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“Having kids sometimes feels like running a race you can’t win against a clock you didn’t set. Parenting today is often characterized by feeling overwhelmed and dissatisfied, two feelings that are exacerbated by headlines like “How Having Children Robs Parents of Happiness” and books with titles like All Joy and No Fun. Yes, you love your children, but you’re not alone if you sometimes hate being their parent.
But for some parents, that feeling is more than a passing mood. Instead, it’s a part of full-on parental burnout, a state that shares many of the same traits as professional burnout: high levels of exhaustion, feelings of inadequacy, and emotional detachment. Unlike a job that’s causing burnout, though, parenting isn’t something that can be quit.
Also unlike job-related burnout, parental burnout has relatively little to do with external situational pressures on parents and much more to do with the characteristics of parents themselves. And perhaps surprisingly, that’s good news.
In the study first identifying the concept of parental burnout, published last year, “we expected burnout to be mainly explained by socio-demographic factors,” like a parent’s economic resources, the number of kids, and the presence or lack of a partner, says psychology researcher Moïra Mikolajczak, a professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and one of the study’s co-authors.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
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"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
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"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"