Until you become a parent, nothing can prepare you for the joy of welcoming a new life into your world. While it can be the most beautiful of experiences, it can also the most stressful role you take on. Being a parent is not easy and each stage in your child’s development brings new challenges – from sleep deprived baby days to hormonal teenagers and all those years in between.
There is no magic guidebook to parenting. Each parent is unique and will react to situations differently. Some people make parenting look easy while others struggle with the emotional and physical demands of being responsible for the welfare of a child. It’s okay not to have it all worked out and to feel overwhelmed by parenting. It’s okay to not feel good enough or feel guilty that you’re not the best parent you feel you could be.
Guidelines from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US state that generally parents are responsible for:
- Keeping children safe
- Spending time with children
- Providing order, affection and consistency
- Setting and maintaining limits
- Monitoring friendships
- Seeking help for medical or behavioural concerns
Following these guidelines may bring up issues in itself but when you add in other factors such as work, financial difficulties, maintaining a relationship, work or personal health concerns then it’s easy to understand why almost half of all parents experience stress on a daily basis.
Parenting can bring up a range of negative emotions such as feelings of isolation, helplessness, shame, guilt and worry. Don’t feel ashamed or worried about reaching out for help if you are finding parenting not to be as easy as you had initially imagined.
If you are feeling it difficult to cope with the demands of parenting, please get in touch with me. I’m a trained therapist and by using an integrative approach to therapy, I can help you feel less overwhelmed and bring clarity to your parenting process.