All jobs are stressful and demanding, which is why there are labor laws in place to guarantee that the basic rights of workers are protected. There are defined business hours, coffee and lunch breaks, and mandatory days off. If you are lucky, your place of employment also offers vacation time and sick leave.
This cannot be said of stay-at-home-parenting, a 24 hour a day, 365 day a year job, working for the most demanding of all human beings: children. A recent study found stay-at-home parents report being more stressed, more worried, and more depressed than their corporately employed counterparts.
Burnout is a real possibility stay-at-home parents need to be wary of. Here are some signs that it may be time to schedule a spa day and leave the kids with the sitter:
-Your idea of a lullaby is repeatedly chanting “go to f*@#ing sleep” while checking your Twitter stream.
-While looking for your keys, you lift up the couch cushions and reveal used Kleenex, a half-eaten lollipop coated in dog hair, and enough change to pay for a full tank of gas. Not seeing your keys, you replace the cushion and go check the bathroom.
-When your four-year-old drops the f-bomb at preschool, you furrow your brow, shake your head, and mutter “what has your father been letting you watch.” You then sneak a peak at the teacher’s face to see if she is buying it.
-Your secret nickname for the baby is “Mommy’s little burden.”
-You let your kids watch Human Centipede, thinking it is a nature special.
-You wear headphones all day so when your spouse asks why you didn’t pick up the dry cleaning like they asked, you can point to your ears, shrug and say “I can’t hear you. I have my earbuds in.”
-Headphones also drown out all but the most serious of your children’s screams.
-You feed your kids chocolate milk and cheese puffs for breakfast because you didn’t go grocery shopping the night before, instead opting to watch a very special episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
-You pack up all three kids and yourself into the car and race to the store at 6am when you discover that you’re all out of “mommy juice.”