Being a parent to littles is hard. You do the best you can to care for them, yet you never know when the day will go off-kilter. There are so many unexpected things you encounter day in and day out. It gets exhausting both mentally and physically.
Going into parenthood you probably knew you’d be tired – but not this tired. There’s no easy manual with step-by-step instructions to follow for every single predicament.
Feeling overwhelmed by it all?
Welcome to parenthood! Many moms and dads report that they are caught off guard about how hard raising children can be.
Boy, is it hard!
There are daily tasks. The unpredictability of toddlers. Sleeplessness!
There’s also pressure to “have to do it all.” The appearance that you can do it all effortlessly. Society says you need to be a perfect parent! Asking for help is a sign of weakness.
That’s a myth and we’re going to debunk it!
Here is what you need to do to get the parenting help you need to prevent burnout!
A Parent’s Guide To Get The Help You Need
As you well know kids don’t come with manuals. That doesn’t mean there aren’t tips you can try for yourself as you raise your kiddos. That’s what this parent’s guide is all about. You will learn how to get the parenting help you need.
Do you feel like you’re drowning in your to-do list? Is it hard juggling your children, keeping them happy and healthy as you tackle other things like work or house duties?
To keep your head afloat you need to…ask for help!
Step 1: Recognize Parenting Help is Good For You
There is no shame in asking for assistance. Why do parents think they are a bad parent if they need parenting help? Let’s explore this myth.
We put pressure on ourselves to do everything. We compare ourselves to our friends. You might think “they never struggled.”
We have mom guilt. Feeling guilty for not being able to do everything we need to do.
Then there are the messages from social media, TV, and advertisements that say we can and need to do everything.
Repeat to yourself, doing it all ourselves is a myth. Not asking for parenting help is a myth!
Let’s debunk those!.
We only have two hands and 24 hours a day. In other words, we have limits. We can do a lot of things. Sometimes we can do everything, most days we can only do certain things.
It’s time to put an end to all the pressure and shame in asking for parenting help.
Instead of seeing it as a sign of weakness look at asking for help as a sign of strength.
It takes strength to say I can’t do this by myself.
It takes strength to say “please help.”
Asking for parenting help makes you a better parent!
Step 2: Know When To Ask For Parenting Help
Obviously, if you’re going through a rough stretch that is a natural time to ask for parenting help. Sick kids or tough phases are some scenarios. Piling extra things on your plate like working from home or helping kids with school at home is another time to get help.
You don’t have to be going through a sticky patch though to seek parenting help. Even if life is smooth sailing you can get extra support! Maybe you just want a regularly scheduled break once a week. If so, ask for help!
Sometimes it can be hard to know when to ask for help. You may have just had a tough day but the next day is fine. Your tot might just be going through a difficult stage but then they outgrow it. Can you still ask for help? Yes!
The bottom line is you can help for help at any time. If you’re feeling like you need it, ask!
Step 3: Know How To Ask For Parenting Help
Asking for help for many isn’t easy. Between parent guilt and trying to convince yourself you’re fine, many caregivers have a hard time saying “I need help.”
To make it easier asking for parenting help let go of that guilt and shame. Then come up with a plan of what to say. Then asking for help is simple.
The first thing to do is think about what you need. Where do you struggle the most? Do you need an hour just to getaway? Are you desiring time to get groceries without toting a baby along? Do you work from home and need a few hours dedicated to work? Short on sleep and just need a nap?
Whatever is your pain point, that’s where you ask for help.
Next, think about who lives in your area that could help? Spouse. Mother or Mother-in-law. Sister. BFF? Who is dependable and trustworthy? These are your helpers.
Lastly, your helper needs to know your needs so they can meet them. When you ask for help be specific with what you need help with. Here are some examples.
- “The baby has been up all night for the past week. I’m really tired. Can you come over this afternoon to watch the baby so I can take a nap?”
- “I’m having a hard time getting the cleaning done and taking care of the baby. Can you entertain the baby while I clean?”
- “I really want to get a workout in and need time to myself. Can we have a regular scheduled time where I go to the gym and you stay home with the kids?”
When you tell the person exactly what you need they know exactly how to help.
Step 4: Prevent Parent Burnout
Getting burned out as a parent is understandable. The day in and day out demands can wear on you! To keep you reaching the end of your rope there are things you can do to keep you feeling fresh and less stressed.
You’ve heard the phrase, “take care of yourself so you can take care of others.” This phrase applies to you! Here are things to try to prevent new parent burnout.
- Take care of yourself! Eat well, take showers, exercise, and get sleep when you can.
- Stay in touch with friends. You might not get out for a girl’s night out, but text, social media, and old-fashioned phone calls keep you connected.
- Schedule regular days away. Go for a hike, have a spa day, these are just a few ideas to try.
- Go on date nights with your spouse. Staying connected is important.
- Have lazy days. Let the housework go and watch your favorite show while your kiddos nap. Forget the dishes and just play with your children.
Needing extra help is a normal thing when you’re a parent of young children. After all your hands are full! Raising kids has its own demands, juggling that with other responsibilities can lead to burnout.
You’re not a bad mom or dad if you need to ask for parenting help. It shows you want to be the best parent you can be! Try these tips and get the parenting help you need to prevent burnout! You will feel supported, refreshed, and less overwhelmed. Those are all good things to have.