(NC) Being a parent during the pandemic is a challenge, testing all of our physical and mental strength. After a year of doing it, many of us are facing burnout – and that’s normal. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your spirits up when you hit a wall.  

Prioritize your own well-being 

It might seem counterintuitive, but you can’t take care of anyone else if you’re not in a good place. So, prepare easy, nutritious meals; exercise 30 minutes a day; get outside; talk to friends and family; and do something you love every day. Even if it’s just reading a chapter of a good book before bed or watching an episode of your favourite show on the weekend, consider it essential self-care that you need.  

Tag team with another adult 

Whether it’s your romantic partner, co-parent or another adult like your mom or dad, staying sane during this time means finding ways to share the load. Schedule “shifts” of parenting time, where it’s your turn to deal with meals, schoolwork and any issues that come up. During your “off time,” you can work, shower or just relax guilt free.  

Schedule independent kid time   

Whether you need to catch up on work emails or have some “me time,” all parents need ways to keep little ones busy independently. Older kids will love mini stations in the playroom with designated spaces and baskets for crafts or building blocks. If you have a baby, a soothing pacifier helps regulate their emotions and provides exercise for mouth muscles. Speech-language pathologists recommend lightweight pacifiers with an ergonomic shape, like those in the Medela baby pacifier line. 

Find more information at medela.ca.