“There is never enough time in the day to get all of this stuff done.”
“I have so much work to get done this weekend to prepare for Monday’s presentation”
Have you found yourself or your spouse say any of these?
If your answer is “YES!”, you are not alone.
Whether your work for someone or run your own business, being a working parent is not easy. It’s the reason why so many burnout. Remember that burnout is a combination of beings stressed and fatigued. A recent study found that 66% of working parents are burnt out. The same study also reported that the rate of burnout increased in households with two or three children and then increased again with 6 or more children.
Parents who are burnt out are more likely to display behaviors consistent with depression and anxiety. They are also more likely to scream at, spank, criticize and insult their children. These can obviously lead to child abuse and may be a very serious issue. So how can we reduce the burnout experienced in working parents?
There are several strategies to implement that will help reduce burnout among working parents. Here are four key strategies that you can use to adrenalize you to reduce the burnout:
- Seek a flexible work schedule.
This is an obvious one. Depending on your type of work, having more freedom in your day will allow you to better manage your childcare. It also provides the opportunity to run errands to the grocery store, the pharmacy and post office.
With the decrease in supply of qualified employees, companies are offering more flexible schedules and opportunities to work from home. If your current employer doesn’t offer a flexible schedule, it is time to ask for it or to change jobs to companies that do offer it.
- Leverage your resources.
You must take advantage of the resources that are out there for you. You must be willing to ask for help. As a parent of teenage son and pre-teen daughter, my wife and I are always leveraging our resources.
We find ourselves carpooling more often, asking our parents, utilizing our babysitter, and allowing our children taken on responsibility for chores. It is so important begin thinking outside of the box. If you have children who are older and independent, it is a great opportunity to teach them how to be a responsible adult.
Take advantage of the wellness programs that your employer offers as a benefit. Utilize employee assistance if you are struggling with your mental wellness. Enroll in your flex spending account and utilize it for a gym membership or something that promotes your self-care.
- Decrease the stressors.
It is easier said then done, but we must decrease the stressors. They way to do this is develop new boundaries. It’s not just your job, it everything that is in your life that you must evaluate to reduce the stressors.
Take an inventory of your stress. Make a T-chart and on one side write down the things that cause stress. On the other side, write a solution to that stressor. For example, a stressor may be your child’s sports activities. For me it’s the amount of time we dedicate to baseball tournaments. These take place over several days at a time. One solution is to split the days that I take my son vs the days my wife takes him to his games. You’re not a bad parent if you don’t go to every game…so get that out of your head.
Try this activity with a solution mindset. There is a solution for everything. If you struggle with finding a solution, remember that ‘NO’ is a boundary and a solution.
- Take time for self-care.
Self-care is critical to reducing burnout and you must create a boundary.
Find 30 minutes out of the daily 1,440 minutes for you. Whether you go to the gym, take a walk, or mediate, find an activity that refreshes your mind, body, and soul. It will provide you with the clarity to recognize the solutions to your stress and how to optimize your resources.
These four strategies of seeking flexible work, utilizing your resources, and decreasing your stressors and taking time for self-care will help you to begin the process of reducing burnout. Ask yourself, what happens if I don’t make these changes?
Take the time for you. Take the action to find the best job that fits your lifestyle. Ask for help, you don’t need to be a hero. Act decisively to make the changes you desire.
Tom Marino is a highly respected thought-leader, success strategist, speaker, and author. After a period of personal transformation, he founded Monarch Life Coaching, LLC to help high achievers navigate seasons of transition by recognizing the power of their choices. His book, Bridge to Change, documents the simple process of transformation that he believes catalyzes greater appreciation and enthusiasm in our lives. He is the host of The Adrenalized Life Podcast and the Tom Marino Radio Show on 103.9FM LI News Radio. Tom works with people all over the U.S. to help them overcome burnout and live adrenalized. Contact him by visiting www.tommarino.com, on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.