Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Leadership and Parenting Fatigue Factor

If we're overwhelmed, excessively tried and feeling almost depressed it probably means leadership fatigue is sinking in. Now I don't mean plain old fatigue, I mean leadership fatigue. Everyone in a leadership role (parents especially) go through something called the leadership fatigue factor! This basically means that as the leader of any group, team or family we begin to burn out.

Specifically for parents leading a family we tend to believe we have to control everything, constantly... Responsibilities such as bills, demanding careers, focusing on our relationship with our spouse and then being mommy. Leading a family can come down to feeling like you MUST lead every detail: When's the next PTA meeting, who's wearing what, was lunch packed, when's the next doctor's appointment, what about the next date night, or planning that important meeting at work?

At times there's just too much going on and a parent can truly be hit with leadership fatigue factor. So try some of the following to cope with this all too common parent burn-out:

1. Expect your children to help. Children can do so much more than we think. My 7 year old can do plenty of things and even though I slip back and start taking over for the sake of control, I shouldn't... He can clear the table, feed the dog, take out the trash, pack his own lunch, pick out his own clothes, & even wash his own clothes. Sure we don't want to burn children out either, but there can and should be balance for them as well as participation. 

2. Follow a structure. That can be as simple as keeping a calendar on your smart phone. It's the whole, "set it and forget it" concept. You don't have to store every commitment in your brain. Keep a system to help you that your entire family/team can manage.

3. Ask for help & relax. Take a break from parenting 24/7 and read a book or veg out. I sometimes take full advantage of organized play dates. My kids are out of the house and instead of jumping into the next duty such as dinner prep or cleaning the house, I relax! I take care of myself and manage that dreaded, often creeping, leadership/parenting fatigue factor! 

Can you relate to this topic? Comment and tell us how you avoid this all too common leadership fatigue factor?

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