Dad Explains Why He And His Wife Have 'Family PTO' To Make Sure They Don't Suffer From Parental Burnout

He's proving that parents should be dedicating time to themselves.

Matt Ragland @mattragland / Twitter

Anyone knows that when it comes to work, it is important that we take time off for self-care to improve our mental health and prevent burnout. The same can be said for parenting.

Being a parent is a full-time, around-the-clock job, and just like any job, it is possible to feel burnt out and therefore, experience negative consequences that can impact both you and your children. However, one father shared the solution that he and his wife discovered that helps them avoid feeling overwhelmed by parenthood.


He explained that he and his wife created a 'family PTO' plan to help them avoid parental burnout.

In a tweet, Matt Ragland shared how he and his wife are able to take time away from being parents and make sure they carve out time for themselves. "My wife and I are working on a family PTO (parent's time off). Here's what we're starting with," Ragland began. He explained that he and his wife agreed that for one night per week, a half-day weekend per month, and one full weekend day per quarter, they would do activities that they usually don't get to do because they are too busy taking care of their children.


"Parenting little kids is one of the most meaningful parts of life, but the gift of time is one of the best ways to support your spouse," Ragland admitted. "We use these times to meet friends, sleep in, go camping, play golf (me), long runs (her), read and journal, or just chill."

He pointed out that it can be "hard to run life's race" when there is no energy left. "These times are great ways to refuel and recharge."


Feeling parental burnout is extremely common and can negatively affect parent's mental health.

According to TODAY, 66% of working parents reported feeling “burned out.” Per the World Health Organization, burnout is classified as an "occupational phenomenon" rather than a medical condition. Parental burnout focuses on feeling exhausted, irritable, emotionally detached, or overwhelmed with parenting.

Parenting is both demanding and stressful, especially if parents are constantly putting their needs aside. Taking time for self-care and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation can reduce stress, improve mental well-being, and prevent burnout.

Becoming a parent shouldn't mean sacrificing one's individual identity. Pursuing hobbies, interests, and spending time with friends outside of parenting responsibilities can help parents maintain a sense of self and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed by their parental role.

In the replies, many people praised Ragland for understanding the importance of parents taking time away from their children and all of their responsibilities.


"Excellent sentiment here. People need to realize that having little moments like these MAKE you better parents. It really matters," one Twitter user pointed out. Another added, "I think as parents, we often sacrifice our happiness, our time, and our priorities for our kids. And rightfully so. But sometimes it's important to refuel the tank so we can be even better parents (and partners) when it's that time."

In the end, parents who practice self-care and take time for themselves are not only happier and more fulfilled individuals, but also better equipped to navigate the challenges of parenting.

Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.