GRANDADDY'S SECRETS: Parents crashing and burning!

Published on Monday, 28 August 2017 21:55
Written by Daniel Blanchard

If I asked if work burnout existed in the United States, we probably wouldn’t hesitate to say yes because we have most likely already felt it. But, if I asked about parenting burnout, we’d probably hesitate for fear of looking like a bad parent. This faulty way of thinking is holding us back.

Let’s take a country that is more parent-friendly than the United States and see if parent burnout exists there. If parenting burnout exists in places that are more parent-friendly than the United States, then it would be easier to believe that it also exists in the United States, right? In addition, perhaps it would also be easier to believe that we have experienced it, even if we have never voiced it for fear of looking inept, or possibly not knowing what it was that we were feeling…

A study in Belgium, a more parent-friendly country, surveyed 2,000 parents and learned that indeed parenting burnout does exist in Belgium. Their studies show that parenting burnout appears to be a lot like the burnout that exists in the work place; you know, those feelings of being less productive, less competent and emotionally withdrawn.

Sadly, studies have indicated that American parents have been shown to be less happy than American non-parents. This is especially true when compared to their European counterparts where less is considered more.

So, what can we do about this parental burnout and unhappiness? Well, the simple answer is to say, “no.” We also have to start asking for help, which won’t be easy because doing it all is still deeply embedded in our American psyche. So, here is the challenge. Take care of yourself. Find your Zen and lose the burn. Our kids are counting on us to do this, even if they don’t know it yet.

Now, as my Granddaddy always said, “Go learn, lead and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember, parenting burnout is real. But we can beat it. And once again parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

Daniel Blanchard is a New Britain schoolteacher who is also an award-winning author and speaker. Learn more about Dan at:

Posted in The Bristol Press, Column on Monday, 28 August 2017 21:55. Updated: Monday, 28 August 2017 21:57.