What is Parental Burnout?
Parental burnout is a syndrome that affects parents who are exposed to chronic parental stress and lack the resources to cope with this stress.
Or in other words, it’s a long-lasting imbalance between stress and resources, where the stress exceeds the resources. Parental burnout can also co-exist with job-burnout and/or depression and/or anxiety.
While “burnout parental” has been widely studied and talked about in the French speaking world since 2017, the English term “parental burnout” has only started to appear in 2020, in the wake of the COVID pandemic when many parents had to work and provide childcare full time during the confinement, including overseeing at-home lessons when all institutions were closed.
- Physical and emotional exhaustion from parenthood, typically the first symptom to appear
- Overload and no enjoyment or pleasure from parenting your child(ren)
- Emotional distancing – no longer emotionally involved with your child(ren)
- Contrast between the kind of parent you are now, and the kind of parent you used to be and wanted to be
Parental burnout is more than just exhaustion; it’s an emotional and physical depletion that can affect every aspect of your life.