Of course, the pandemic has taken its toll on all of us, but as a parent, you may feel especially hard hit. Not only are you trying to take care of yourself, but you must manage all aspects of your children’s lives as well. With summer approaching and school letting out, many of us will have to make the decision of whether or not to send kids to their usual summer camps or keep them at home due to the pandemic.
With that in mind, there are several strategies you can employ to avoid burning out. These can go a long way in helping to prevent burnout as a parent during these trying times. Similar to those caring for elderly parents, around-the-clock child care has its own trials and tribulations.
Don’t Let Homeschooling Become Your Entire World
One of the greatest challenges for parents during the pandemic is their child’s education. Schools may call it distance learning. If you are a parent, however, it feels more like homeschooling.
The more kids that you must tend to, the greater this problem becomes. It can be quite difficult to juggle both your schedule, as well as your children’s educational schedule.
One of the best tricks in managing this challenging task is to compartmentalize everyone’s time. If you have more than one child, it is best to try to keep them on parallel schedules as best you can.
For example, if they are not virtually interacting with their teachers in class, they should be doing some work on their own. If that requires your guidance, map that out as part of your family’s day.
In a perfect world, during the time that your kids are doing their schoolwork, you can find parallel time to accomplish tasks you need to get done. In that way, you are not left feeling as though a huge chunk of your day revolves only around your education. This lets you get things you need to get done concurrently with their time in school.
An easy way for burnout, frustration and depression to set in is to be constantly staring at the same four walls or the same computer screen for hours on end. This is as true for your kids as it is for you. An easy solution is to find time each day for all of you to get outside.
These trips do not need to be anything incredibly involved. They can be as simple as taking a trip to a park or playground. Maybe you can go on a short bike ride as a family. If hiking is your thing, take the whole family to a nearby trail for a short walk.
What you will soon realize is that the activity itself does not really matter all that much. So long as it is something that all the members of the family enjoy and look forward to, it will go a long way in breaking up the monotony of the day.
Do Not Forget Some Time For You
When your kids are constantly close at hand, it is easy to fall into the trap of always trying to meet their needs. Always remember to spend time thinking about what you need as well. Some parents may feel guilty partaking in this type of activity. The reality is in these trying times, you need to make time for yourself more than ever.
This can be something as simple as spending 30 minutes browsing the Internet, watching a TV show you love, or simply reading a book you enjoy. This should be a time that you tell your kids that you will be away from them doing something else. Barring an emergency, there should be no reason why they can’t leave you to your own devices for just half an hour.
Always remember that while parenting is incredibly important, it is not all that defines you. Try to find time every day to be a complete person beyond just a parent.
Don’t Strive to Be A Perfect Parent
As parents, it is natural to want what is best for kids in all situations. That is certainly a reasonable goal, but it is not always attainable, especially during these trying times.
In times like these, it is perfectly acceptable to decide that something is good enough. If you spend every minute of your day trying to achieve perfection in your parenting, you can be sure that there will be no time left for you. This is a quick way to feel like you’re running on empty, with nothing left to give.
If you can maintain a reasonable set of expectations for these trying times, you can avoid getting burnt out. Set realistic goals and timetables for each day and always make sure to find time for yourself.