To start this new calendar year, I would like to turn to a subject that is often taboo. Parenthood.
The moment you are told or you realise that your brain and body do not react anymore like they used to do, it’s like everything all of sudden collapses. Like if you are on top of Mount Everest, you loose your balance and start to fall and fall, until you hit the ground.
Having a family and taking care of children is challenging and demanding, so when one of the parents has a burn-out, everything becomes more challenging. In our everyday life we are surrounded by articles, photos, messages of women and men who combine career, parenthood, sport life and all this with a big smile and no sign of fatigue. Well, I don’t know you, but my reality (and the one of my friends who have children) was quite different. At the end of the day I came to the conclusion that every person experiences parenthood in its own way and as long as there is love, there is a way.
Here some tips to help you go through your burn-out and still be present for your child(ren).
We do believe that children, just like you and I, do not want to be fooled. Take some time to explain in your own way what is going on, how you feel and why. Keep it simple and clear. It’s important that they hear it and that they do not feel guilty about it.
Try to regularly ask someone to take care of your children. Choose a relative, a good friend, a family member, someone who has your entire trust and ask that person to take care of your baby/child(ren) for an hour, a morning, an afternoon.
Use that free time to do something you like, embrace that moment and be grateful.
-Quality versus quantity
Have some quality time with your kid(s). Make yourself completely available for them and have fun with them. It can be a walk in a park, a game, a draw, some cooking. To avoid extra exhaustion, keep it short (10/15 minutes for example). This kind of things will keep you bounded to each other. If you have difficulties to read because of your exhaustion, look at the pictures in a book, talk about it with them. Invent stories. Be free and have fun.
–Darling, you are good enough
Last but not least, don’t be ashamed and don’t feel guilty. Don’t be ashamed when you ask someone to take care of your kid so you can have a bit of free time. It’s good for your kids, your friend/family member will have a blast and you’ll feel regenerate. It’s positive for everybody.
Don’t feel guilty when you do not have energy to read a story or play football with your kid, you will do it later or an other day. Explain to your kids why today you can’t and tell them how much you love them. And please, oh please, do not let anybody tell you that you are not an optimal partner/parent, that you are not the best that you can. You do your best, at your own rhythm, your own tempo and no one has the right to judge and put pressure on you.
Again, AS LONG AS THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS A WAY
Wish you all a peaceful and lovely year!