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  • Writer's pictureLaura

Surviving the School Holidays: Avoiding Parental Burnout

Parenting can be a daunting task, especially during school holidays where routines are disrupted, and when we try to create the perfect holiday experience for their children. Parental stress during school holidays is a real issue that affects many families.

Why do we feel stressed?

One of the key issues that contribute to parental stress during school holidays is the lack of routine. During the school term, parents and children have a set routine that they follow every day. This routine provides structure and helps to manage expectations, making life less stressful.

When the school holidays arrive, this routine is disrupted, and parents are suddenly left to manage their children's time without the structure they are used to. This can lead to chaos and feelings of unease.

Another contributing factor to parental stress is the self-imposed pressure to be perfect (frequently made worse by social media examples of parents providing amazing holiday experience for their children). This includes planning fun activities, providing nutritious meals, and ensuring that their children are always entertained).

This pressure to be perfect can be overwhelming, especially for parents who are juggling work and other responsibilities, and the fear of disappointment can lead to parents feeling anxious, overwhelmed and questioning their own abilities as a parent, which can negatively impact their mental health.

So, what can parents do?

Firstly, it's essential to create a routine. While it may be tempting to let your children stay up late and sleep in, this can lead to disruptions in sleep routines, instability of emotions and increases in stress levels. Instead, try to create a routine that is similar to their school term routine, which helps to provide structure and manage expectations.

Secondly, it's important to set realistic expectations. Remember that you do not have to be the perfect parent. It's okay to have days where nothing goes to plan, and your children are bored. Perfection is unattainable, and striving for it can be harmful to your mental health. Focus on creating enjoyable experiences for your children, rather than worry about making everything perfect.

Finally, it's crucial to take care of yourself.

Taking time for self-care can help to reduce stress and keep you mentally healthy. Make time to do things that you enjoy, whether that's reading a book or going for a walk. Remember that taking care of yourself is essential to being a good parent.

Parental stress during school holidays is a real issue that affects many families. The lack of routine and pressure to be perfect can be overwhelming. However, with a few simple strategies, we can manage our stress and create enjoyable experiences for both us and our children.

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