Parenting Burnout: How It Can Destroy Your Marriage

Parenting Burnout Destroy Marriage

Have you ever heard of parenting burnout? Parenting burnout is a hidden killer that ends up destroying more marriages than what people actually know of. Scary, but true. Having a child can bring so many positive changes in your married life, but if you do not take a break now and then, it will end up being detrimental for you and your marriage.

Why do so many couples unravel while parenting? Why do so many marriages self-destruct?

Of the kinds of parenting dilemmas I see in my office, parent burnout is among the most common and unrecognized. Remarkably, most parents don’t even realize they’re suffering from it. Ask these parents when was the last time they took a break from parenting and they stare at you stupefied: “You’re allowed to take a break?”

Alarming Parenting Statistics

According to a Wall Street Journal article “Here Comes the Baby, There Goes the Marriage” approximately two-thirds of couples see the quality of their relationship plummet within three years of the birth of a child—with mother’s’ dissatisfaction leading the way, and more women filing for divorce than men. Within five years after the birth of a first child, over 40 percent percent of couples will go their separate ways. Some studies report marriages failing within 18 months after the first child is born.

Clearly, couples are painfully unprepared for the demands of parenting; in fact, parenthood may be a frequent cause of separations, divorces, and failed relationships. (See “Top Ten Parenting Mistakes“)

Signs of Parenting Burnout

If you’re a burnt-out parent, you’re exhausted in every way; you’ve neglected yourself without mercy. Depleted emotionally, intellectually, and creatively, you stumble through your routines, doze off in mid-sentence, or stare at a computer or television screen in a weary hypnotic trance. You’ve probably even forgotten that you have needs. Is it any wonder that you suffer low energy, mood swings, and over-the-top reactions to frustration?

If you find yourself humorless, angry, critical often—maybe it’s not your child, partner or friends; maybe it’s you.

The Roots of Self-Neglect

From the very beginning, parenting is rough on your body and mind. You sleep less, eat more. Healthy habits deteriorate. You stop exercising or socializing (especially with “non-parent” types). Gradually, your life drifts off course, and your relationship sours.

What’s more, children are gifted crisis creators, no matter what their age. They get sick, have accidents, lose things, and continually rearrange your priorities. The more time you spend running after them and tending to their needs, the less time you spend tending to your own.

Self-reflection is gone from your life. Soon you find yourself living in a reactive state, forever responding to your kid’s never-ending wants while ignoring your partner’s needs too. Is it any wonder that your relationship starts to unravel?

Related: 3 Radical Acts of Self Care That will Help You Heal After Burnout

Personal Experience

In the year after the birth of my first child, I unwittingly gained thirty-three pounds. With new financial demands, I worked more hours than ever before. I ate poorly, slept poorly, suffered chronic back pain, and what little hair I had left on top of my head was soon gone. Seriously, all of it—gone!

The worst part was the toll parenting took on my marriage. My wife and I spent less quality time together. And when we did, one of us was usually falling asleep in the middle of a conversation. In the mornings, we’d bump up against each other near our coffee machine with this intimate exchange:

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

It took us years to overcome parent burnout—but it doesn’t have to take you that long.

From Self-Neglect to Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is a vital part of being a good parent and a good partner. To get your life back, you don’t need to spend a fortune on therapy. Start your recovery by reviewing this burnout prevention checklist.

1. Schedule a Weekly Date.

Being a parent is not an identity—it’s part of who you are. As soon as possible, arrange for babysitters—relatives, neighbors, friends. It’s crucial you put aside time for yourself and your partner. This is often surprisingly difficult, especially when you’ve fallen into the habit of self-neglect.

Turn your attention to new topics and activities that have nothing to do with parenting. A well-rounded parent is always better than a burnt-out parent.

2. Keep Exercising.

I say this all the time in parent workshops, and here I go again: A cardio workout, thirty minutes for three times a week or more, cuts anxiety and depression up to 70 percent in most people. Walk, run, swim, bike, dance…whatever you fancy. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and less appetite for comfort food. If you have trouble committing to a weekly workout, sign up for a class, get a trainer or a gym buddy. Most parents report feeling better almost immediately. (See “Where Do You Store Stress in Your Body?”)

Creativity is a wonderful tension outlet. It soothes angst, awakens your muse, and brings new dynamism into your life. Look for new creative outlets or resurrect inspired activities that you enjoyed before you became a parent. Children love to see their parents be creative. It’s good modeling for your kid and good self-care for you.

3. Personal Adventures.

Parenting doesn’t end personal growth. If you’re stagnating in the same old routine, surfing the net, or watching an entire season of a NetFlix series in a few days, chances are you’ve stopped challenging yourself. Kids respect parents who have a sense of purpose or mission that is beyond parenting.

Take a class, go to a museum, explore continuing education, attend a concert, join a writing group or book club, or take up another language. Look for activities that will stimulate you intellectually, emotionally, and creatively in new ways.

4. Keep Socializing.

Parenting can be very isolating. Spending every moment of your free time with your kids is not good for you or for them. Don’t let your friendships fade away; pick up the phone, set up a time to see each other.

And for goodness sake, give the parenting-themed conversations a rest. You’ll be surprised how relieved you feel.

Related: Burnout: 6 Signs You’re Ready To Hit The Wall

Revitalize Your Life & Revitalize Your Relationship

Children want parents that they can be proud of. It strengthens and fortifies them, builds their confidence, and strengthens their sense of self. When you neglect yourself or succumb to burnout, you deny your kid a crucial need of pride in his or her parent. To cure your burnout and get your relationship back on track, start by weeding out the noxious roots of self-neglect. Not only for you and your partner but for your child’s well-being.

For more such informative articles, visit www.SeanGrover.com


Written By Sean Grover
Originally Appeared In Sean Grover

When you have a child, your life changes, and as usual, there is good with the bad. Parenting burnout is a serious and legitimate issue that plagues many married couples; while some are able to overcome it, some marriages end up biting the dust. If you don’t want your marriage to a part of the latter, then follow these pointers to have both your child and your marriage on healthy and positive grounds.

Parenting Burnout Destroy Marriage pin

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

Child Parentification: The Cause, Signs, and Recovery

Clear Signs Of Child Parentification In Adults

Ever felt like you were the parent instead of the child? That might be child parentification. Let’s explore its causes, signs, and how to recover together.

The term child parentification was coined in 1967 by family systems theorist Salvador Minuchin, who said the phenomenon occurred when parents de facto delegated parenting roles to children.

It can happen when one parent is physically absent or when a dysfunctional family is under stress because a parent cannot perform their parental responsibilities.

Usually, this is due to a phy



Up Next

6 Signs You’re Ready To Start A Family

Signs You’re Ready To Start A Family With Your Partner

You want a baby, a little one to call your own, yet you’re not sure if you really are ready to start a family? Being a parent isn’t as easy as it seems. You can’t just wish for a child then boom, they’re born.

Before even starting the process of family planning, you need to first figure out whether or not this is truly something that you want.

While for some couples around the world, having a baby is their ultimate dream. That’s not always the case for everyone else.

Some can’t decide if they actually do want kids or not while others are already excited and some are straight up terrified. It’s also no secret that life changes forever when there’s a little one in tow. The question �



Up Next

Why Introvert Extrovert Couples Make Great Parents: 8 Compelling Reasons

Reasons Introvert Extrovert Couples Make Great Parents

You know why introvert extrovert couples make great parents? They’re the perfect combination of yin and yang. Introvert extrovert couples work really well because where one person lacks, the other makes up in spades. And this approach reflects in their parenting skills as well. They have different ways of looking at things, and they give the best of both worlds to their children.

In this article, we are going to explore some of the major reasons why introvert extrovert couples make a powerful team when it comes to the battle of parenting their children.

So, if you are someone who is in an introvert and extrov



Up Next

Zodiac Signs As Moms: Discover Your Celestial Parenting Style Here

Zodiac Signs As Moms: Powerful Parenting Styles Unveiled

Do you find motherhood as exhilarating as it is demanding? The zodiac signs as moms bring unique parenting styles to the mix!

Motherhood is a unique path where the 12 zodiac moms bring different cosmic energy. Our personality is shaped by stars and the 12 zodiac signs are therefore associated with certain motherhood traits that differ from one another.

Thus, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s venture on a whimsical journey through the world of astrology to find out who these celestial zodiac moms truly are.

Zodiac Signs As Moms



Up Next

Under The Narcissistic Veil: The Struggles Of Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers

Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers: Understanding Their Struggles

Having a narcissistic mother is, safe to say, one of the most traumatic things to go through. Sons of narcissistic mothers look at the world and relationships in an entirely skewed way, and this is due to the lessons they have learned growing up with a narcissistic mother.

KEY POINTS

The worldview of a young man whose mother has narcissistic personality disorder becomes skewed.

NPD is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy, among other traits.

Once one have been gaslit, they may always suspect the people they are close with may be ho



Up Next

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love And Affection When Raised by Unloving Mothers

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love

It is a commonly accepted belief that motherly love and affection are essential for the healthy development of a child. However, research suggests that a lack of maternal love and affection can have particularly negative effects on men.

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men who reported having a lack of maternal love and affection during their childhood were more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety as adults, compared to men who reported having a warm and loving relationship with their mothers.

Similarly, ano



Up Next

Shadows Of The Narcissist: 9 Subtle Behaviors In A Child Of A Narcissistic Parent

Subtle Behaviors Of A Child Of A Narcissistic Parent

If you have been raised by a narcissistic parent, you know how tumultuous and disturbing your childhood has been. As a child of a narcissistic parent, you must have been through a lot of painful and humiliating things while being forced to mirror them constantly.

Growing up with NPD parents can have far-reaching consequences that can shape your relationship with the world and the people around you.

The first step towards recovery from narcissistic parents is understanding them. Whether it’s their early developmental trauma that triggers such behaviors or their fear of watching their children become independent, being informed about NPD parents mitigates the passing on of generational trauma