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Kids and Technology

Does Every Parent Feel Overwhelmed Lately or Is It Just Me?

Titania Jordan  |  June 09, 2023

Dear Titania,

I have two kids (10 and 14) and things are so tough lately. I feel like I’m just treading water lately when it comes to balancing childcare, work, cooking, cleaning, fur babies, aging parents, and a laundry list of extracurricular activities. How do other parents have time for yoga classes and girls’ nights and honestly, peace of mind? What can I do to get to a place where I feel like I have more time?


Overwhelmed Parent

Dear Overwhelmed Parent,

First let me say: you are definitely not alone in how you’re feeling. Every parent feels overwhelmed at some point in time — if not most of the time! Raising kids isn’t (and never has been!) simple. 

Doing it in the digital age is even more of a challenge! People like to talk about all of the positive parts of being a parent, but the struggles and rough patches as your children grow into middle-schoolers are often overlooked.

Second, now’s a good time for one of my favorite reminders that helps me keep things in perspective. Although folks like us and Beyonce each have the same 24 hours in a day, those hours aren’t exactly equal. 

Beyonce has personal chefs, professional cleaners, and a thousand other domestic helpers. The average parent literally has to do it all, which is why it feels so overwhelming. Because a lot of times, it is!

It’s 100% normal to admit that the job of parenting is hard and isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, it’s probably much healthier for your mental health if you understand it from the get-go. Additionally, how many of us ask for help when we need it? Let’s normalize doing that. We take on too many burdens, not wanting to then be a burden to others who are just as stressed, but let’s lean into that “it takes a village” theme a little bit more, okay? 

Remember, it’s a wild time to be a parent right now

A global pandemic. Civil unrest. School violence. Mental health issues on the rise. Technology that changes constantly. Social media. Political landscapes that seem more like reality TV dramedies than actual adults focusing on the common good. Being a parent in today’s world is truly an unprecedented experience, and one that your own parents probably can’t give much advice for because no human has ever lived through a time like this. 

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good

There are going to be days you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. Days the kids will make it to school (barely) in questionable outfits and lunch money in hand instead of perfectly curated bento boxes. And that’s okay — because you put one foot in front of the other and made it happen.

You can’t always give 100%, but that doesn’t mean that 85% or even 50% is a failure. Do your best, whatever your best looks like that day. Sometimes it looks like frozen pizza and a movie on the couch with your kids. One of my favorite quotes from Brene Brown is “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” Keep that in mind and I promise you’re doing okay.

Just breathe!

When you feel overwhelmed and caught in a negative thought spiral, it can be easy to get carried away in a wave of anxiety. To help keep yourself grounded, remember to always return to your breath. 

The body and the mind are very much connected (even if it doesn’t always feel like it). Just a few deep breaths can help you feel a little bit better in times of chaos. Breathwork is just one example of a self-care activity — check out our list to see a ton of other ideas.

Be vulnerable

It’s ok to not be ok all the time. We worry that we have to hide our weaknesses from our kids but guess what? If they know you struggle too sometimes, and you are honest with them, it helps them to be able to come to you when times get tough vs. thinking that you wouldn’t understand.

Also, back to that asking for help thing – we are not meant to live in isolation and do it all, all by ourselves. Think of one thing you can delegate today. Think of one friend or family member or colleague who can take one thing off your plate. I guarantee you’ll feel much better after raising your hand (or, sending a text), and people love helping others!

How Bark Can Help

Adding online safety to-dos to your list can feel incredibly overwhelming, and that’s the last thing you need. That’s why Bark is here to help parents in a ton of different ways! 

We provide free resources like our blog, a super helpful Facebook group where parents can ask questions and get advice, and in-depth app reviews so you can learn all about the pros and cons of the most popular platforms for kids. After all, Bark was created by a dad of two, and so many of our team members are also parents.

Have most of us at some point let screens babysit our kids? Yep. Can we lean on each other to help us do it in a safer, more responsible way? Also yep. That’s why we are really excited about the Bark Phone, the absolute best phone on the market for kids right now. The parental controls are built in and can’t be deleted, giving you peace of mind that the rules you set stay in place. You manage nearly everything, from who you kid can text to when throughout the day they can use YouTube — if at all! This is a game-changer, and we welcome all the help when it comes to parenting in a tech world. 

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

mother and daughter discussing Bark Parental Controls