Addressing the stress of parenthood
Being a parent of a child at any age can be stressful at the best of times. But this year especially has seen parents faced with a whole range of challenges that will have no doubt tested their patience, their limits and their wellbeing.
Did you take on the role of their teacher in this timeframe? Are you exhausted thinking up new ways to keep them entertained? Is the lack of interaction with other friends and family a struggle?
With all these in mind, mums and dads shouldn’t feel guilty about feeling low or more stressed than usual. If anything, you should give yourselves a pat on the back.
One reported common concern among parents is missing bits of school work here and there, leading them to dwell on the effect this will have on their child’s education. While learning is important, never forget that your child is also experiencing this pandemic – helping them adapt their routine isn’t always going to be plain sailing. The odd day in the garden isn’t going to be detrimental.
It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that they too are experiencing this emotionally turbulent time, albeit with a different level of understanding. All you can do is try your best to help them adjust to this new way of living.
Likewise, if you have become a new parent during this pandemic, you may have feelings of disappointment that this time you had anticipated for so long has turned out so differently than you expected. It’s perfectly understandable to feel this way, but holding onto this disappointment could eventually cause negative feelings to manifest and further lower your mood.
While becoming a parent means your children will always be the priority, parents should take steps to address their own wellbeing during these times. It’s difficult to provide for your child when you’re struggling yourself.
Much in the same way that aeroplane attendants ask you to put your own mask on before helping others, the same principle applies here. Addressing your own wellbeing will help you to better manage your emotions and behaviours, and therefore puts you in a strong position to help your child.
For both new parents and those with slightly older children, we offer two online courses that you can start right away:
We also offer a range of helpful routes to therapy, including one-to-one sessions, on the phone, over a video call, or via our dedicated messenger platform. To find the route that’s best for you, get in touch with us today.