 2021
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
Being a parent is one of the most beautiful blessings we will ever receive. Parents are experts at multitasking, being flexible and creative, instilling wisdom and core values, and offering a continual flow of love, hugs, and selflessness. Being a parent in these unique times can be especially difficult, as parents are tasked with regulating their child’s social media time and daily physical exercise, while also being required to show up daily as mom/dad, employee, student, teacher, referee’, and oh yeah, individuals!
Interestingly, workplace burnout and parental burnout share the same three big dimensions:
- Exhaustion: Feeling chronically physically and emotionally drained. Eventually, chronic exhaustion leads people to disconnect or distance themselves emotionally and cognitively from their work, or in the case of parental burnout, their kids, and families, likely as a way to cope with the overload.
- Cynicism: People just bug you and rub you the wrong way, and you start to distance yourself from these people by actively ignoring the qualities that make them unique and engaging, and the result is less empathy and caring.
- Inefficacy: Inefficacy is the “why bother, who cares” mentality that appears as you struggle to identify important resources and as it becomes more difficult to feel a sense of accomplishment and impact in your work or parenting. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauladavislaack/2020/09/10/how-to-ease-parental-stress--burnout-during-the-pandemic/)
Parents are not getting the break that they need to rejuvenate and breathe as children are home continually, yet they are knocking this out and are absolute SUPERHEROES! https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/little-house-calls/202003/parenting-during-covid-19)
Let’s all remember that being a parent is hard, and being a parent right now with the impact of a pandemic is especially hard. Breathe, embrace self-care, be self-forgiving, and again breathe. We will get through this together! Please reach out to your First Sergeants, Chiefs, supervisors, Chaplains, DPH, etc. and let them know if you and your family could use some extra support.