I’ve always thought about work burnout. But I never really thought about parental burnout until I started really looking into it. And I realized that they’re pretty much the same. And can you imagine a working parent that has to deal with parental and work-related burnout.
Busy as a bee seems to be the best way to describe many of us. We seem to have more and more that we’re juggling, which makes it seem like it’s impossible, even to have a little bit of time for ourselves. So let’s chat like old friends at a quaint, cozy cafe, talking about our lives and sharing productivity, time management, and organization advice that will help us find time to work on our goals and dreams. I have been a single mom for 20 years, went to college, climbed the career ladder with two babies and is now a program manager at an ITN consulting company, and even went to business school while raising my grandson; and is now here to share everything I have learned on how to be productive with a full plate with you. Welcome to the productivity pie podcast.
Hi, everyone, hopefully
everybody’s having a wonderful week. What I wanted to talk about today was burnout. And not just work, related burnout, but also parental burnout. Yes, there is parental burnout, if you haven’t heard, and they both have similar reasons, and all of us have experienced it. I know 2020. A lot of people, their mental health definitely took a hit. And with that, we saw that many parents had to juggle homeschooling their kids or taking care of little kids who are not in school and going to work. So a lot of them were suffering burnout. Some stats that you might find interesting is:
- A LinkedIn survey of 5000 Americans found that 74% of women felt stress for work-related reasons, and 61% of men felt the same.
- An estimated 2.35 million working mothers in the US suffered burnout since the start of the pandemic due to the unequal demands of home and work.
- The countries with the highest rates of parental burnout were Belgium, followed by the US. And then Poland.
- A sociologist, Rosanna Hertz at Wellesley College, did a study and found that single mothers who are not part of a multi-adult household felt that their work productivity had decreased as a result of their care responsibilities. Rose even quoted one single mother saying, “I felt like my children were my priority, but there was pressure not to drop productivity at work.”
It has been widely reported that a lot of women have left the workforce due to the pandemic. And I have been there, I’m not gonna lie, this week. I feel like I have been dealing with burnout. So many things have happened since last week. The baby hasn’t been a daycare since last Thursday. He’s been having fever, infection, then Monday, found out that he has his hand or it was Tuesday, I found out that he has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. Therefore, he can’t be a daycare because if he has those sores open, he can be contagious towards other kids, which I suspect he got from another kid. After all, he’s not around children when he’s with us, and just really my son and me. It had to be another kid at daycare. So people, if your kid goes to daycare, I know you have to work but try to keep them at home. But on the flip side, I understand why people take their kids to daycare. I’m not saying that I agree with it; I’m just saying that I can understand and sympathize with them because they feel like they have to. Even if the work says that they are flexible and understand in the US, I don’t know how it is in other countries, but many companies in the US start getting a sense from your co-workers as though you did something wrong when you return back to the office. And then usually someone has to have a conversation with you. And they try to mask it as though it’s because of something else. But it’s because you took time off, so I can see why people don’t want to take time off because they feel as though people will treat them differently when we turn back to the office. And that can be a conversation in itself the way that people feel as though they can’t take any time off. That needs to change that culture in the US. I understand. People need to work, but you also have to realize that people need to take time off. So that is something that happened and so on. As of now, I am working with the baby here. But fortunately, I do have a company that is a bit more understanding than others. And they’re letting me work on an alternate schedule, which has really helped.
My ceiling between the first and the second floor started to leak to the point that the ceiling was caving in. As my nephew said to me, You are really going through it, and he’s right about that. But I had to take a step back and think, okay, yes, things have happened; they have pretty much sucked. You are stressed out right now. On Tuesday, when I found out that he had hand foot Mouth Disease, and he couldn’t go back to daycare, which I’m not going to lie when he went and took a nap. I had a scream and a pillow because I was like, What in the world. And so, I started really delving into burnout. I’ve always thought about work burnout. But I never really thought about parental burnout until I began to really look into it. And I realized that they’re pretty much the same. And can you imagine a working parent that has to deal with parental and work-related burnout? Oh, my gosh, it is a lot. And sometimes, especially last year, when people were taking care of their kids and working simultaneously. And a lot of these companies did not want to let up; they did not want to allow their employees to breathe. Now we’re starting to see from the Iceland study, where parents were given where parents were working four days a week, that it seems like now there’s a movement in the US to go that direction. But not all companies are doing that, especially if your clients are or other organizations and agencies that are 10-20 years behind everyone else, you’re not going to be able to do that. And I applaud all the working parents out there because you might not think you are. But you are doing the best you can. So yeah, it has been challenging. And some of the reasons for burnout. The reasons are pretty much the same for parental burnout and job burnout.
You’re working long work hours, a heavy workload, and/or you’re dealing with a toxic work environment. And that means that you’re dealing with your fellow co-workers who are just, you just don’t get along with you have a very like micromanaging boss or boss who just treats you like total crap. You have a horrific commute, which many of us didn’t have to deal with. But that’s one of the reasons why now many people are quitting left and right: now some of these companies want people to go back to their office. Some people are saying Hell no, especially if you live in a city like DC has one of the worst traffic’s one of the worst in the whole country. And then they expect you to travel One, two hours each way when you’ve been working from home for almost a year and a half. And it has been working. Yes, I’m not saying that in-person interactions aren’t valuable, but they don’t have to be done all the time. So I can see why people are quitting left and right because they’re probably thinking, I finally have this work-life balance, I’m finally able to do work on my hobby, be with my family. And now you want me to go back to how things were hell now. So that’s one of the other reasons people suffer burnout, low pay, lack of social support, and insufficient pay time off. And it’s pretty similar to parental burnout because you’re not getting paid for it and base. Parenting is a job that you should be getting paid billions of dollars for. It’s a lot, especially when your kids are babies and toddlers. Toddlers being the worst age. After dealing with my teens, especially my daughter, I tend to say that teenagers, especially pre-teens, are basically toddlers. If you are a parent dealing with teenagers or toddlers at home, you’re going through it, and the thing is like if they don’t even have the lack of support to help them with that, then that makes it even worse. But you don’t want to let burnout. Continue happening for too long because that could lead to depression, anxiety. It. And one thing is is that your mental health is connected to your physical health. You will start seeing the effects of burnout physically. You’ll begin gaining or losing weight, seeing stress in other parts of your body, like your heart. In Japan, some people died due to being overworked. Before that happens, you have to find ways to take care of yourself and your well being to
be able to deal with work, family, and make sure that you’re not feeling as though you’re never going to get out of the situation you’re in. The first thing is, and it’s not easy, especially when you’re amid burnout, is to change your mindset. On Tuesday, I already told you that when I found out that he was sick again, I went and screamed after he took a nap. And for maybe an hour, I was feeling sorry for myself. And I was like, what in the world more I can deal with my ceilings caving in, he’s sick for the 100th time, and then I have to deal with work. But after the hour of just feeling sorry for myself, I took a step back and said Shevonne, he’s only going to be this age for a short period. Your kids, you blinked. And they’re 18 and 20. So yes, even though this is not the part of parenting that you love, this is also the moment where you’re not going to have anymore because he’s going to be older and not want to really need you as much. And so I had to remember that. I also had to remember that I have a very strong work ethic, and I want to do my best, and I don’t want to let anybody down. But work can wait. And if people want to be different towards me when I get back doesn’t matter. That’s their journey. That’s their emotions and their shit that they have to figure out. Don’t put that on you. And I had to realize that I was doing the best I could. And it will be okay. In the end. I found a plumber who fixed the leak. Gio finally seems to be getting better. And I was able to talk to my boss and be like, hey, I need to work an alternate schedule this week. And he said, Sure. So I was able to change my mindset of oh my gosh, this is never gonna end to it will be okay, you will be fine. And it did. I feel so much better now than I did earlier this week. The other thing is asking for help at work. If you have co-workers.
ask them for help. If you are a manager, learn to delegate. If you have older kids who can entertain the smaller kids for half an hour. Let them do that. If you have other families and your kids are the same age, and they can take the kids to the activities or school, let them do that. If you have family and friends who can help with your babies and toddlers, even watching them for one hour, just take the help or even get a babysitter. I did that. I finally went to my son, and I said Look, I need you to help me with the baby. Just give me an hour when you’re not going to work if you can watch him for an hour, and He shrugged his shoulders and was like, Yeah, okay, sure. And I was like, Oh my God, that’s all I had to do. This whole time I was sitting here doing everything myself. And I could have just asked for just one hour, which pays you might not think it’s a lot, but it is a lot. And that’s precisely what I did yesterday. I had two meetings, and I said to him, Hey, I have these two meetings back to back. This is when I need you to watch it for that hour. And he said okay, and he did, and I was even able to make dinner. So definitely just ask for help. I know that I’m someone who doesn’t like asking for help. I don’t want to; I feel like I’m intruding. But finally, my mom told me she was like, you need to ask for help take it. And that’s precisely what I did. And it’s helped. Even at work, I delegated to my project managers some stuff, and they did a great job. And I was able to be relieved that I didn’t have to go to those meetings, and I was able to have other people do it. So please ask for help, you will be surprised, the people who would be willing to help you. And I said in my last podcast episode, but don’t feel the need to be perfect. Don’t feel the need to try to emulate someone who you think is the perfect parent. I’ll let you in a little secret…there is no perfect parent. And you might think that person is the perfect parent. But, they are also dealing with stuff. Do what makes sense for you and your children in your situation. And don’t look at what other people are doing. I know it’s hard, especially with social media, and you’re seeing all these beautiful pictures and people posting how great they are. Don’t feel the need to be like other people the same thing as you’re at work, don’t feel the need to look at other co-workers and be like, Oh my god, but they seem to have it going on, or they seem to have it together. You don’t know what’s going on in their life. And even if, let’s say they are doing a great job, look at yourself and say, Wow, you know what, I’m doing a great job. If you feel you need to work on some things, work on them instead of focusing on what other people are doing. And that will really help too because I feel like we tend to do that. And that makes us feel worse. So don’t go there. If there are things that you like about the other person, and you feel as though you can work on those areas, then do that. And the last thing is to practice self-care. Even if it’s for one minute, where you can close your eyes and count and breathe. Do whatever you need to do to not feel like you’re going under.
Just take care of yourselves. If you have to say no to a meeting, say no to a meeting. If you have to put your child to watch TV for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, it’s not going to affect them. I know that many studies say it’s going to harm them and stuff that’s like if you’re doing it constantly. But if you need that time for yourself, then do that. Don’t feel the need to feel like you have to be Superwoman Superman, you don’t just really think about what makes sense for you, and what will help you and don’t let burnout get so bad, where you start getting clinically depressed, you don’t want it to get that far. But please reach out. If you need someone to listen. I’m here, families, their friends are there. If you even got to the point that you feel as though you need a therapist, get a therapist. It doesn’t have the stigma it used to once. A lot of people have therapists, and people openly talk about it. So there’s nothing wrong with getting a therapist. It doesn’t mean like you’re doing anything wrong; it just means you need a little bit of help. So I really hope that all of you take care of yourselves. This has been a crazy two years. We’ll see how next year goes. But I think one thing that has been good about these two years is that people are actually really looking at their lives and seeing what they want in them and what they don’t want. And it can be a little scary at first. But in the long run, it’s good because it will also help you find your happy medium and get to the point where you won’t have to deal with burnout. So that’s what I wanted to talk about.
Please link up with me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn; I would love to hear from you. Let me know if you have or you are dealing with parental or work-related burnout or both. Let’s have that conversation because I think it’s needed, and it’s time that also companies start helping their employees. But everyone, have a great week and take care. Thank you so much for listening to the productivity pod podcast. Be sure to visit productivity pie comm to access the show notes, check out the videos, check out the other content. And also, if you can, please subscribe, give it a five-star rating, and review it. You and I will talk to you next week. Bye for now.