nature-flowers-plant-blur-mediumoverwhelmed parenting tips

By Dr. Kate Brennan

Being a parent is a demanding job. Parents are in a state of readied alert and service much of the time. It is a set up for feeling depleted. We have all had times where through the fog of our exhaustion, we somehow muster the energy to complete the task at hand only to collapse in a heap afterward. Most of the time with a little rest we bounce back. At other times the exhaustion is such that it impacts our daily lives. There are many things you can do at this point. This article gives overwhelmed parenting tips that you can start to use today.

Starting with your physical wellbeing, you may want to rule out any adrenal exhaustion or other imbalance. The endocrine system is critical to hormonal balance and can be impacted by stress.

Receiving supportive nutrition is also very important. Nursing mothers need to make sure they are getting their omega 3’s. In fact, it is a good idea for everyone to make sure they are receiving adequate amounts of this important nutrient.

5htp may also be indicated. 5htp is a precursor to serotonin an important neurotransmitter in the brain, which can become depleted under stress. A nutritionist or doctor’s visit can help you figure out what it is you may be lacking.

Exercise is also very important. The release of endorphins through exercise is effective in combating stress. Jan Hanson’s book Mother Nurture is a wonderful book that addresses that all too common syndrome of parental exhaustion. Jan, an acupuncturist and nutritionist found herself in her own state of complete physical and emotional exhaustion after the birth of her second child. It is her story back to health and a guide for other mothers who may be struggling with similar issues.

But perhaps most important is to “Start where you are”. The quote comes from Pema Chodron’s book of the same name. That simple sentence holds so much grace if we let it. Beginning where you are without judgment on the self can do much to restore the vitality needed to not only care for others but to care for yourself.

Kate Brennan MFT is the founder of Marin Therapy Partners which offers therapy for families including postpartum depression, attachement, sensory motor processing, PTSD, ADD, anxiety and depression. She can be reached at and at 415/453-1402 To schedule an appointment