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Being a grandma is hands-down the most fantastic job in the world, but if you see your grandkids often, watch them regularly, or even live with them, you may experience burnout. Is this because they aren’t good kids? Of course not! Burnout is entirely normal if something or someone is part of your routine, and, fortunately, there are ways of combatting Grandma burnout, including:
1. Establish boundaries
I have said it before, and I will say it again: Boundaries are vital to happy and healthy relationships! Let your grandkids – and their parents! – know when grandma needs a little quiet time or a break and when she is ready for games, chats, or cuddles. Respect for your boundaries also teaches them valuable life lessons.
2. Routine and predictability
When grandkids know what to expect, it can make things a whole lot easier for both parties. Create a routine that balances both your needs and their excitement. For example, craft time can be right after lunch, storytime before bed, and so on. A good routine can help avoid burnout by ensuring there’s a time and place for everything.
3. Ask for help
We’re superwomen, I know, but even superwomen need a little help now and then. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your children, friends, or even professional babysitters. It’s okay to take some time for yourself and recharge!
Find activities that you both enjoy, a la gardening, baking, bird watching, or whatever tickles your fancy. It’s not just about keeping them busy but creating memories and bonding over shared interests and making it so that spending time with the grandkids becomes less of a chore and more of a joy.
5. Take breaks
Remember, it’s not just okay, but necessary to take breaks. Even if you’re having the best time with your grandkids, everyone needs a little downtime. Make sure you take moments to relax, do something you love, or simply put your feet up to help prevent feeling overwhelmed and burned out.
6. Self-care rituals
Take care of yourself, friend – it’s important. Find little rituals of self-care that you can maintain, whether it’s a nightly bubble bath, a morning yoga session, or a cup of tea in silence. When you feel good, you’ll have more energy and patience to share with your grandkids.
7. Use technology wisely
Technology can be our best friend when it comes to grandparenting, so make use of educational apps, online games, and age-appropriate TV shows. These can give you a few moments to breathe while keeping the little ones entertained and educated. (Remember, though, that moderation is key.)
8. Embrace “no”
Learn to say “no.” Practice it if you must! You don’t have to agree to every request your grandkids make. It’s okay to refuse sometimes, especially if it’s something that will leave you drained or exhausted. Remember, “no” can be an act of self-care too!
9. Nurture independence
Helping your grandkids become more self-reliant can actually ease some of the pressures off you. Teach them age-appropriate tasks, like making their bed, helping with simple kitchen chores, or even getting dressed on their own, which can give you little pockets of time to catch your breath and the grandkids a sense of accomplishment.
10. Plan outdoor adventures
A change of scenery can be a great way to keep things fresh and avoid burnout. Plan short, fun-filled outdoor trips, whether it be a walk to the nearby park, a beach day, or even a visit to the zoo. These outings can offer you both a breather from the regular routine and make for delightful memory-making.
11. Be flexible
Finally, go with the flow. Some days are going to be more challenging than others, and that’s okay. Be patient with yourself and your grandkids. Flexibility can help reduce stress and prevent burnout. After all, the beauty of grandparenting lies in its unpredictability and moments of pure, shared joy.
As you can see, there are many ways to prevent grandma burnout! Remember that it is okay to say no and set boundaries, as you, Grandma, are entitled to peace and enjoyable interactions with those grands. I hope this helps 🙂 As always, let’s talk again soon.