I step forward. My chest puffed out. An award winning grin gleams white across my face. You can see the red cape whipping gently behind me. I am Super Dad.
No diaper has defeated me. No tantrum has wavered my spirit. I am impervious to late night crying. Immune to vomit. Fully resistant to all crises.
Then you hear the record scratch. Screeeeeeetch. What? Where am I? What was I saying. Puke? Noooo! Not again. Poop coming out of the diaper? Please no! Tantrum in full swing? Run and hide. Help me!
Wait. I’ll calm down. Let’s back up. I am Super Dad. I put in the effort, emotion and energy everyday, but I certainly don’t possess any superpowers. I grit my teeth when things go wrong. Adapt when the unforeseen occurs. And problem solve when the need arises.
If you are a parent, you too are SUPER. Don’t let any setback tell you otherwise. You give, you sacrifice, you love. Don’t get me wrong. You aren’t a martyr. You don’t require any awards.
Some of us struggle a little more than others at adversity, I’ll admit that myself, but we ‘keep on keeping on,” and persevere.
I’ve read a lot of articles recently about parent burnout and associated mental health conditions. I’ve decided to take the first step and acknowledge the existence of burnout in my own life and work toward defeating its terrible symptoms.
What can we do as parent to take care of ourselves when we are reaching burnout?
I’ve compiled a list below of what I’m currently trying in my own life.
Take time for yourself
This is possibly the most difficult of all remedies. In order to stay Super Mom or Super Dad you can’t possibly take and reserve time selfishly for yourself. But you must! Find a way to give yourself some down time. It can be doing something you love like reading, gaming or watching a tv program. It could also be a productive task time. For instance you can have your partner watch the kids while you get to focus on doing the dishes alone without interruption.
Get good sleep
You may have to sacrifice a little of your self time, but be sure to be going to bed early enough to get a good night’s rest. A huge contributor to rough days for me involves being too physically tired to keep going.
When things start to overwhelm you stop and decide how to tackle a single task in front of you. Don’t be concerned with anything but that one thing in the present. Work on conquering tasks in order until you have regained control of the situation
What else can we really do? I have been focusing on the above things because these are related to basic needs and are attainable goals to reach each day. Small steps everyone.