Call now on 0207 183 0309
March 18th, 2024
By Faith McNamara

Navigating Parental Burnout: Expert’s Advice on How to Prevent & Cope with it

Raising a child is a very rewarding yet demanding task, and the mounting pressure of modern life can sometimes cause parental burnout. Little Ones conducted an exclusive interview with Mark Chester, Parent Support Manager of Care for the Family.

We discussed the parental burnout phenomenon, its spread today, and strategies for coping with and preventing it. Care for the Family is an organisation that provides an array of support for families in terms of service provision, helplines, as well as, family-building projects.

Understanding Parental Burnout

Mark Chester describes parental burnout as a situation where the exhaustion of parenting exceeds the supplied resources to manage it. While burnout is primarily related to the workplace, it has gradually gained recognition in the family setting, particularly regarding parenting.

Social studies and research show that parents' burnout is becoming a growing worry and accordingly, we must start providing support and understanding.

Distinguishing Parental Burnout from General Stress

As opposed to just regular burnout, which implies everyday stress and anxieties linked to parenting, parental burnout is being more profoundly exhausted by the labour of raising children.

According to Chester, burnout is a type of stress that does not last for a few hours or days but is prolonged and often intense. This stress affects a person day in and day out. It may appear as chronic fatigue, lack of pleasure in preferred activities, wanting to be separated from children and feelings of being emotionally overburdened. Understanding these signs will help the person to differentiate normal parenting anxiety from burnout.

Contributing Factors to Parental Burnout

Chester explains that the root of parental burnout is multi-faceted. Factors like the remnants of the pandemic, the struggles of working while raising kids, financial challenges and the needs of ageing parents could be the reason.

Moreover, there has been a clear social shift. In the Western world we have cultivated an individualistic culture which can make the situation worse as there is less of a family support network. Therefore, social support becomes another important element.

Patterns and Triggers of Parental Burnout

Risk factors like high expectations, excessive self-comparison, and lack of community support are recognised as triggers to potentially develop parental burnout. Chester implies that the “aspiration for perfection, making sure everything is under control” and a propensity for pessimism, are just a few factors causing burnout. It’s imperative to see the early signs of being burnt out and start from there to prevent it and treat it.

Impact of Social Media

Chester stipulates that social media can intensify the problem of parental burnout. The comparison with the seemingly perfect lives of parent influencers which are displayed on social networks can build unrealistic expectations and propel parents into feelings of unworthiness.

On the other hand, he also highlights that people posting about going through the same experience on social media could be a great source of comfort and strength.

He says that relying on an online community is better than no community and finding support through social media can be a positive thing. Chester recommends “only following accounts that make you feel good”.

Parenting Styles and Strategies

The notion of perfectionism, excessive control, and critical attitudes describe the parenting manner that might be closely connected to an increased possibility of burnout. Being overly strict, or keeping to a strict schedule can become overwhelming, thus leading to burnout.

Chester suggests that you should first “take a deep breath, then restructure your thinking”, and take some time off. He says that it’s easy to get lost in keeping on track with your parenting. But the best thing you can do for both yourself and your children is to take a break and practice self-care.

Societal Shifts and Emerging Trends

The financial pressures of modern-day life along with the continuous chase of success in multiple subfields are some of the reasons why parents may experience burnout. The cost of living has affected each aspect of life, making raising a child even more expensive. Today, raising a child is seen as a luxury.

This means parents are working harder and being more money-conscious than ever before. Chester points out the need for a structured help group and recommends adequate communication. “Talking is the best way to relieve stress.”

Supporting Parents: Care for the Family Initiatives

Care for the Family offers various types of support to parents. This includes helplines, resources, publications, parenting courses, events, and the befriending system that links parents with similar issues.

Chester strongly advocated for a group he helped to establish: “Who let the dads out?”. This group has been designed as a place for dads to find support from fellow fathers and discuss what fatherhood looks like to them.

It’s also a chance to give mums some time to themselves. This initiative is all about helping families and helping dads connect with like-minded individuals and build a support network.

Part-time & Temporary Nannies

During our conversation, we discussed how Little Ones can support parents who may be experiencing burnout. Our premium agency aims to support all parents looking for some extra help with their children and their households.

We offer part-time Nannies which can be helpful with school runs. Modern working hours have extended over the last few years so being able to run your children to and from school can prove challenging. Part-time or after-school Nannies are a perfect solution, allowing you to be at work on time as well as being sure your children are being taken care of and are safe.

Another option is temporary Nannies. This means if you are planning an adult-only getaway, need to travel for work or simply need an extra hand with a new baby you can hire a Nanny for a fixed period. No fuss or worry over expenses. You can easily budget for a fixed-term Nanny to get the support you need.

Parental burnout is a real and pressing issue, and recognising the signs is the first step toward addressing it. Insights from Mark Chester shed light on the importance of community support, open communication, and self-awareness in preventing and coping with it.

Request Information
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Once you have completed your enquiry Little Ones will contact you on the details you have provided with information about the services we provide in order to assist you. Your information will not be shared with anyone outside our companies group.

At any time you may cease to receive communication by contacting Little Ones to delete, update or transfer for your information at no cost to yourself. Simply email with the name and email address you provided on this form.

Please see Little Ones data protection and privacy policy for further details how your information may be used. You will receive an email confirming how your information is used.

Browse by type