Love and Sex

How to Tell If Parental Burnout is Burning Out Your Relationship

Welcome to Better Sex With Dr. Lexx, a monthly column in which Dr. Lexx Brown-James, a sex therapist, educator, and consultant, provides her knowledge, insight, and wisdom on sex, relationships, and other topics. Dr. Lexx (also known as The #CouplesClinician) is your guide to the shame-free, medically correct, inclusive, and thorough talks for you, your partner, and your entire family. She approaches sex education as a life-long activity — “from womb to tomb.”

There has been much discussion on COVID burnout, work burnout, quarantine burnout, and the effects of mental health; but, little has been said about parenting burnout, and more especially how it impacts our relationships.. Here are some straightforward tips on how to spot burnout and what to do about it.

If you observe a decline in your sex lift…

There should be a support check-in soon. Physical closeness and romanticism can be the first things to be put on hold when parents are always parenting and adulting. Despite the fact that sexual intimacy promotes relaxation, connection, and feel-good hormones, finding the time to engage in it might be challenging when all you want to do is watch TV and sleep. Find something that you can all share as parents if you discover that your sexual life has gotten a little sparse. This could entail finding a sitter, seeking assistance from the community, or taking a day of paid time off to spend alone as a couple.

Your spouse is yelling at you and the children.

Exhaustion makes patience wane, and tempers can flare up quickly. It may be an indication of burnout if you find that your partner is impatient with the kids, coworkers, family members, or even the lover. By saying, “I’ve observed there isn’t a lot of bandwidth lately for (insert stressor), how can I help alleviate some of this for you?” you are offering up that you notice the stress that is manifesting in anger.

The enjoyable activities lack vitality.

Burnout can make it difficult to do even enjoyable activities at times. A parent may experience more burnout as a result of organizing the event, playing with the kids, and recovering from the enjoyable activity. Whatever that may be, allowing them to focus only on taking care of themselves is a simple but effective method to lessen the burnout-related fatigue.

Outside of your normal quarantine, your partner is isolating.

It’s no secret that sometimes just being around people can be exhausting. However, if you observe that your partner is spending more time alone, only interacting with family, and remaining in your COVID bubble, burnout may be underway. Even if it’s simply to sit and do nothing, helping your sweetheart get in touch with someone they appreciate can give them a little more oomph.

If you hear people grumble that their days are repetitive and difficult.

I’ll be truthful. Women are frequently taught that selflessness equates with virtue, thus in order to be a “good mom,” they frequently forego personal time, hobbies, and desires in favor of their children and families. Unfortunately,’self-care’ doesn’t actually make burnout go away. To stop future weariness, one must be diligent, practice, and execute system change. Finding the daily components that need to change is essential to reducing burnout and regaining what the person lost.

One of the most difficult tasks with the least amount of recognition from society at large is parenting. It is never-endingly taxing, and when we are reduced to “simply” parenting, it is easy to lose sight of who we are as people, and more specifically as partners. Love affairs suffer when parents experience exhaustion. Therefore, I want to give you the go-ahead to put your lover and your lovership as a parent first.

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