It’s okay to feel that you hate being a parent sometimes. And it doesn’t change the fact that we love our children to the ends of this world. Every parent goes through a similar feeling at least a couple of hundred times throughout their lives.
It’s okay to feel that you hate being a parent sometimes. And it doesn’t change the fact that we love our children to the ends of this world. Every parent goes through a similar feeling at least a couple of hundred times throughout their lives. The stress of daily life and taking care of the household and kids is certain to take a toll on your mental health.
Moms – are mostly dedicated so much towards her family, she doesn’t have the time and energy to think about her own feelings and what she goes through. Being a mom demands so much as raising a child is not an easy job. Women’s mental health is so underrated and less-talked-about. Women experience depression and anxiety at approximately twice the rate of men.
Many women feel exhausted, lonely, depressed, anxious, and guilty at the end of their day, every day. A woman faces so much stress in different roles throughout her life. It ultimately affects her mental and physical health causing problems like depression, menopause, anxiety attacks, iron deficiency, thyroid diseases, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and many more.
Yes! Motherhood does take a toll on a woman, disturbing her mental health but there are other factors too that contribute to a mom’s psychologically distressed and imbalanced mental health.
Challenges That May Affect Your Mental Health
This article will highlight some of the major challenges a mom faces and ideas to cope with the stress that comes with it.
It becomes the instinct of a mom to take care of everyone. A mom puts in her best effort to provide the best care for her family even if it means that she has to bypass her own emotional and physical needs. There are numerous studies present to prove that caregiving can cause chronic stress.
2. Mom guilt
You may or may not have heard the phrase “mom guilt but, you sure are aware of the feeling. Mom guilt is the feeling of failure as a parent, or not doing enough, or messing up things as a parent, or making a decision that you think will affect your kid negatively in the long run. Not just moms but parents, in general, are so pressurized by the society, social media, family and friends to be perfect a parent and raise perfect kids.
3. Identity trade
Many women take maternity leave to be with their newly born but soon find themselves transitioning to be a stay-at-home home. This transition alone can make you frustrated, depressed, sad, and alone. The moms who transition from a working woman to a stay-at-home mom, can genuinely never settle for this life.
The thought of “what they could have done if they hadn’t left the job” always runs through the mind. Then the society adds a stigma to the stay-at-home moms that they have it all easy. Staying at home is much easier than working. NO! It’s not.
It is much tougher than you think. Being with kids and taking care of every inch of the household, all the time is not everyone’s cup of tea.
4. Work/life balance
Working mamas are always juggling their work and family life. Trying to fit in the “role model” our society has created for working women. Again, our society, social media, friends and family bombards a working mom with expectations.
If you fail to meet their expectations, then comes the melodramatic, direct, and indirect mom-shaming. It’s a tough act, balancing both worlds. The weight of such baseless expectations can impact your mental health.
5. Body image
Body image is not an issue just for teenage girls on social media. Moms are constantly body shamed. Not just on social media but everywhere. As people think that mamas enjoy the weight gain and they are unbothered about how their bodies have changed after popping out a tiny human from their vagina or through cesarean (C-section).
Moms are always busy taking care of everything that taking care of themselves is usually the last thing on their minds. Whenever we do get a little bit of time to ourselves, it is wasted in self-loathing and comparing ourselves to the Insta moms who are back in shape a month after their baby.
Remembrance of our pre-pregnancy body and the failure to go back to it with all that body shaming on our current body can take a psychological toll.
6. Poor domestic environment
Domestic abuse and violence are some of the top reasons because several women experience psychological trauma. A woman goes through so much just to keep her family happy. And when the same woman is treated with disrespect and faces domestic abuse and violence, it kills her self-esteem. A situation like this can cause major mental health damages.
7. Sleep deprivation
Moms are modern world zombies. Always sleep-deprived, exhausted, irritated, and mentally numb. Moms face continuous sleep deprivation for several years. Moms are expected to function perfectly even after a 4- or 5-hour sleep at night.
As a matter of fact, we all know that an adult needs at least 8 hours of sleep. Anything less than that and our body declines in performance. We ignore the emotional, cognitive, and psychological impact sleep deprivation can have on our health for a much longer-term.
Some of the other challenges that moms faces are work discrimination, dealing with special needs kids, personal health problems.
How To Cope With The Challenges
First and foremost, it is important to understand exactly what causes you the most mental distress. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken rather try to focus on what needs your attention most.
Here are some ideas which you can use to improve your mental health.
1. You come first
Only a happy mom can have a happy family. I live by this saying 100 percent and I give the same advice to other moms. Learn to put yourself first as well. There is nothing wrong with doing so. Give yourself some space. You deserve it.
Do what you like doing or do something that will make you happy. Something that isn’t a routine for you like getting a pedicure, having a movie night or shopping spree for yourself, or re-joining your old job, getting a new haircut, enjoying DYI projects, starting a new business, or just chilling.
Exercise and body-mind techniques work great in boosting confidence and self-worth.
2. Create or join a positive circle
Stay away from people who try to put you down. Never accept any kind of mean or negative comments about your parenting style. Be around people who are like-minded and understand your struggles. Don’t take advice from anybody and everybody.
Create a small group of people you trust like your partner, your family member whom you can confide in, your pediatrician, trusted, and an understanding friend. If you don’t have anyone who falls on the list, then find a great therapist.
3. Trust your intuition and communicate with your children
People will always have something to say to you or your children. The voice in your brain will tell you what’s good for your kid and what’s not. Don’t stress about what others might think of you.
The worst you can do to your mental health is looking at yourself from others’ perspective. Only consider a suggestion that comes from an extremely trusted and non-judgmental person. Any other opinion should even matter.
Talking to your kids is the best feedback you can get about what’s working and what’s not. Establishing communication will not only solve your dilemma but it is super healthy for your home dynamics with your kids. It nourishes the relationship and makes it stronger.
4. It’s okay to disagree
There’s no harm in supporting your point if you truly believe in it. For example, if someone asks you why your child is still in art class when he/she should be doing some sports. It okay to let the other person know that’s not their place to speak. Your child enjoys doing arts and it’s okay if he/she wants to do it a little more.
Speaking up is better than keeping quiet and internalizing all your feelings. Because those held up thoughts will bother you later. This internal rage would ultimately affect your mental health. Until and unless, you are not hurting anyone, it is okay to disagree.
5. Prioritize and have a perspective
Task management is mom’s superpower. All you got to do is make a schedule and priority chart. Break large tasks into smaller ones. Over-burdening yourself with everything at the same time will decrease your productivity.
It’s far better to think ahead of what your goals will be for the day, week, or month. Have a larger perspective. Writing down your goals will help you be on track and free from all the mind hassle of thinking about what to do next. You can also download our task management free printables.
6. Parenting is not just for you. Partners involvement is essential
It is very common in our society to think of women as the sole caretaker of the home and kids and men as the bread earner who can’t do anything when home. The truth is that parenthood is a two-person job. Including you, partner to help with the tasks around the house and kids shouldn’t be a big deal. This would take some pressure off of you and your partner can also have some time with the kids.
Talk to your partner about the involvement they have with the house chores and the kids and how you are meaning to improve it. Forcing anything would make matters bitter. Rather, just ask for help when you need it – That’s all you have to do. And accept help when offered. Don’t put everything on your shoulders.
7. Support and encourage other moms
Don’t be a mom who puts down other moms. Everybody has something going on in their lives. They can’t be in your shoes and you can’t be in theirs. Whenever you speak, speak about something good or don’t say anything at all. Your tiny bit of support or just a few good words can help someone with their tough day.
Think of it as you wouldn’t like it if someone speaks ill of you. It would affect your mental health. Then why cause someone else with the same trauma. Be happy and let others be happy.
8. Ask for professional help for your mental health
Depression and anxiety can sometimes become too overwhelming to handle on your own. If nothing is helping you to improve your mental health then you should hesitate in asking for professional help.
A therapist can help you through talk therapy sessions, support groups, mental exercises, anti-depressant medication, following what your symptoms are and the severity of them.