Parents are humans as well as mothers and fathers

July 04, 2022

 This may sound like an odd thing to remind people of but increasingly I find myself frustrated that people forget this simple fact.

"Parents are also humans"

Seems odd right? What am I even talking about? Well its simple. When I tell people I'm tired, or stressed, they respond with, Your being a great mum, or, why what's wrong with your son. 
Are you starting to see where this is going? Yes a lot of my stress in life comes from being a parent. But when I tell people that I'm burnt out we need to start asking them, what can I do for YOU? Are YOU ok? Rather than assuming that they are stressed about their kids. 

Yes our kids take up a lot of space in our hearts and lives but we need that element of separation where we remember that parents need to be seen as human beings as well. We need time to do the things that interest us, not just things that will amuse the kids. We need time to have adult conversations without being interrupted by the kids or just talking about the kids. 

When I tell people I'm burnt out this means that I need time to myself to remember who I am. Not just as food making, office going, mum. A lot of people have said to me oh just stay up later to get things done. That's not a solution. Firstly I have to be in the house as my son is too young to be left alone. I also often have to spend my evenings cleaning and resetting for the next day. Even if I do get time to myself I am still mum because my son is still in the house there for my mind is still focused on him.

Being a single parent is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand I get weekends free when he goes to his dads. But then I am 100% mum during the week. I cant go out with friends or to events that I see or even just pop down the shop without it being a major event (parents get this). Why not just get a babysitter? Because I don't have family who can do this for free and even paying someone I'm basically telling my son I don't want you with me. Not to mention you are then on a tight time frame to get back at a reasonable hour to release the babysitter and frankly I have also just done a full days work and raised a kid alone and the energy required to switch off and just become me is too much. 

So the next time a parent says to you that they are tired or burnt out or stressed. Don't bring up the kids. Think about a time that would work for them and invite them to do something they used to enjoy, a movie, dinner out, a trip to the coast. Something that will reset their identity as a human and not just as a parent. Or ask them to pick a day and time to do these things. 

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