I am thrilled to share my LinkedIn interview with Nathalie Walton, CEO & Co-founder of Expectful. Our conversation focuses on parental burnout and the ways that we can maximize our own resources to decrease the amount of stress we absorb or encounter on a regular basis.
We spent some time talking about the prevalence of burnout in the United States and some of the stressors parents are currently navigating. A recent report released in April 2022 by The Ohio State University Office of the Chief Wellness Officer & College of Nursing found that 66% of working parents surveyed met the criteria for burnout.* Some of the strongest associations noted in the survey were: "being female, the number of children living within the household, parental anxiety, having children with either diagnosed anxiety or ADHD and parental concern that their children may have an undiagnosed mental health disorder".*
Based on these findings, how can we better support working parents that are navigating "working-parent burnout"?
- Employees with inadequate mental health miss 4x more work**- when this occurs, not only am I thinking about the direct impact of work losses due to poor mental health, I am also thinking about the financial impact of what these losses accrue for the businesses impacted. Why not invest in your employee's wellbeing if the added benefit is revenue saved on the business's behalf? The financial cost of a missed workday is estimated at ~$340 per day for full-time employees and approximately $170 per day for part-time employees.** It almost seems like a no-brainer to me, although it would take more than a pizza party or a coffee gift card to work towards reversal of occupational burnout and more financial stability within the workplace.
- Workers say their job is more likely to hurt mental health than to help it**- This begs the question: what mental health resources are available within one's workplace and are employees guided (and supported) on how to access these resources? According to the same Gallup study: "57% were unable to confirm the existence of easily accessible mental health support services in their workplace" and as much as 24% responded that they lack resources altogther while 33% were completely unaware if anything was even available within their workplace.** If we want workplace retention and employee satisfaction, we have to think of the employee as a valued human and an asset, not a productivity measure or a "goal driver".
- Over half of workers do not have easily accessible support services**- Back to the previous bulletpoint: what are we prioritizing within the workforce and where's the tenacity to fix these glaring issues? Some thoughts: carving out a specific budget for workplace wellbeing- mental health resources, onsite training for burnout prevention, discussion groups on household equity (helping to alleviate / decrease stress levels for parents that fall into the "default parent" category), and ways to help further support families who have unique child-related considerations that may impact their daily work commitments. We cannot "fix burnout" if we don't think about the person as a whole person. Each individual showing up to work has a life that exists outside of work, they have responsibilities, and more likely than not, they have others reliant upon them to live (i.e. KIDS).
Addressing parental burnout requires an intentional and deliberate incorporation of available resources and developing additional strategies on an individual specific basis. Many of these points are summarized on the Expectful app. Here's a link to the app if you are interested in exploring how Expectful's app of evidence-based resources can help you decrease your stress levels as a parent and / or expectant parent!
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#parenting #parentalburnout #burnoutprevention #burnoutcoach #burnoutsupport