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I talk to a number of mothers, especially those with younger kids, who feel like they’re suffering from burnout – If they have to do one more load of laundry, or tie one more shoelace, they’ll just explode!

This problem of parental burnout is much more common today than it was a few years ago.  Remember something called “the extended family”?  When grandmothers and aunts and sisters all lived nearby and everyone gathered together daily?  Well, those days are apparently gone forever.  That’s why I strongly encourage the stay-at-home mother of small children to resist the temptation to pull within the walls of that house and allow them to collapse on her.  She should develop relationships with neighbours and other mothers, and get together regularly.  They could trade babysitting services, so each is free to go bowling or shopping, or simply waste an occasional afternoon.  The husband of a full-time mother should understand her circumstances.  He should be careful to schedule a date with her every week or two, leaving the children at home, and even forgetting about them for an evening.  This helps the couple to connect and achieve intimacy.

            In short, burnout can be avoided, but only if we pause long enough to recharge the batteries.


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