We have never been coin-operated or plug-in ready, but we’ve been tasked with the impossible: to keep the spirit of joy alive within our own household while we work, juggle closures and illnesses, financial insecurity, political turbulence, ongoing racial inequality, reproductive injustice, and daily gun violence. I know this is not an exhaustive list, but the laundry list too is arduous to recite.
Collectively, the sentiment that’s been shared by (many) parents can only be described as feeling like we’ve all been dumped into a heavily-used bin and marked down for resale. We don’t feel valued, we feel dumped and duped. We wake up every morning facing a Rubix cube for a schedule. We are widely encouraged to “make it work” for others, all while we are required to perform the repetitive work / life shuffle dance. What is the collateral damage here?
We cannot escape the term “burnout”. It’s omnipresent. Are we all truly feeling burnt out? It’s hard to say but many agree that we don’t feel “well”. Subjectively, we are abysmally exhausted, we are increasingly becoming more detached, and we are sifting through a stockpile of bookmarked TikTok videos and Instagram posts desperate to recreate a joyful moment. Lately, the term “burnout” has been co-opted and homogenized in order to sell new beauty products, more expensive serums, and anti-wrinkle creams. Burnout is not a superficial problem- we are beyond the epidermal layer at this point, we are grazing muscle & bone.
What are we glazing over when we dilute the defining characteristics of burnout? All of the systemic drivers that still exist after one has undergone burnout coaching. Burnout strategists cannot singularly overhaul all of the systemic drivers that still penetrate our everyday lives: hustle culture prevalence, gender / wage / racial inequalities, inflation, household inequities, childcare shortages, lack of universal healthcare, paid family leave, etc. Burnout preventionists & strategists are plugging up gaping holes with flimsy bandages. We can only do so much while everything around us either remains unchanged or catastrophically shifts in a less progressive direction. Working in this space is rewarding and at the same time, it can be very taxing. I know that I am not the only burnout professional to feel this way, many of us do. I have learned that we cannot perform this work within a silo; we need all professional & administrative hands on deck to provide buoyancy to these struggling families or else our work is futile.
How can I be a part of that evolution? I want to continue to provide educational content on my platform that is rich in resources, data, and evidence. I also want my content to land with as many parents as possible. If I solely focus on burnout, I would be overlooking or even neglecting all of the other parents that may either be bordering on burnout or nowhere near it but embarking on their journey as a parent. I want this pivot to feel expansive and welcoming to all parents. Similar to a partial renovation, the foundation still remains and mission is still the same. I want parents to experience a healthier life and want them to feel deeply valued and recognized for all of their paid and unpaid labor.
I have asked many parents this question and I will pose it again here:
Question: What’s been missing for the past 2.5 years? Answer: Community. Connection. Belonging.
What do I want to continue to cultivate as a content creator and as a professional in the parental health space? Community. Connection. Belonging.
How do I plan to pivot? My goal is to avoid information overwhelm by providing this community with fresh insight on topics that center around parental health in more conceptual ways. I would like to expand our global view of parental health and how different circumstances impact our own lives and the lives of our children.
Here are some examples of what I plan to cover (this is a non-exhaustive list):
Parental health and…
Social media is a mixed bag. The original intention of social media, the true “social” component has been buried in a sea of ads, products, reel tutorials, and self care tips. We cannot pour an anti-stress serum over this problem and 153 million hashtags utilized for the term #health are not enough to overhaul our already frazzled nervous systems. We need community, connection, and belonging; I am hopeful this will be the platform that cultivates all three.
With lots of love & hopefulness,
-Shelley, Founder of RTM.