Around the holidays, it’s natural to feel a little more anxious with already packed schedules! I wanted to share this guest post written by Jennifer Dawson about parental anxieties. Jennifer Dawson is freelance researcher and writer, who works in co-operation with a range of sites offering help, guidance and knowledge on coping with parenthood in general. She is also a happily married mom of twin girls. She is gearing up for the fickle fives and wanted to share a piece on parental anxieties and how to deal with them successfully. Thank you Jennifer!
Disclaimer: This information does not constitute advice, and the accuracy of the information is not guaranteed. Further, users are advised to seek professional medical assistance in the event that they are suffering from any medical problem. To see my policies on guest posts, click here.
Learning to Manage the Anxieties of Parenthood
Being a parent has its own set of anxieties and stresses that are impossible to fully understand before you have a kid. When your child is late coming home, it is inevitable that you will have visions of all the terrible things that may have happened to them. You will also likely worry constantly about whether you are failing as a parent and whether your child is receiving the support and guidance they need to thrive in the world. The way other people judge your child and your parenting may also weigh heavily on your mind. It is possible to overcome those anxieties with mindfulness practices, even if your child has special needs that put additional pressure on you.
Parents Are Human and Deserve Compassion
The level of societal expectations on parent has increased dramatically in recent decades. While it was once okay for parents to allow children to play outside all day without supervision or walk to a park alone, those same parenting decisions today could result in a call to Child Protective Services. Parents often have to resume responsibilities for the worst behaviors of their children, even if their children have disabilities.
It’s natural to feel anxious with so many expectations heaped upon you. More children or more stressful parenting situations can cause additional stress and anxiety. Many parents who raise special needs or medically fragile children develop post-traumatic stress from all the pressure they must deal with. Simple calming techniques, like deep breathing or mindful relaxation, can help you reduce your experience of anxiety. That can be hard if you are feeling judged or inadequate as a parent.
However, a little compassion can go a long way. You should recognize that everyone, yourself included, is doing the best that they can. Cultivating self-compassion can help you address feelings of anxiety. Try to stop any internal negative self-talk and allow yourself space to move through the anxiety.
Work Through The Causes of Anxious Moments
It’s natural to want to push away upsetting thoughts or distract yourself from moments of anxiety. However, practicing mindfulness and exploring the cause and nature of your anxiety can do a lot to help you heal. Once you acknowledge and explore your feelings, you may be able to make changes to your home, your daily habits, or your parenting style that help you minimize recurring moments of anxiety rooted in the same thing.
Anxiety is a normal part of parenting, but it can become overwhelming in certain situations. Learning to manage your anxiety can help you become a better parent. It can also improve your overall quality of life. If you can’t process your anxiety or determine the cause, be compassionate with yourself.