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Parents, Here’s How to Not Get Burned Out This Summer

Parents, Here’s How to Not Get Burned Out This Summer

Aug 19, 2020 Kids burn a lot of energy. In summer, when the sun is beating down, school’s out, and you have work to contend with, kids can practically drain your batteries before breakfast.

This is the case every summer, but in 2021, there have been even fewer breaks to recharge. Parental burnout is real, and the overwhelming exhaustion can lead to emotional detachment, loss of productivity at work and at home, and even depression. Burned-out parents need help, just like everybody.

Parental Burnout Symptoms

More specifically, the signs of burnout are difficult to miss. According to Neil Brown LCSW, “Parental burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. It leaves parents feeling chronically fatigued, often experiencing sleep and concentration problems, and it can lead to depression, chronic anxiety, and illness.”

If you think you’re susceptible to this, make sure you try these ideas and tips to avoid burnout and stay sane this summer!

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Low-Maintenance Activities to Recharge this Summer

“Dad’s Day” or “Mom’s Day”

You can’t really tell your kids you need a “me day” and conk out for a while. You can, however, create a family event where the whole day is about your spouse. 

This way, each of you can have a turn to rest and take a time out. If you make treating your spouse into a game, your kids will go along with it. Make Mom a bubble bath with wine and candles, treat Dad to breakfast in bed, or send your partner off to a friend’s house for a getaway.

If your kids are below 3 or 4-years-old, they’ll need much more attention. You can make Mom or Dad’s Day into just an afternoon or a morning, too.

Try a (Neat) Indoorsy Craft

Staying out in the sun can be draining. If it’s really hot out, try an indoor craft you can do in the air conditioning!

There are plenty of cute ideas for projects you can make with kids that won’t trash your house. Ditch the disastrous paint and glitter experiments from Pinterest and try crafts that teach your kids actual skills. They can learn to sew by hand or with a machine with a DIY stuffed animal kit or a pre-cut quilt kit, or teach them to draw, knit, or crochet. If their attention spans are short, you can come back to this craft for a short time every day until the project is complete. Perfect for rainy days!

Kids Only Tent

Pitch a Backyard Kids’ Tent

Camping in your backyard is a classic summer activity for families, but here’s our twist: get a kid’s size tent. If you set up a space for them that’s no-adults-allowed, you get the double benefit of being able to relax alone while knowing exactly where they are. 

If your kids like a bit of adventure and they aren’t scared of the dark, keep them out there overnight for a good night’s sleep!

Lakeside Picnic

If you think back to memories you treasured as a child, they’re often moments as simple as sitting outside with a sandwich and the ones you love. 

Sitting by a lake and eating requires virtually no added expense to your budget, and it’s great fun for both parents and kids. Bring a frisbee, a ball, or some bread to feed the ducks for a revitalizing excursion. 

Go on a Cycling Trip

You might think that rest & relaxation is all you need to prevent burnout, but you actually need to be more active to give your body more energy. Exercise is great for mental health, and it’s also great to wear the kids out!

Cycling covers all the basics: fresh air, exercise, pretty scenery, and pure fun. There are cycling trails in almost every community if you search around. Google Maps has a cycling overlay that shows you what areas of your community are bikeable. To amp up the excitement, you could try electronic bikes that let you zip around town much faster and easier than push bikes and let your bike excursion last a lot longer.

sand pit for kids

Build a Sand Pit

If you’re not near a beach or the beach is closed, a sandpit is cheap and easy to build at home for a low-maintenance, less-mess beach day in the backyard. Bury some rocks or fake gems in the sand and have your kids dig around for “treasure.” You can watch from the patio and sip lemonade while they make castles and dig moats.

Sand gets everywhere, but you can also make a game out of hosing them down or putting them through the sprinkler afterwards. They’ll love getting drenched on a warm day. 

Create a Home Movie Theater

A lot of movie theaters are closed down. Have your kids create their own movie theater in the basement or living room, complete with concession stands and seat numbers. Assign your kids to be ushers, ticket sellers, reel operators, or concession stand workers. Get them to help decorate the “theater.”

To make the event extra exciting, you can set up an indoor projector. Decent ones aren’t that expensive, and you’ll get a lot of use out of them.

Grow a Garden

Kids love to play in the dirt, yes, but gardening also has excellent psychological benefits for humans of all ages. 

Caring for a living thing and helping it grow has been linked to decreased anxiety and depression, and it also makes an excellent tool for stress management. The fresh air and vitamin D is something we all need more of this year. Plus, you can reap the rewards of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Make an area in your garden that is comfortable and relaxing for you while the kids play, there are some great outdoor furniture options on the market, make sure to choose the best outdoor sectional for your gardens shape.

kids gardening

Other Ways to Take Care of Yourself

In a piece for the New York Times, Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Ph.D. suggests letting go of perfection. In hard times, we can’t always be Supermom or Superdad. If that means not finishing the dishes one night, letting the kids have a bit too much screen time, staying inside and having a lazy day, having free time, or getting takeout a couple of days in a row, that’s alright. Don’t shame yourself. Shame is counterproductive.

If you push yourself too hard towards perfection day after day, you’re going to drain yourself. Not being perfect is not the same as being neglectful. You’re not a bad parent because you let your lawn get out of control for a couple of weeks during a pandemic – you’re human. It’s helpful to teach your kids that parents need a break every so often, too.

Another way to help yourself as a parent during this long summer is to be mindful. You hear this term floating around everywhere lately, but it’s far from just a trend or a buzzword. It’s the act of being conscious and aware of the present moment. 

If you practice taking a step back to look at your surroundings without judgment, you can appreciate the little things in life that are worth living for.

Take a moment each day to consider what a blessing your wild little creations are, and remind yourself how lucky you are to have them in your life.

child and dad hugging

It makes all the effort worth it.

Nobody ever said parenting was easy, but sometimes it feels like you’ve accidentally tripped the difficulty switch to max. Pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you’ve done. Find some work-life balance, and avoid parental burnout this summer!

Speech Blubs App Helps Your Child Catch up!

Make sure to download the Speech Blubs app: available in App Store, Google Play Store, and on our website! Work on imitation and articulation skills, build vocabulary to express needs, and converse more! Set your personalised goals now and start learning.

Speech Blubs is a learning app for everyone: If you want to work on language development or your child has a speech delay, autism, Down syndrome, hearing loss, tongue tie, cleft palate, or Apraxia – kids find this app very helpful. More than 4+ million parents tried the app – see what they have to say about it.

You get free access to Parents Academy and educational videos about speech development in the app. You can even talk to our speech therapist if you have concerns! If you are still unsure, watch our free webinar with speech therapist Tori or join our Facebook Group for parents.

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The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Blub Blub Inc. All content provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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