Joy, happiness, and excitement. This is what all new parents are supposed to feel. But in reality a lot of the time they feel sad, anxious, depressed, and exhausted. These feelings are what can make parenting hard and make you doubt yourself as a parent. However, they are not always caused by hormones or fatigue.
In this article Bright Side put together a list of reasons why you might feel like being a parent is too much.
1. The urge to be perfect
Researchers from a university in Belgium came to an interesting conclusion: that a higher risk of parental burnout is associated with higher educated parents. They are under a lot of pressure to be the best and most successful at what they’re doing. But the truth is, sometimes the standards that we set for ourselves can be unrealistic and lead to burnout and mental health problems.
Lowering your standards and listening to your child more can help. You don’t need to be the perfect parent, you just need to be the parent your child needs.
2. Unrealistic expectations from social media
Social media can be a big stressor for a new parent. People start to care about looks more than emotions. Maybe that’s why Instagram is the top website that causes depression, anxiety, and poor sleep. And that’s not what a new parent needs. Remember that a lot of content that we see online has been edited and depicts only a few moments in a person’s life. You need to take care of you and your baby and not worry about anything else.
3. Feeling like you can’t take a break
The first few months of a baby’s life are monotonous and exhausting. It’s like trying to run a marathon when you’re far from being in good shape. And as hard as it is, you get no sick days, no vacation, and you can’t quit. According to a study, new moms don’t start enjoying their baby until they turn 6 months, because they’re struggling to accept the life-changing event of becoming a parent. If you’re feeling like you’re about to give up, don’t hesitate to ask family or friends to help you with the baby or chores.
4. Too many responsibilities
Being a parent means doing multiple jobs. You are a cook, a nurse, a teacher, a coach, and so on. This amount of responsibility can be very overwhelming. In fact, a study confirmed, that the more invested you are in parenting, the higher your chances are of getting depression or anxiety. To avoid this, let your child take the lead. Ask them what they want to do or eat, and ask them to clean up their toys.
5. Feeling like you are losing yourself
The thing that can contribute the most to being mentally exhausted and depersonalized is the feeling that you don’t belong to yourself anymore, because you’re attending your child’s every need. By the end of the day, you probably feel sick of being touched.
As babies grow, they develop a sense of self, and they realize that the people around them are separate individuals, and need their own space. Some “me” time can be the key here. At least 15 minutes to take a shower, to exercise, or to read in peace can make you feel more like yourself again.
Have you ever experienced burnout as a parent? What helped you feel better? Share your experience with us and other parents in the comments!
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