The mental load of parenting has long been discussed, but this invisible burden weighs heavy on their minds and affects their mental health for many parents. As a parent, you need to be on the top of your game to support your family, so reducing parental stress and the workload associated with parenting is vital.
Leave external stress outside the home.
To maintain your mental health, it’s essential to set boundaries. You need to remember that parenting is the most critical job in life, but you also have a right to be mentally healthy and find balance.
This means leaving all work pressures outside the home, where they belong. If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed or like you’re missing out on promotions or other opportunities because of your parenting responsibilities, it’s time for a change.
Use technology and apps to organize your time and schedule
Technology and apps have revolutionized the way we live our lives. One of the most important ways technology has impacted parenting is through apps.
Apps such as Mellow, Todoist, and Notable are great ways to manage your time and help you prioritize tasks. An app such as a calendar will efficiently help you plan out your day-to-day activities. Apps like these can help reduce some of the mental load on parents who may find themselves overwhelmed or even struggling to remember what they need to do all day long.
It’s also important to take advantage of technology and apps to organize household chores. If you’ve got a busy schedule but still want to get things done around the house, try using an app like FamilyTime or FamilyShare, which will help you create a daily list of chores that you can manage easily with reminders when tasks need doing again.
Delegate responsibilities to spouses or older children
If you’re the breadwinner in your family and a single parent, there are ways to reduce some of the weight that you carry on your shoulders. The first is to delegate responsibilities to spouses or older children who can assume more responsibility.
It’s also important to remember that parenting is not just one person’s job: Parents need support from other adults and their spouse or partner. Delegating responsibilities doesn’t mean that those with whom we entrust our children cease caring for them; it means that we could get the help we need to reduce our workloads enough to focus on what matters: our kids and loved ones.
Ask for help when needed.
It’s easy to feel like you’re failing as a parent when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but taking the time to ask for help is what allows parents to thrive.
You must take a step back and ask yourself if you want to continue parenting on your own. If you do, then great! But if not, it might be time for everyone in your family to reach out for professional help.
“Parents need support; they need support from other people, they need support from their children, and they need support from society,” says psychologist Dr. Gail Saltz.
Allow time for you to relax.
To reduce the mental load of parenting, you need to make time for yourself.
- First, take care of yourself with an hour a day dedicated just for you. Make sure this time is spent doing something enjoyable: reading a book, taking up an activity like dancing or yoga that you enjoy and makes you feel more relaxed.
- Second, start focusing on the positive things in your life: How lucky are you to have such loving children? How are their grades improving? What fantastic memories have your kids created this year?
If you’re constantly working towards a goal and not taking time for yourself, you’ll find it harder to recover from stress. As your workload increases, so do your stress levels.
To decrease your perceived workload, set realistic goals and allow time for relaxation in your day. Incorporating a mental break into your schedule can help limit the amount of pressure that parenthood puts on you. This will allow you to focus on your family’s importance.
Remember, everyone is not perfect.
Don’t underestimate the mental load of parenting. It is a huge responsibility that comes with many potential challenges, but you are not alone. You aren’t expected to be perfect as a parent, and it’s important to remember that.
Allow yourself to take plenty of breaks throughout the day, don’t take on too much at once, and let others help out when you need it.