Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Stopping Parental Burnout ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Stopping Parental Burnout ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

When my son was 3 years old, he loved to hear stories I made up. His favorites were about a mouse, a bird, or a boy. He would ask for a story while we were driving in the car, and the characters in our stories often took on adventures closely related to experiences during our days or coming events in our family life.

Having a job outside the home, I have to try hard to be fully present with my child when I get home from work. While I'm tempted to fling myself onto the couch and read the mail, I work at giving my son my full attention and listening to him tell about his day. But during his third year, I knew too well the feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted.

My work was demanding more of me, including many long hours and increased focus, as well as travel throughout the country and overseas. In order to maintain perspective on my family duties and find the rhythm of work and family life, I persevered to find moments to pray quietly for myself and my family.

I turned my attention to God in the early hours of the morning, asking, "Father, how do I know you will guide me through all I have to do today?" Often, the answer came in the form of a passage from II Corinthians: "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (II Cor. 4:7-9).

Although I sometimes was perplexed about how everything that needed my attention would get taken care of, I trusted during many weeks that although I didn't have all the answers, I didn't have to be in despair. This helped me let go of the feeling of wanting to control the schedule and outcome of every day and helped foster an outlook of receptivity to how God would unfold each moment.

Now my work is organized out of a home office, but even with fewer outward demands, I find I have to practice the same discipline: to let God shape and strengthen my days instead of wanting to be the one who's in charge.

One particular day, I had picked my son up after work, and he asked me for a story. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.