Parenthood is a very rewarding journey, however it comes with a fair share of challenges and stresses. As a parent, I can relate to the range of emotions and often overwhelming responsibilities that come along with raising a child. This blog explores the top five stresses experienced by parents and a number of tips regarding how to better navigate through them.
1) Young Children: Parenthood can be very stressful at times, especially if your child is young. In the beginning there are sleepless nights, never ending diaper changes, and constant worry. This phase of parenthood is often repetitive and after time it can take a toll on your body and mind. It’s important to remember that you can and should take a break as a parent. Your baby needs plenty of rest and so do you too. Remember to set some time each day for yourself, whether it’s going on a walk, spending time with friends, or taking a much needed nap. Bonus points if you nap while your baby is also asleep too.
2) Issues Surrounding Your Child: Having a child that faces a medical, behavioral, or emotional issue can cause additional stress upon a parent. As a parent, thinking about the future can cause anxiety, constantly wondering if your child will be on the same behavioral and developmental level as other children. No child develops at the same pace, and this is why it’s important to seek professional help and support where you can connect with other parents that have dealt with similar challenges. Interactions can provide valuable knowledge, insight, and reassurance that you are not alone on this journey. As a parent you should celebrate your child’s growth and development, no matter how small, and understand that children grow at their own pace.
3) Single Parent: Being a single parent can be very stressful as you often do not have another person to rely upon. Juggling responsibilities of work, the household, and parenting on your own can at times seem too difficult. This is why it’s vital to build a strong support system. Reach out to close friends or family for help when needed. As a parent, you need to remember that it’s okay to lean on others when you need to and doing so does not make you any less of a strong and loving parent.
4) Limited Support: If you have continual low levels of support, this can cause stress to build up. Whether it’s lack of financial or emotional support, this can be incredibly stressful. Many parents struggle with making ends meet and if you find yourself in this situation you should seek assistance from government programs or local charities that offer support to families in need. It’s important to remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but strength.
5) Unexpected Situations: No one wants to admit that they do not have it all figured out. After a parent has their first child, you navigate and take care of your child the best you can. There is no magic book to follow. However even the best parents often find themselves in unexpected situations. This is the reason you have to always be forward thinking and always be prepared. Parenthood is about being best prepared to tackle any challenges. Being more prepared and going little things in advance can assist you well on your journey and help you be better prepared to face new challenges.
Parenthood is an amazing journey filled with both joys and stresses. My experience has taught me that stress is a natural part of the process, however with this right mindset and support, can be navigated effectively. As parents, we’ll always have stress, but It’s best to cherish the precious moments and embrace the experiences. By sharing our struggles and triumphs, parents can create a community of support, understanding, and an environment that makes the parenting journey a little lighter for everyone.