Mental health, according to Wikipedia is a “state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.
How pressured are you as a parent? Does this list sound familiar?
Maintain a healthy work-life balance
Deal with the cognitive workload of family organization
Managing children’s behaviors
Finding alone time
Coping with fatigue & sleep deprivation
Dealing with others opinions on parenting
Holding it all together
As parents, we often prioritize our children first and ourselves last. With the restrictions now being lifted, there are big and brilliant changes coming our way but have we a plan in place for how we are going to look after ourselves through it all?
Many of us are more apprehensive than excited about the restrictions being lifted. After two years of entertaining children, trying to explain why we cannot visit loved ones and playgrounds all while trying to give them positive “normal” experiences, of course, we are afraid.
So what are some of the ways we can begin to take back control and boost our mental health moving forward?
Have you ever heard that children are happier when they know the routine? The truth is adults are the same. The more we can program our daily routines and make them habits the more we can boost our mental wellbeing. This can decrease our stress levels and give us more time we can give to the things that spark joy for us. Feeling anxious or stressed as a parent does not magically disappear, we need a plan to handle it. How we tip the parenting scale as a parent is based on our perception of how you are performing in your various roles.
So what can we control:
Our families sleep routine
How we speak to ourselves
Access to social media
Level of Honesty
Outlook on events/life
We can also control how quickly we stand up after we fall down.
Understanding where our focus needs to be and when
You get up groggy from another terrible night’s sleep fumble around to find clean clothes and a toothbrush while your head is already spinning with the days’ to-do list. You try to find clothes for your kids in a full laundry basket that has yet to be put away and you haven’t been to the shop yet to get that extra helping of snacks you need for lunches.
As parents, we have that added layer of unpredictability with our children which means our routines are not just for us but for them as well. Have you ever sat down and actually listed your priorities? It is something we are often capable of doing at works when we are working toward a deadline but struggle to do in our own life. I have created a quick guide to how you can create a time audit to gain a deeper understand of where you are losing time and where the opportunities are for you to create more time.
Breaking your day down into 15/30/1 hour segments, whatever feels right for you, and write down what you spent that time doing.
Accept being good enough parenting
One of the hardest things to accept as a parent is that we are never going to get it all right. We can buy all the best books from the parent experts. Watch them on social media with perfect homes and smiling children. Hear them tell their techniques and tricks for how they made some issues less.
The truth is no matter how hard we try there are days we will scream, and that's ok. There are days when the tv will be left on, and that's ok. There are days they will eat food that is not part of the rainbow food group, and that's ok.
Being a good enough parent, means you are still the best parent your child could ask for.
“ I am not perfect and I will never be perfect, I am a work in progress and that is definitely good enough.”
You can check out my list of daily affirmations for parents to help us feel more accepti