Alright, let’s be real for a sec. Being a parent is, well, bananas. It’s the most rewarding, hilarious, heart-exploding experience you’ll ever have, but let’s not sugarcoat it – it’s also exhausting.  Sometimes, way beyond just “tired,” we hit that wall of parental burnout.  (Yes, that’s a real thing, and honey, you are not alone!)

Remember that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Willy Wonka’s boat is careening down the chocolate river, everything’s a whirlwind of color and candy, and Veruca Salt is freaking out because she can’t see an Umpa Loompa anywhere to hand her a snozzberry?  

Yeah, that’s kind of what parenthood feels like sometimes. 

Pure sugary joy mixed with moments of pure, unadulterated chaos. Except instead of chocolate rivers, you’re navigating mountains of laundry, rivers of spilled juice, and enough Legos to build a toddler-sized Taj Mahal (complete with a moat of drool, no doubt).

We get it. Being a parent is the most incredible, heart-exploding experience you’ll ever have.  

Those tiny humans you created? They’re pretty darn magical, even when they’re covered in mystery goo and demanding their third juice box in ten minutes.  

And sometimes, we hit that wall of parental burnout. It’s a real thing, and honey, you are not alone.

So, welcome to the circus that is parenthood!  

Grab a metaphorical cup of coffee (or a glass of wine, no judgment here!), pull up a seat on the wobbly clown car, and let’s chat. Because in this beautiful, messy, sleep-deprived world, we’re all in this together.  

We’ll talk about the signs of parental burnout, how to identify it in yourself (because let’s face it, sometimes the biggest monsters under the bed are the ones we create in our own heads), and what to do when you feel like you’re about to lose your marbles (because trust us, we’ve all been there!).  

We’ll also delve into the specific challenges of “mom burnout,” and explore some practical strategies for coping when you feel overwhelmed. 

Let’s get this party started.

Q&A: Parent Burnout

Alright, first things first: What are the symptoms of parental burnout?

You’re Running on Fumes: 

Remember that energizer bunny who kept going and going and going? Yeah, that’s not you anymore. Every day feels like a marathon fueled by lukewarm coffee and sheer willpower.  Even the mere thought of playing peek-a-boo makes you want to crawl under the covers and take a permanent nap.


Take note!


Short Fuse City:  

Let’s be honest, parents aren’t known for their infinite patience. But if you find yourself snapping at your kids over every little thing – spilled milk turning into a volcanic eruption, anyone? – it might be a sign you’re running on empty.


Emotional Disconnect:  

Those snuggle sessions that used to melt your heart now feel like a chore. You love your little ones fiercely, of course, but that spark of connection just feels…dim.




Your Body’s Throwing a Tantrum Too:  

Headaches are your new BFF, the common cold has taken up permanent residence, and forget about remembering the last time you slept through the night. Your body is basically screaming, “Hey, pay attention to me! I need some TLC!”

Listen to your body. It’s trying to tell you something.

Okay, so I think this might be me. What is the solution to parental burnout?

Ugh, if only there were a magic burnout-banishing potion, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. But here’s the good news: just like a car that needs a tune-up, you can totally recover from this! 

The key is to reprioritize YOU.  

Yes, you read that right.  Schedule some self-care. Take a bubble bath, read a trashy novel,  or escape for a solo walk. Remember, a happy you equals a happier family (and probably a lot less yelling).

But self-care isn’t always bubble baths and pedicures (although those are fantastic too!).  Sometimes it’s saying no to extra commitments, even if it means letting down a friend (they’ll understand, trust me).  

It’s about setting boundaries – with your kids, your spouse, and even your in-laws (boundaries are your friends!).  

It’s about getting enough sleep, even if it means tag-teaming bedtime with your partner or begging grandma for a sleepover.

What does mom burnout look like? Is that different?

Not really!

Dads can experience burnout too, of course. But sometimes the societal pressures on moms can feel extra intense. Maybe you feel like you have to be the “perfect” parent, the lunch-maker extraordinaire, the bedtime story magician.  

Newsflash: there’s no such thing as perfect!  

Let go of those expectations, delegate some tasks (hello, dads!), and embrace the glorious imperfection of parenthood.

Mom burnout can also show up as feeling guilty for everything – working too much, not working enough, spending time on yourself, not spending enough time with the kids. 

It’s a guilt spiral that can leave you feeling paralyzed. But here’s the thing: guilt is a useless emotion. Instead, channel that energy into creating a system that works for you and your family.

What to do when you feel overwhelmed as a parent?

First, take a deep breath. You are not alone, and this is not forever.  

Reach out to your partner, a friend, or a family member for support. Let them take the reins for a bit while you recharge. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

And hey, if all else fails, there’s no shame in ordering takeout and letting the dishes wait.  

Sometimes, all you need is a break to hit the reset button.

So there you have it.

These are just a few of the warning signs that you might be on the road to burnout bliss (otherwise known as parental burnout, which sounds way less fun).  

But don’t despair! 

The good news is, there’s a way back from the brink. In the next part of our chat, we’ll be diving into some superhero-worthy solutions to help you conquer burnout and reclaim your mojo.  

UMatter Counseling