Parenting is not for the faint-hearted, and 70% of U.S mothers agree that it can drive you up the wall. Parenting is now more stressful than it was a few years back. The stress of parenting is further compounded by financial insecurities, lack of support, and higher kids’ expectations. This is also not forgetting that modern relationships are more demanding and time seems to be scarce.
Unchecked parenting stress can harm your family’s well-being and your health. When a parent is chronically stressed, they tend to pay little or no attention to their children. Before parental responsibilities lead you to a mental breakdown, find ways to deal with the stress. Here are a few recommendable tips.
Parents are sometimes their own worst critics. They think that by being self-critical, they’ll push themselves into becoming better parents, but it’s all a myth. Research shows that self-criticism is detrimental to mental health, and it destroys resilience. You can’t learn from your own parenting mistakes when you beat yourself so hard.
This habit of internally condemning yourself as a parent can lead to greater anxiety and depression. In such a state of mind, it becomes harder to love or care for your children adequately.
Self-compassion makes you more mindful of your parenting struggles. It helps you realize that you’re not alone, and the challenges are not designed to last forever. When you have compassion for yourself, you allow yourself to make mistakes without feeling like a loser. With time, you become calmer and have fewer feelings of stress.
Take Occasional Breaks for Self-Care
The stress of handling small children, stubborn teenagers, or children with special needs can overwhelm you. A break as short as 30 minutes of quiet time can do you a lot of good. During this time, here’s how to calm your nerves:
- Take a quick nap
- Take a walk in the neighborhood
- Do some physical exercise
- Engage in purposeful meditation
- Listen to the kind of music that calms you down
- Read your favorite book
- Connect with a friend
- Play some mind-challenging games like the puzzles at Pennydellpuzzles.com
The aim is to ensure you distract your mind from the pressures of parenthood. It would be helpful if you have someone to watch over the small children during your breaks.
Allow Yourself More Time to Get Things Done
One significant source of stress for parents is the feeling that time is not on their side. There’s an unexplained pressure to have everything done within set timelines. Women are significantly more prone to time pressure than men.
As the home keepers, they want things to run on a schedule. When this doesn’t happen, they end up stressed. This kind of time pressure is toxic. Sadly enough, many people tend to think that they can’t afford to change their schedule. The truth is that they can if they’re willing enough. And once they do, they’ll have a better experience at parenting.
Parenting comes with its fair share of stress factors. If left unchecked, they can spiral into health issues that can take time to overcome. As a parent, you must practice the art of self-compassion.
Learn to say no to what threatens your peace of mind, take regular breaks for self-love, and be kind to yourself. Most importantly, seek help when you feel overwhelmed by parental responsibilities.