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6 Ways to Cope With Sports Parent Burnout

By Catherine Holecko, Verywell Family, 07/24/19, 2:00PM CDT


Yes, sports parent burnout is a first-world problem. It's a privilege to be able to accommodate a child's desire to be really involved in an activity. But knowing that doesn't make your stress level much lower as a parent, day to day. So let's acknowledge that this is a lucky-to-have kind of a problem, but a problem nonetheless.

Where Does Sports Parent Burnout Come From?

Sports parents can often feel torn in many directions, like all parents. You have responsibilities to your family, your job, and your home. And so do your spouse and your kids. And sometimes they are in conflict, like when two kids both have an important game on the same day. That is a recipe for stress. So is feeling like everything is on your shoulders, from the dinner menu to the team's big fundraising event to the homework-checking and the transportation. (Oh, the driving!)

There are only 24 hours in a day, and we could easily fill them with the tasks related to just one of our roles (parent, child, employee, housekeeper, sports team volunteer). But that's not sustainable, of course. If you're feeling exhausted or unmotivated, or as if you're not very good at any of your jobs, you could be burning out. So how do you cope with that way-too-busy feeling?

6 Ways Sports Parents Can Bust Burnout

It's not fun for anyone in the family when mom and dad are overwhelmed. So see if some of these strategies can help alleviate the pressure—at least enough to get you to the end of the season or the school year when you can take a bigger breath.

Bench yourself

Yep, sit something out. Do you always stay at your child's practices or lessons (in case he needs something or gets hurt)? If you're in need of a break, give yourself permission to skip some of these practices. Your spouse, a grandparent, or another team parent can pinch-hit for you. The same goes for games and even travel-tournament weekends. Drop the guilt and take some time off. Your child will not remember that you missed an event (in fact, if you send her with her favorite aunt or a friend's family, she will probably love it). She will remember if you're constantly grouchy and resentful because you're burned out.