How to Deal with Parenting Lows
Raising children is blissful. It is joyous. And it is a heck of a lot of fun.
But it is also stressful. At times, it is miserable. And it can be extremely frustrating.
Our culture tends to make it taboo to speak about the lows that can happen as a parent. Because of this, many parents hesitate to vent feelings of anger and resentment fearing it will make them look like a bad person.
But experiencing lows throughout your journey as a parent is a fact of life, and it happens to everyone from time to time. It does not make you a bad parent, and it doesn’t mean you are doing it all wrong. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you hit one of those rough patches.
- Realize each difficult season of parenthood is temporary. Whether you are getting NO SLEEP, your children are acting out, or there is an illness that is throwing your whole family life for a loop, remind yourself that this hard time will not last forever. You WILL get through it and things WILL get better.
- Don’t hesitate to seek help and guidance. It’s imperative to manage feelings like anger and frustration so you can maintain a safe, happy home for your children, and enjoy your role as a parent. Talk to friends and family who are also parents – you will find that they are experiencing these highs and lows as well (if they don’t, they are lying to you! *insert winking emoticon here*). The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to rely on your support system to get you through when times are tough.
- Don’t compare yourself to other parents. Whether it’s a “supermom” blogger, the family next door, or a friend who seems to have it together 100% of the time, it’s difficult not to fall prey to the comparison game, especially when you are stressed and/or sleep deprived. Expecting your family life to be happy, perfect and orderly all the time as portrayed by many online sources is not realistic! Adjust your expectations based on reality, and it will be much easier to ease up on yourself!
- Take a break! Utilize members of your support system on a regular basis who are willing to babysit your children when you and your spouse need some child-free time to revitalize.
Where to get help
If what you are feeling seems too complex to solve by yourself or with the help of your personal support system, it is ok to seek professional help! The professional staff at Mercy Behavioral Health is understanding and completely confidential.