This article examines motherhood as a multifaceted and complex process in which a woman faces many expectations and demands required for the effective fulfillment of her parental role, both internally and externally. These demands can cause prolonged, excessive stress, which can lead to maternal exhaustion or parental burnout. The new stress factors that arose with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as: new conditions for the functioning of the family; lack of personal space and time for rest; fear that loved ones will get sick; organization of the learning process for children, etc. are presented. These factors put parents in new living conditions. These conditions became additional sources of stress and affected the quality of parents’ lives.
The data from two Ukrainian pilot studies are presented. The first study was focused on the factors that participants found stressful and effected their experience of parental exhaustion at the macro-, meso-, and micro-levels. The second study was focused on identifying new factors that participants saw as stressful and also led to parental exhaustion, but appeared with the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically during the first lockdown. The results of the presented studies confirm that Ukrainian parents have a high level of stress and exhaustion, and also that new stress factors arose with the pandemic and had an effect on them. Also, they affirm the relevance and importance of studying parental burnout in Ukrainian society.
Psychodiagnostic tools that are used to determine the level of parental burnout in general, or maternal burnout in particular, are presented. The methodology used to assess the risk and level of parental burnout is described, and is recommended for future studies which explore this phenomenon in Ukraine. The Ukrainian version of the “Parental Burnout Questionnaire,” along with its pre-validation process, is presented.
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