Coping with Parental Exhaustion

Do you ever feel like you just cannot it do anymore ?

This was the question asked by a parent during one of the counseling sessions which stayed with me quite deeply. And that became the premise for this blog as a continuation of my earlier balanced parenting blog. Balanced Parenting

So here it is again, Do you feel like you can’t go on anymore?

All the work, the chores, the demands and expectations, the need to do because it needs to be done and has to be done, etc.

The pandemic and now the onset of the festive period in India pushed many of us to the brink of exhaustion, but feeling burned out is not a new experience for parents.

Raising kids takes emotional and physical energy. It requires you to be present, involved, participating, acting, interacting and while it would be nice if all the Good Kid behaviors come inbuilt in our kids, it isn’t the reality.

If you are feeling burnout, you are not alone.

Unfortunately, taking a break from parenting isn’t usually an option. Thankfully our culture and family system gives us that much-needed support to raise our kids, but many parents are still doing it all alone.

Feeling burned out is a sign that something needs to change. Something in your life needs to be addressed. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure or that there is something wrong with you.

It means that this requires YOU to be more compassionate, empathetic, and considerate about YOURSELF in coping with this challenge.


I understand that there are no easy & “textbook” answers here. I also know that your mental health is the most important key to parenting with calm confidence and most of the time you function extremely well and are in charge of the various challenges around you as a parent, as a professional, and in various other roles that we play in our life.

Of course, there are moments when you feel overwhelmed and tense, and when you’re feeling burnout, the space between calm and stress feels non-existent. Little things aggravate you more than they used to, mundane tasks feel exhausting, and yelling becomes your go-to response.

Rather than experiencing periods of calm and relaxation, your brain is hijacked by the 3 F’s ( Fight, Freeze, Flight )  

So how many of you reading this right now are relating to every word ?


It is of utmost importance that you understand that your body is not designed to manage extreme stress for prolonged periods. Without returning to a calm baseline, your body responds in unhealthy ways – emotionally, mentally, and physically.

One of the best ways that I would like to recommend here to learn is how to teach your brain to move through burnout. Identify one stressor at one time. Once you identify and experience the stressor your body reacts with a fight ( yelling, shouting), Flight ( ignoring, running away, finding excuses ) or freeze ( become unresponsive )  responses. At this time you have to engage or involve yourself in some activities that give your brain a “ NO THREAT” signal – which helps your brain to understand that you are safe now which in turn results in a much more calmer you.

Check out the following few activities which can be used as BURNOUT BREAKER

  • Physical activity
  • Meditation
  • Friends and social interactions
  • Laughter
  • Affection
  • Crying
  • Creative Expression

The understanding reason behind a burnout

Now that we know how to manage our stressful situations, let’s take a closer look at the challenges or situations or reactions that you are facing that led to your burnout feeling.   Everyone’s situation is different, but here are a few questions to consider:

  • Am I getting enough sleep?
  • Is there a medical or mental health concern that needs attention?
  • Do I have enough support both emotional and physical?
  • Am I trying too hard to have the perfect everything?
  • Is my schedule or my family’s schedule too busy?
  • Are the expectations I live up to reasonable?
  • Am I a Social Media Addict?
  • Do I express myself enough?
  • What assumptions drive my behavior, thoughts, or the way I view myself?
  • How can I treat myself with self-compassion?
  • In what ways has the pandemic impacted my feelings of burnout?

Explore these questions and any others that come up, with kindness, not judgment. It’s not easy to take an honest look at your thoughts, feelings, relationships, and daily experiences. Use your answers to decide how to move forward in a positive direction.

Coping with burnout may feel overwhelming in the light of everything you have going on right now, and that’s normal.

It’s OK if you don’t have an amazing solution yet. Sometimes, just noticing and naming things is a good place to start. Be kind to yourself.


If you would like support to manage your feelings of burnout, I am available for an online Counselling session. We can talk about your current challenges and together find solutions that work for you.

5 thoughts on “Coping with Parental Exhaustion”

  1. Indeed Trupti as you have pointed out Sound Sleep,Physical activity & Meditation would definitely help in managing Burnout as it would take care of our Mind ,Body & Soul 👍🏻

  2. Agreed. Unfortunately in our country, it is always mothers (moms) suffers from burnt-out. May be centuries old conditioning is responsible. One should cure oneself from “Nirupa Roy” syndrome

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