Mental Health and Parenting- A guide to help you stay on track
Being a new parent is not as joyful as it
seems. Although the little bundles of joy are a hundred per cent effective in
taking all the pain away, they also come with a complimentary package of massive
responsibility. Taking care of them 24/7, looking, after all, their needs,
pampering them, playing with them, and at the same time looking after yourself,
often feels like an overwhelming experience. The entire experience of parenting
is a roller coaster ride in itself with an equal number of ups and downs.
Parents, especially mothers, find themselves going through chaotic times
especially when it comes to dealing with their mental health. Studies show more
than 65% of women face postpartum depression which makes a huge impact on their
lives. Although your child’s need comes first,
looking after your emotional well being is equally important. This article will
focus on a few tips for new parents to have a grasp over their mental states
and enjoy time with their newborn happily.
Tips to be kept in mind:
Prepare for change.
Most people fail to understand the reality of parenting. They often mistake it for a bed of roses where all time is spent enjoying the cute cuddles and adorable giggles of your child. However, the reality is very different. Parents need to completely change their lifestyles and they must know that nothing is every routine when it comes to routine. Your child will have no fixed time of crying or eating or defecating or sleeping. It is always a go-go-go situation. Hence, being mentally prepared before delivery is important so one does not have to deal with any kind of shock. Adjust your lifestyle accordingly a few days before delivery and you’re good to go.
Neglect other work as much as possible.
Let the house be a mess for a few months, let the clothes be scattered over the place, let the guest room bed sheets go unchanged. You and your child are priorities. If you keep yourself secondary to your home, your mental health will never get the space it needs. Tend to yourself and your needs after your child. Give yourself an equal priority.
Get proper sleep and rest.
It may sound ridiculous considering the sleeping schedule of children but it is crucial. Take small opportunities to nap whenever the child is asleep. Take turns with your other half in caring for your child. This gives each other the privacy, rest, and sleep needed and never lets the child be deprived of affection. It also promotes quality time with your child. Getting sleep is extremely important for the body to function efficiently.
Ask for help.
Asking for help is nothing to be embarrassed about. Every parent requires help when it comes to the endless needs of your baby. If it is possible, move in with parents or in-laws. A helping hand decreases workload and at the same time lets the mind rest from constantly worrying about the little one/s. Using a helping hand is always the right way to go and do not back out if it is available.
Team up with your better half.
Certain tasks are impossible without the mother- like breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is painful and time-consuming and inhibits most women from performing other activities. This is where the father or the partner should step in. Divide tasks between each other. Let the bathing and cooking be the responsibility of one parent while the other parent takes up the other tasks. In this way, each parent gets their rest and is also equally involved in child-rearing.
How to Cope:
Bringing up a child is not an easy task. It is one of the hardest jobs in the world and the initial years are the toughest. However, keeping your mental health in check makes it a lot easier to focus and drive through each day with the fullest of spirits and with your head held high. Do not let parenting lose yourself. Embrace the change with open arms and customize it with your individuality. Do not give up on personal interests at the same time take ample care of your baby’s growth and wellbeing. With the right help and solutions, you are going to sail through this phase. You got this!