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Over 45% of parents feel the effects of parental burnout. The crippling exhaustion, overwhelming stress, and the feeling that everything is just a bit too hard, is a shared experience with nearly half of all parents. Here is what you need to know about this common phenomenon – and the steps to take to feel like yourself again.

Many parents have come to realise that having children is exhausting… And even more exhausting when a pandemic, working from home and recurring lockdowns are thrown into the mix. The overwhelming feelings of stress and exhaustion associated with trying to juggle both life itself and the lives of their children too, can sometimes feel like a bit too much to handle. If you, as a parent, felt this too, don’t worry – you are definitely not alone.

It’s important to realise that these feelings are completely valid and parental burnout is more than just general tiredness or irritability. If left unmanaged, the all-consuming sensations of burnout can have significant consequences on not only parents’ mental health, but the sense of equilibrium within the family itself.

The first diagnoses of parental burnout dates back to 1983, but more extensive research was carried out in 2017, by Belgium researchers Dr Isabelle Roskam and Dr Moïra Mikolajczak – who really delved into the prevalence of parental burnout, especially in the 21st century.

They found that since previous studies, society has placed more pressure on families to raise high-performing, healthy and stable children – as well as a shift in gender norms – especially during COVID – which has generated an increase in more working mothers, and less who stay-at-home full time. These subtle changes can make the act of parenting more difficult and stressful and thus, emerges the patterns of parental burnout.

Beyond the initial feelings of exhaustion, parental burnout can also manifest in:

If these symptoms are left untreated for too long, the damage to parents’ mental health, hormones and relationships with both partners and children, can be significant. Research has found that parents who experience parental burnout, are likely to be more coercive or neglectful towards their children – despite the initial burnout often resulting from putting too much time and energy into your children and neglecting your own needs.

Other common factors that can lead to the development of parental burnout are:

For parents experiencing this level of burnout – despite how difficult it may seem – there are several ways that this burnout can be alleviated. Here are some common and scientifically proven ways that parental burnout can be reduced:

  • Establish a routine: by creating a set schedule within the family that allows time for everyone’s respective activities and obligations – as well as carving out time to be together as a family – parents can set boundaries between work and home and lessen the expectation to be doing everything at once.
  • Communicate your feelings: whether it is with a partner or a friend, telling someone how you are feeling is the first step to treating parental burnout. As this condition is often provoked by bottling up stress and exhaustion, the first way to fix this is to let someone know you need support.
  • Go to a support group: support groups for parents are a great way to feel like you’re not alone. By talking to other parents who may be sharing the same struggles, feelings of isolation that may be contributing to the burnout can be alleviated.
  • Exercise: it’s a well-known fact that moving your body releases endorphins and, for many, provides an outlet where you can release pent up stress. This doesn’t have to mean killing your body in the gym six days a week. If you are starting to feel stressed or overwhelmed, even a ten-minute walk or stretch can help release the feel-good hormones to make you feel more relaxed.
  • Consult a therapist: regardless of if you think you don’t need it – everyone can benefit in some way from talking to someone professional about your everyday problems, or perhaps past trauma that has led to burnout. There is no shame in getting help, and if you feel you need to talk to someone, a psychologist may be able to provide the informed guidance that you need.

The chance of developing parental burnout doesn’t go away as your kids grow up. As parents, it is likely that you will always put their needs above your own at points in time. But it is the acknowledgement that you are struggling, communication that you need help, and the seeking out of support that will help you on your journey to feel like yourself again.

 

 

 

 

Australian mums are using Tiktok to share their tips, tricks and struggles through parenthood.

 

Using #aussiemumsoftiktok, mums across Australia are taking over the platform. Largely centred around parenting humour and genuine advice, their tiktoks can both entertain and educate. From budget tips, to lunchbox hacks, these mums are creating videos for every type of parent.

 

Mummy Republic

@MummyRepublic

Brisbane mum of two Dannii Rogers, is a mummy blogger, podcaster and tiktoker. Under the name mummyrepublic, Dannii details her experience as a mum, transparently describing her day-to-day life with humour and enthusiasm. Having recently given birth, Dannii often reflects on breastfeeding and her rough sleep schedule with comedy – pushing back against the pressure faced by mothers.

https://www.tiktok.com/@mummyrepublic/video/6852619610815106309?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2

Danni’s tween, Peyton, appears in many of her videos – often taking part in tiktok dances and comedic comparison of mother and daughter. Dannii’s second child, Archer, born in 2020, has a condition called Pierre Robin Sequence – which requires him to have a feeding tube. Through Tiktok Dannii addresses the judgement and unwanted advice from others she receives, dancing with her infant while including humorous captions.

https://www.tiktok.com/@mummyrepublic/video/6835787530244295942?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2

 

Mumma G

@Mummag_au

Tiktoker Mumma G discovered the platform during Victoria’s second lockdown. She has three children, and shares hilariously relatable content. The Melbourne woman’s short skits, cooking and tiktok trend videos are focused on the trials and tribulations of parenting. Her brutally honest videos display the not so attractive parts of motherhood, including parenting fails.

https://www.tiktok.com/@mummag_au/video/6930495076284124418?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2

Mumma G also gets her three children involved in tiktoks, having them comedically mock her parenting and participate in a number of tiktok trend videos. Her light-hearted content fights back against the idea of perfect parenting, allowing her followers an escape from the world.

https://www.tiktok.com/@mummag_au/video/6921970671664794881?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2

 

Allison Marie

@secretsofabusymum

Busy mum of eight, Allison Marie, is a hilariously sarcastic mother, who delights in providing her audience with budgeting tips, recipes and parenting hacks. Having five biological children, and three adopted children at only 30, Allison has had to learn fast. Keeping a home of ten people clean isn’t easy!

@secretsofabusymum

I don’t judge when things get tough #mumsover30 #momsoftiktok #mumsontiktok #parentsoftiktok #aussiemumsoftiktok #fyp #aussiemum

♬ Mood (feat. iann dior) – 24KGoldn

Many of her tiktoks centre around home organisation, and ways parents can lighten the load. Her videos include tips on how to save money at the grocery store, and how to deep clean your carpet. Every video is short and practical – catering to those busy mums who don’t have all day to scroll through tiktok.

@secretsofabusymum

budget friendly organising hack – drink bottles #organizationhacks #organisingtips #mumsover30 #kitchenhacks #organizedhome #aussiemum #kmarthacks

♬ Summer – Aesthetic Sounds

 

Vivian Fellah

@thetiktikmumma

Mum of two, Vivian, is a busy Sydney based fashionista. Posting relatable content about pregnancy, marriage and motherhood – Vivian doesn’t shy away from the truth. Her video’s are up-beat, entertaining insights into her life. From Vivian’s labour and pregnancy challenges, to her day-to-day experiences. In one video Vivian re-enacts her own mother and grandmothers style of parenting, before humorously comparing it to her own – highlighting the generational gap in parenting styles.

https://www.tiktok.com/@thetiktokmumma/video/6871775970232241409?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2

While many parents on social media relentless judgement, Vivian doesn’t let that stop her. In one video she addresses comments about her house being ‘too clean’ to have kids living there, turning the camera to her kids play room, putting their mess on full display – showing her audience that things aren’t always what they seem.

@thetiktokmumma

A reminder that social media is the highlight reel of our best life. Don’t be hard yourselves mummas -no one’s perfect! #instavsreality

♬ Use this sound if your cool – A

 

 

Katie Stockley

@katiestockley5

Brisbane mum Katie Stockley, is a mum of three. Each video challenges parenting expectations. As a parents of two young boys and a girl, Katie is constantly exhausted, posting videos chronicling her struggles over the school holidays and COVID lockdowns.

She finds humour in every moment of parenting – from school lunches returning home uneaten, to teenage temper tantrums. Reacting her day to day parenting struggles for her followers.

https://www.tiktok.com/@katiestockley5/video/6864402358126841094?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2

Sometimes Katie’s kids make cameos, participating in fun tiktok dances and sing-alongs. Hilariously  self-aware she makes jokes about bribing her kids to participate in her tiktoks, using things like chocolate to entice them into making a video.

https://www.tiktok.com/@katiestockley5/video/6865510145917504774?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2