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Parental fatigue: relax and rejuvenate!

By Betty Van Pappelendam, Pre-school and Primary counsellor


Have you been feeling exhausted, inefficient, frustrated, or sometimes even defeated as well? Who said that parenthood was energizing and fulfilling?

Fact is that we have had a lot to deal with lately: the fear of Covid-19, transitioning to home, combining work and virtual learning, the stress of transitioning back to school, a summer full of insecurity coming up while trying to meet the usual parental expectations. Raising children is already exhausting in normal circumstances, whether you have one child or ten, and whether they are babies, toddlers or teenagers, in a socially comparative culture with expectations we cannot easily meet.

We try to keep up with other parents at school, neighbors and friends, in real life and online. When we cannot meet these expectations, we feel guilty and frustrated and parenting becomes a burden. This is nothing to be ashamed of, it happens to all of us at some point in time and is therefore something to acknowledge, embrace and work on. Remember, you must secure your own oxygen mask before assisting your children. Caring for yourself will help you care for your children.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you relax and reconnect with the energy necessary to face the challenges of parenthood:


  1. Be a “good enough” parent

What children need most is a caring parent, who is available when they need them and not a Superhero Mum or Dad worthy of Facebook. Remind yourself that you are doing a great job while not being flawless. Isn’t that what we tell our children: you don’t have to be perfect; you will learn from making mistakes and trying your best. Well, the same goes for us. We learn on the job by trying the best we can.

Remember, you must secure your own oxygen mask before assisting your children. Caring for yourself will help you care for your children.
  1. Find support

Reaching out to support you already had in place like family members and child care or seek new ones such as friends, a tutor or community group will give you time to recuperate: exercise, relax, grab a lunch with a friend, or have dinner with your spouse or anything else that lifts your spirit.


  1. Expand your toolbox

We all have personal tools in our parental toolbox through what we learned from our own parents, resources, education, and intuition. Some of our skills may be more effective than others. If you would like to discover new approaches, please reach out to your school counsellors who can guide and assist you in finding the parenting approach that works best for you and your family. Exciting news to share here as well is that we will be starting a parenting course at CDL as of September 2020. Stay tuned!


  1. Recognize and focus on the positive

As we tend to focus on the negative, it’s good to acknowledge at the same time what is going well for us and our children. Recognize in what areas your child has made progress and praise your child and yourself for that. Celebrating those successes will help us face parental challenges and enjoy parenthood. It’s time to relax and rejuvenate!


(credit: empoweringparents.com)