Nov. 17, 2020

7 Practical Tips To Help Prevent Parent Burnout

#011 - Have you ever felt completely exhausted hours before your usual bedtime? I know, pretty much every day, right? 

It's easy to fall into burnout with all the pressure on us as parents, so it's essential to consider how you can build in breaks to your schedule.

In this episode, we share seven practical tips that have helped us from burning out every day.

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https://www.workinghomeparents.com/11

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Transcript

Amanda Norton:

Have you ever felt like you've just been doing so much in your day, that it's three hours before your bedtime and you already want to crush. That was my day today. And in this episode, we will share some of our best ways to prevent burnout, while working and parenting from home.

Bumper:

Welcome to working home parents helping you find stability between client calls, and potty training. Because we're all figuring this out as we go. And now, your hosts, Amanda and Dan Norton.

Daniel Norton:

Welcome to Episode 11. And this is a topic today that I think really affects all or most parents, whether you work from home or not, but especially those of us that work from home, on our own business or were employed. I think burnout is just something that affects us all. You know, we talked about a little bit about this in our challenges episode of working from home, but, you know, burnout is one of those challenges. And I could definitely feel it, I think each of us feel it in a little different way. You know, for me, I'm always on my business is always going. I don't have like set hours with an off time and all of that. You know, and you know, your nine to five, yeah, so it's there, there is that set off time. But you know, your challenges a little different than mine. And so I think there there's a lot of different ways and and we've found some ways for that work? Well, I think for us, so we want to be able to share those, those tips for dealing with burnout in your day. And your week.

Amanda Norton:

Right. So the first one is taking a walk after work as a family or walk by yourself. So this is one of my favorites, I find that if if time allows and if circumstances allow that my son is behaving, and you know, he's all set up, you're working, you know, I could take my 25 to 30 minute walk and then have that freedom for a minute. And so I could kind of just take that the thoughts about work and everything, just put it all away and help me just free up my mind a little bit, you know, and getting that fresh air because we're cooped up all day. And you know, it's it gets to some time. So I'm thankful that a lot of the times when I get to do that I just feel so much relief and less exhausted too. And I feel like I'm ready to conquer the rest of the night. You know, but when I just go straight through to dinner and, and bedtime and all that stuff. I am so exhausted. Yeah. So I think it's really important to just get it even as a family. It's so fun when when our son is like, oh, want to go see the rabbits in the neighborhood. And because we have apartment buildings nearby, and they always congregate around there. And I love it that like he's excited to take a walk and it breaks up his night a little bit too. And then he's nice and hungry for dinner. And then maybe dinner goes a little faster. So yeah, I think it's fun. And we get a little fresh air together all three of them. Yeah, what

Daniel Norton:

when he wants to go and it's not a struggle. Yeah. But I, you know, going for walks is one of the biggest things I miss about commuting, I would I did a lot of walking in my commuting, not a lot of driving, right, I was on the train. So I would walk to the train, then I would walk from the train to the subway, and then from the subway to my job in Manhattan. So I did a lot of walking. And I did a lot of listening to podcasts and all that during that time. So I missed that a lot. And I don't allow myself to go out and walk the few times that I have. It's been really nice, although it's getting colder now. But I still enjoy it like I still I really need to get myself back out there and doing it. I think for me, it's really just waking myself up early enough to go and do it because it's hard for me to justify if I have a break of time to use that for walking. And not for taking care of client work or getting out content for my business or getting a new, you know, talking to a new prospect or something along those lines. But I really should at least schedule in 15 minutes, 20 minutes, I used to walk three hours, just on just to walk before you're married some of the things that I lost a lot of weight walking and I really enjoyed a walk. But I do need to do that more because I definitely missed that. That was very, very relaxing and freeing.

Amanda Norton:

Yes. Totally. Well, we need to schedule that you need. I need I need you to schedule it. Yeah, I

Daniel Norton:

am terrible at scheduling thing.

Amanda Norton:

The next one we have is accepting that some things just don't have to get done that day. So like today, I went above and beyond and I don't even know why but I just I guess I had a lot of energy. I slept well, my Fitbit said I slept more than seven hours. And I'm like, Wow, that's great. I don't know what it was. But I just overdid it today I did the laundry to two loads of laundry today, both in my breaks. And then on my lunch break, I was folding all the laundry. And then after work, I did the dishes. And then I made cookies. And I don't know what else I did. But it I just feel like oh, my goodness, it's three hours before bedtime right now and I want to crash.

Daniel Norton:

And then so we go and record a podcast. Yeah. Yeah, but but at the same time, you did spread that out over the day. And it's not like you did three loads of laundry and clean dishes all right afterwards. So that at least is a good thing. So now you can go to bed without having that. Right. But I do think it's just like, yeah, I think sometimes it's like, it's in the back of your head. That right? There's dishes in the sink that need to get washed. But if you're so exhausted, and so wiped out, or there's just other more important things that should get done. Like it's just being okay with that not being done at that right at that moment. Yeah, I think a lot of us feel like it's like, oh, every, all this stuff needs to get done. Or I'm a bad parent or a bad example, or I just have this thought in my head, I'm not gonna be able to lay down without it. But if we constantly are taking ourselves to like the point of exhaustion, what's left there to have fun with our kids? Yeah, well, are we really able to give as much of our time to work? So yes, I do think that some days, it's really good to use our brakes to do some of the things so we don't have to do it. That's, that's the benefit of being able to work from home is we, we can take our breaks and do some things from home. So when we're done with the day, we don't have to do it. But at the same time, it's not forgetting to take those breaks and just actually relax, which is something I feel you owe me

Amanda Norton:

all the time. I say

Daniel Norton:

thankful for that you need to go and just like chill and relax. Because for me, that's not hard.

Amanda Norton:

Yeah, that I'm so thankful for is I sometimes you hear me talk out loud to myself, and you're like, or you could just sit and relax and take a break. And I'm like, Oh, yeah, I should I do that I'm really I'm exhausted. I was a long day so far. And I could really use the break. But then sometimes I'm like, but then I'm gonna be so exhausted. After five o'clock, I'm not gonna have any energy to do the laundry to do the dishes or take out the garbage. So let me do it now. So but I am thankful because you do say that often to me, and you show me that, as my husband, you're not expecting me to do everything in one day. And I'm not a bad wife. I'm not a bad mom, like you just said, like, I'm not a bad example to my kid, if I just can't get everything done in one day, you know, and there's some nights where, like, again, you hear me talk out loud, and I walk in the kitchen and I say, a huge pile of dishes in there. I don't know, if I have the energy for it. And you're like, just go to bed, relax. And I'm like, okay, God, you're right, I could do that. You know. So yeah, just just not holding yourself to this high standard of being the perfect wife or the perfect Mother, you know, that you can't compare yourself to others and everything. So

Daniel Norton:

yeah, and I think for us, it's there's a lot of differences because during the day, I am taking care of her son while you're working and then I switch on to be working. So it's not like we both work at the same time and have both the same off times. It's, it's often very much swapped, you know, and my days, mostly pretty much any free moment I have is put towards working. Yeah. And that's something I'm working to change and working to build but that's it's kind of the way businesses when you're first you know, really taking things off the ground. So that's, that's been the thing for me. I think a lot of times I may take a little too too long in the resting because then I'm up till three in the morning doing work or you know, talking to you know, editors or people that are overseas clients and stuff. But you know, that it's still trying to figure out how can I How can I best schedule in that time, Deaf to rest,

Amanda Norton:

our next way is taking a day off. If you can take a long weekend instead of a week off. This has been really helpful for me because it's not easy to to give myself a whole week or five days. And then find coverage and and all of that and then come back and come back to a mess to clean up or just coming back to Oh no, my you know, things are happening with my cases. And I feel bad they had to deal with it. And I didn't I wasn't here for it. Whereas if I take off on a Friday, and I come back on Monday, and it's a nice long, extended weekend, I feel refreshed. Monday doesn't feel so bad. You know, when I take off five days and I come back on a Monday it's like a ton of bricks hit me it's like I got emails like voicemails, it's just too much. What I liked about this year was we didn't have planned vacations, and we got to do something different. Whereas we take off even even in the middle of the week. Sometimes I've taken off and it's been great but um Taking a Monday off or Friday off has been so helpful. And just so motivating for me to feel refreshed for Monday or whatever it just it feels great.

Daniel Norton:

Yeah, I agree. I love vacations, I love going away like to do all these things. But what I've really found in this kind of a scenario where it's just, you know, every week is the same, and we're never leaving the house. And we're doing all these things, putting in those longer weekends and doing something locally, but like getting away like that staycation idea, but trying to explore some things that are relatively close. But you do that more often than trying to wait for that one really long, extravagant, week long vacation or two week long vacation. Now, I know not everyone can do that. But if you could take one or two longer weekends a month, I think that really has helped us with preventing the burnout, and being able to go and enjoy and try out some things locally that we haven't really gotten to try before. And also for me with the business, it's a lot easier to just book out that shorter period of time than feeling like I'm away and have to deal with clients while I'm away for a whole week. Not that we don't ever want to take a week again. Right? Yeah, I think we definitely want to plan a fun week away or two weeks away. I mean, ultimately, we want to get back to Hawaii, right? island of Hawaii is where we want to be. But we know that's like a long term thing. But to keep us healthy right now and keep us enjoying time. Having that short, little break short, little weekends, I think, are really important. And I think they're really they're really good and really helpful,

Amanda Norton:

very healthy, very healthy for us. The next one we have is ask for for help from our kids and our spouse. So like today, I decided to do everything by myself. And I could have incorporated our son, being able to take the hangers and come You know, help me go to the room and spread out the clothes or separate the socks, you know, he's three, so it's a little challenging, he gets a little crazy with it. But um, you know, at least I have that helpful hand so that I'm not overwhelming myself when it comes to dishes

Daniel Norton:

and the hangers today.

Amanda Norton:

Okay.

Daniel Norton:

But I'm saying I know this really makes it sound like I don't do.

Amanda Norton:

Sorry. That's not what I mean to do today. It's not what I meant to do. But I just I took it upon myself today without asking for your help. And I asked for your help today with the hangers at least that I did that. But overall, like I think I just I overdid it today, you know. And like we said, sometimes it's good to just get it all done in one day. So the rest of the week kind of is a little bit easier. But right now, like I said, I am so ready for bed. And it's like I got like two more hours now.

Daniel Norton:

But you also chose to do it while you know our son is at school. Yeah. And you know, that I think is also just a way to make it a little easier sometimes because you can get it done without having to worry about him. Yes. So you know, as much as we say like it is a lot on the one time. It was a little easier potentially when he's not there. Yes. For you to get some of that done. Because you can get it done quicker.

Amanda Norton:

Yeah. Because sometimes also my breaks are around him. And it's not always like a very relaxing thing. Because I sometimes I find doing laundry and dishes like I put on YouTube, I put on my music and I listen to something and or a podcast. And you know, I feel like it's very therapeutic that like 15 minutes break, I could take myself off the computer and not on a screen and just listen to something.

Daniel Norton:

Yeah, I mean, and when you're usually on break is when I'm trying to take advantage of getting my work done or getting on a call with the client. Because I'm trying to fit that in while you're in a break. Yeah. So we're always trying to fit in and piece in. And I think that's something that's just important for you're figuring out your schedule of where every person's homework is going to be different. Yeah, I every one of us. And I think that's what that's one of those things. It's just like about like a podcast like this, we can share helpful things but like everybody's situation is going to be different. So it's not like a hard and fast rule for all these things. Yeah. But kind of piecing in where you can work and where you can get different things we don't have like two offices that we can each go to buy. And so we have to work around our schedules. So like you go on break and you like instantly want to go and get something done and I'm instantly trying to get on a call or trying to get some work done. And so then we're both kind of wiped out by the end of it.

Amanda Norton:

Our next idea here is having a date night or time with friends. I think I do this more with times with time with friends. I tried to at least once a month for a few months in a row when even with COVID happening and when when restaurants opened up. I had coordinated a few times to get together with some my mom friends or just some my friends from church and I love those nights I get to have conversations and, and see my friends. And we're all outside, of course, because these restaurants allowed us to sit outside and everything. But we feel like we're back together in our normal environment. And it's just a lot of fun seeing these people outside of church and everything, it's just, it's a different scenario. It's like everybody's relaxed and not having running after their kids or anything like that. Yeah, we get to have just like, cool, you know, time to chat. And you got to do that once, which is,

Daniel Norton:

again, the difference between a nine to five and when you run your own business, yeah. Because there's this challenge in your mind. And obviously, I think as you mature with building your own business, you fit in the times that are working, and then you have times for you to turn off. It's things that I'm still learning and figuring out on how to do like, I'm definitely not like, perfect at figuring out my business. And it's difficult. It's difficult to turn off it. There's this constant feeling of like, guilt of am I working on my business right now? I could, am I working up? Am I, you know, not giving this client what they need when I can like that's, that's the hard thing for me. So it's hard to justify, hey, I'm going to go hang out with some friends now. Yeah. And this year has been difficult for that. Like, it's just been difficult to figure out that timing and when is it going to be good? Did it once or twice? But I think for us, like we really haven't had a date night until this last week. Yeah. And it wasn't really a plan. Now. We were like, we're gonna go out to go shopping to actually plan a video for parent pacifier, which is our YouTube channel. If you haven't seen it, and we're starting to add new videos over there. We actually did one, you know, testing at parent hack on how to hide candy. Yeah, that wasn't the video we're going for. It's another video we're putting out soon. But we're like, well, let's just go out and get something to eat. And it wasn't any fancy date. No, it was Boston Market.

Amanda Norton:

And I had to force you to go there, right.

Daniel Norton:

So like it wasn't going out for a fancy day, but at least it was like, Whoa, this is weird. It's the first time we've been out. I don't know maybe since January, like Benihana or something. Which is a great birthday tip, by the way. got totally off topic. But Benihana is has like a birthday things if you've got too many honors by you, which is like hibachi kind of place. They do like $30 birthday certificate sign up on their website, not sponsored and not affiliated, but definitely is a good, good date night around your birthday, definitely. But it was nice. It was like we need to figure this out more like my parents watched her son for you know, like, whatever it was two hours, and we had our Boston mark. And enjoy, but hey, whatever it was timeout, like Finally, we had some time to like, just relax and eat and it not be the same routine?

Amanda Norton:

Yeah, so definitely, we need to do that. Again. Another tip is spreading out the household chores, and the to do list. So like, like I said several times already. I did way too much today. So this could have been avoided my burnout today could have been avoided, but it's okay. I mean, plan it out, get get your family involved this, this, this household does not run on one person, this involves a whole family. So if you have more than one kid and you have a spouse that's available, like go ahead and involve them, they want to be a part of the process. Like I said, this is our This is your home. So I need to work on that more. You know, I tend to do everything myself, because I know you're so busy after you're watching it and all day, when the days that he's not in school, or even the days when he's in school. You're so so busy. So I'm like, okay, like you said, like I'm off at five o'clock. So I will do everything I can, you know, but I could spread it out a little more. So I think it's your personality to you like

Daniel Norton:

to just like get everything done and go go go the opposite of me? Yes. Where I would rather, you know, do one thing and take some time

Amanda Norton:

and type A and you're the type B we are complete opposites.

Daniel Norton:

But that's where I think it works really well for the you know, both of us that you and I just walked in. Yeah. So I mean, I think that when you spread some things out. Now obviously, there's things that need to get done every single day, just normal, like home, household family stuff. But some things just kind of spread them out over the day or over the week. So that you know that it's going to get done at some point. It's almost like scheduling in these like, you know, mindless tasks. Yeah, you know, like when the bathroom needs to get cleaned or the shower needs. Instead of feeling like all of that needs to get done in one day or at one time where you don't know when it's gonna get done. Spreading out that To Do List over a week or a month. You have then that time to do it. So it's not always in your head like Alright, this is adding up and more stuff setting up and there's no kind of like due date for when it's going to happen. So you just feel like at the end of every day there's nothing's got done, right. But you kind of spread out these other these other tasks. And like we said before, if it doesn't get done It's okay. Yes. Like, I think that, obviously that's like a family thing. And everyone needs to be on board, right? But if it's okay that some things don't happen, some things don't happen.

Amanda Norton:

And number seven, this is our last one. Why don't you take on a hobby or if you have a hobby, do it in my favorite thing, are adult coloring books, I don't get to do them often. But when I do, I put on music. And it's just so relaxing, or even leaving the TV on or whatever I don't, I won't even pay attention. But just to have that background, background noise and everything, I just enjoy it, I don't know, it's like taking out it's bringing out the artistic side of me, which is very minimal compared to you, and how much artistically talented you are. And I'm not a good drawer. But I love coloring. I don't know what it is

Daniel Norton:

well, and I think it's better to then just sitting on the phone. Yes, because obviously you could sit in the phone and play games, but then, you know, when Aidan's looking at you, it's like you're on the phone. And then he's like playing, it kind of encourages him, you know, in our kids to want to do something creative, I want to do something fun when they're watching you do something creative. So like having like doing your own kind of crafts, or maybe just crafts with them. But you're doing like the adult coloring, which which doesn't feel like you're doing a kid's thing, right? Which is something I've only really noticed in these last few years of like this thing of adult coloring books. I don't know if it's a millennial thing. But yeah, there's this like, this adult coloring books. And it's huge. There's a lot of people that do it. And you know, you've done that sometimes in the mornings or on the weekends, or when you're doing you know, if he's playing with like Silly Putty, or Plato and things like that you sit there and do the coloring books, instead of having the TV on or instead of being on your phone. I think that's really good. Everything with me is almost all electronics. So I'm feel like I'm always showing him, you know, I'm doing electronics. And, you know, going back to our conversation way back in Episode Three, overcoming, like addiction to technology, trying to be more aware of when I'm using my phone, but I am constantly on my phone, whether it's talking to clients, or doing work or reviewing videos that an editor sent to me, even if I'm not on the computer. So I'm having to do that while I'm doing all other things throughout the day, because I'm constantly in that cycle. And you know, I've always enjoyed video games and all that I just haven't had the time to play it otherwise, that would be you know, I look forward to when, you know, he's a little older that we can play video games together. And I look forward to being able to do that. I've played like this one, game geoguessr, which is like guessing. It basically throws you in a map where you know, somewhere on like Google Maps, and you're in Street View, and you have to kind of guess where in the world you are.

Amanda Norton:

I need to try that game that sounds so interesting.

Daniel Norton:

It's it's very challenging. Sometimes,

Amanda Norton:

maybe I'll do better with my geography because of that. I

Daniel Norton:

don't know where anything is, but you're not doing maps. So you're not gonna like, you might be able to look around, maybe I find it fun. Maybe just do a couple rounds of geoguessr in between doing some things I haven't in a while, but it was like something that just take me away and give me a little bit of a break in between doing some things. So that's sort of like a hobby. Yeah. I mean, maybe even this podcast, I mean, we are doing it, but it is something that's different than our norms. Yeah.

Amanda Norton:

So this wraps up all of our ideas, we had a total of seven Sorry, I did not mention the number between every time but we just wanted to provide you some, some tips. You know, if you're struggling, if you're realizing that you're burning out. If you're you know, working from home, and you find yourself just trying to find days or times during the day to take care of yourself. It's it's very important, it's very healthy. And as a social worker, we always, you know, use the word self care, which is not a selfish thing to do. You know, you need that time for yourself to refresh. It's very healthy. Because burnout leads to so much so much damage to your health. So you got to take care of yourself. So that's my social pitch.

Daniel Norton:

And we you know, we'd love to hear from you. What are some ways in which you've prevented burnout? or What questions do you have? What would you like to hear us cover? Go to working home parents.com and leave us a voice message. If you go to work on parents.com, you'll see a little button. It's like a little microphone or over on the right side of the website, whether you're on your mobile phone or on the desktop. And leave us a voice message. We would love to hear your voice. We'd love to hear you. Let us know what you're thinking of this podcast. Let us know about you know how you've dealt with burnout, and what else you would like to hear us cover and maybe we'd even feature your voice message in an episode. All right, hope you enjoyed Episode 11. And if you haven't already, subscribe so you don't miss an episode, and head over to working home parents.com slash 11 for show notes and transcriptions of this episode. Thanks for listening and we look forward to chatting with you in our next Next episode.

Bumper:

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