Raising and educating children requires a significant daily effort that, combined with work stress and the high level of demand that parents sometimes impose on ourselves , ends up leading to what is called ‘ parental burnout ‘.
Initially, this term referred to a form of work stress in professionals subjected to situations of great tension, but over time it has also begun to be applied to parenting.
Not surprisingly, according to data from a survey carried out by the Lingokids educational platform, 67% of Spanish parents say they feel exhausted in their effort to try to be a good father or mother for their children.
The study – conducted among 600 families with children between the ages of two and eight – again highlights the pressure often placed on parents by the idyllic parenting images that we often see on television and social networks.
The pressure of social networks and work-life balance, the aspects that most stress Spanish parents
There are several studies that have been published about how social networks can affect the confidence of mothers and fathers, as well as how to reduce their self-esteem, generate insecurity and cause guilt by feeling that we are not up to the idyllic images that we observe.
Undoubtedly, these aspects can generate great stress among parents, who fail to be those “perfect parents” who sew spectacular costumes, make homemade pastries or travel with their children to idyllic places.
“ Today’s society imposes on parents a degree of perfection , marked by the idyllic images we see on television and on social networks , which is not easy to achieve.”
“Striving to be perfect parents ends up weakening our resistance , causing pictures of stress, physical and mental fatigue that, aggravated by an excess of work intensity, can become a problem” – says Rhona Anne Dick, educator and director of Learning Experience at Lingokids.
Thus, according to the aforementioned survey, seven out of ten parents consulted acknowledge suffering stress in the development of their professional activity, and almost half (46%) consider that this work stress affects their family life.
Work and family conciliation also causes great pressure among parents , not knowing if we are educating our children correctly in values such as equality, respect or care for the environment, and the constant desire to maintain a balanced diet and habits of healthy life
Eight out of ten parents report feeling guilt and frustration
The Lingokids survey also highlights that eight out of ten Spanish parents feel guilty, to a greater or lesser extent, for not spending the time they think they should with their children .
Thus, for 18% of parents this feeling of guilt is constant, for 27% it is frequent, and for a third of them it is something specific.
Only 22% of fathers and mothers state that they have never experienced this feeling of guilt, either because they understand that they dedicate adequate time to their children, or because they consider that they cannot do more than they do.
At the same time, eight out of ten parents consulted also say they feel frustrated because they hardly have time for themselves. However, almost two out of ten believe that this lack of time is implicit in the task of being parents, so it is not an issue that worries or stresses them.
As a consequence of all the above, parents claim to be affected in their day-to-day by negative feelings which, according to this study, are primarily mental exhaustion (43%), physical exhaustion (36%), stress (33%) , bad sleep at night (20%), anxiety (19%) and bad mood or irritability (17%).
What solutions do parents look for to feel better?
When the parents participating in the study were asked what would help them feel better, 27% believed that it would benefit them to find family activities to do away from home on weekends, while for 26%, 22% and 20 % respectively, stress would be considerably reduced if they had outside help for housework, childcare and homework.
Likewise, three out of ten parents affirm that they would feel better if their children entertained themselves with educational and fun leisure alternatives, as this would allow them to have more time to work, do housework or dedicate themselves to themselves.
In this sense, among the individual activities that parents choose to mitigate the feeling of stress and feel better, I would highlight going for a walk or a run (40%), followed by reading or listening to music (35%), watching a movie or a series watching TV (33%) or going to the gym (24%).
Photos | stock
Via | Lingokids
In Babies and More | Living with children can be exhausting for women, but not for men, Time for children, for the partner and for oneself: why it is important to achieve it and what benefits it brings