Difficult toddler behaviours, a ‘colicky’ baby, children with special needs, children with serious illnesses, developmental delays, worries about your own parenting…. The list of possible parenting challenges could go on and on. These extra challenges, on top of the already challenging task of parenting can create a difficult and complex environment for everyone in the household. Each family is different and the way that they deal with these challenges will differ too.
What we do know about these family difficulties is that they can impact on parent mental health, how isolated you feel, sibling’s wellbeing, household harmony and intimate relationships. Your unique family situation will determine how each of these areas are impacted, but there are some things that you can do to manage yourself during these challenges and avoid developing burnout:
Ask for help
Take care of your own physical wellbeing with good food, plenty of rest and movement
Have a schedule that works for your family
Try to carve out time for you
Speak to a professional who can support you
On this list asking for help is possibly the hardest one, especially if you have little support around you or have difficulty asking for help in general. It can take courage to say that you need support and you might question whether you ‘should’ ("there are people far worse off than me") or whether you ‘could’ ("they will think I am a bad parent"). These thoughts can interfere with the opportunity to have extra support or to even have time out or a break for yourself which is extremely important during parenting challenges.
Parenting is hard, parenting with additional challenges is doubly hard so being kind to yourself and allowing yourself to access help can make the difference between just surviving and thriving.
To see more about our recorded Parenting Webinars including 'Taming the Rage' and 'Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child' visit our On Demand Webinars page.