Raising a toddler is rewarding work! But it's not easy. On top of your parenting duties, you might be running a household, working or going to school as well. With all those responsibilities, any parent can feel stressed, tired and burned out.
If you feel that way sometimes, it doesn't mean you're a bad parent. It's just a sign that it's time for some self-care.
Five ways to manage burnout
Parental burnout is normal, but you can learn how to manage it. These tips can help you do that:
1. Ask for help if you need it. Teamwork can make any job easier—parenting is no exception. If you ask, a partner, friend or family member might be able to help shorten your to-do list.
2. Prioritize your tasks. Are you trying to do too much? Remember: No parent is perfect. The dishes can wait until tomorrow. The laundry will last until the weekend. And sometimes dinner can come from a box.
3. Make time for yourself. The moments you spend with your toddler are special, but you need to save some time for yourself too. Work on a hobby, listen to music, read a book or just relax. If you're a single parent, consider trading babysitting time with a trusted friend. You'll both appreciate the break! And you'll be an even better parent when you come back refreshed.
4. Move your body. Exercise is a great way to lower stress. Walking, strolling or playing with your child counts. So does dancing in your living room.
5. Talk about your stress. Other parents can probably understand what you're going through. Sometimes knowing you're not alone makes it a little easier. They might even have good advice. If you're feeling overwhelmed, you can also ask your doctor or a counselor for support and advice.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics; Zero to Three