We’re much more likely to say “I’m broke send me some

We’re much more likely to say, “I’m broke, send me some wine,” than we are to say, “I did a great job parenting today and I feel good about my kids.” This is not good for parents who are already on the verge of burnout. On the other hand, mainstream parents may be more comfortable with the idea of free parenting, that is, giving up the pressure of intense parenting and opting for a more relaxed, less helicopter style. Wealth, in particular, has a strong influence on what choices parents have for their children and how much time they can devote to parenting. Parents, especially mothers, are expected to invest heavily in their children and devote almost unlimited amounts of time, emotional energy and money to them. Intensive parenting means that parents are responsible for managing all aspects of their children’s lives, avoiding potential harm and ensuring the best possible outcome for their children. On the one hand, isolation and lack of social support are major risk factors for burnout, and parents who go above and beyond the norm can feel alone. Last year the New York Times published an article titled “The Anxiety of Modern Parenting.” The word struck me then and hasn’t let go since. It’s hard to say how many parents experience burnout under the academic standards described above. Having to explain and defend your choices over and over again to family members, pediatricians, teachers, and other parents can be exhausting, especially when they doubt you and your parents. Don’t ignore the elephant in the room: Parenting during a pandemic takes the concept of parental burnout to a whole new level. If you’re not doing it because you’re overwhelmed or need help developing effective parenting techniques, don’t wait until you’re completely overwhelmed. Don’t waste your time and energy maintaining your parenting facade on social media. Both mothers and fathers spend much more time with their children than they did 50 years ago. 3 We are overwhelmed with work and commitments, which means we are overworked. 4 The financial costs of raising a child continue to rise. According to this definition, burnout is not just stress, anxiety, or fatigue that all parents experience at one time or another. Intuitively, however, there is a sense that today’s parents are more susceptible to burnout than previous generations. Burnout is not an inevitable consequence of modern parenting.

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