Burnout

sleep deprivation

No, you’re not losing your mind. You’re sleep deprived.

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Babies don’t sleep. They just don’t. Not like we do.

They don’t operate on a 24-hour cycle, nor do they have any regard for night or day. They can be up to six months old before they begin to show any sense of functional consistency and may be years old before they stop night waking. All this to say, there are legions of sleep deprived parents out there in the world, going about their days in a time-warped slow motion, feeling anything other than themselves.

As a sleep-deprived parent you may find yourself the butt of many jokes or on the end of pitying looks as family and friends – sometimes even strangers –recall ‘the slog’ of their own early parenting days before dishing out supremely unhelpful comments like ‘What else did you expect?’ We’ve all been there. The chances are you’re there right now.

If only it were a laughing matter. But the effects of sleep deprivation are real. You may find it hard to concentrate, suffer memory lapses, mood swings, anxiety, elevated stress, slurred speech, lose your libido, put on weight and even find you have a low immunity making you less able to fend off bugs. At its extreme, studies have shown sleep deprivation can lead to brain damage. That sleep deprivation has been used as a means of torture for centuries says it all really. 

For those of us who have always enjoyed – or survived on – a good night’s sleep, the lack of sleep that comes with being a parent can be a shock. No, debilitating. Of course, some days are better than others and it’s incredible how quickly you can return to baseline with a good night’s sleep, that feeling of being a new person again hard to top.  

Not so long ago, the idea of being able to survive on little sleep may have held some kudos; ‘successful’ people championing themselves on needing as little as two to three hours a night. How we marvelled that Margaret Thatcher could run a country on four hours sleep is, frankly, ridiculous knowing what we know now; that persistent lack of sleep is directly linked to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Yep, that ship has sailed. Boasting about how little sleep you need is really only a race to the bottom. Sleep is not, ‘just for wimps’.

As a new parent you may covet the enviable extensive sleeping hours of today’s teenagers and your younger self, but instead, ask how is it they can sleep for so long? It is not because they are ‘lazy’. It’s because their brains and bodies are developing at such rapid speed it necessitates the factory reset that sleep brings. Wanting more sleep does not make you lazy. Instead, it shows a healthy regard for your own physical and mental well-being.

According to the US National Institute of Health, ‘When one sleeps the brain reorganizes and recharges itself, and removes toxic waste by-products which have accumulated throughout the day…a minimum of seven hours of daily sleep seems to be necessary for proper cognitive function.’ Seven hours. A luxury if you’re a new parent. And toxic waste? No wonder you’re feeling so rubbish.

In their paper The Neuroprotective Aspects of Sleep, Andy R Eugene and Jolanta Masiak write “Essentially, sleeping acts as a garbage collector that comes during the night and removes the waste product left by the brain. This allows the brain to function normally the next day when one wakes up from slumber.” Clinically, this is known as the brain’s glymphatic system. We can now appreciate how not getting enough sleep physically alters the chemical balance in your brain, hence the title of this post; You’re not losing your mind, you’re just sleep deprived.

What’s worse, in a punishing twist, the states produced by sleep deprivation can actually make it harder to sleep. Anxiety and depression brought on by poor sleep patterns can often cause insomnia so that you may find when your baby is finally sleeping, frustratingly, you cannot.

So, what is going on in your brain when you are sleeping? Well, sleep turns off the norepinephrine (a stress hormone), serotonin (modulates mood) and histamine (immunity) neurotransmitters, allowing their receptors to rest. Now we can see directly the consequences of not getting enough sleep; the elevated stress levels, a struggle to make a proportionate response to an emotional event, of feeling constantly under the weather – every day a battle. Now we can understand what is happening to us.

And in today’s world of peak perfection and productivity, of having heightened expectations, increased stimulations, technology on tap, of always being ‘on’, of problems being solved in a ‘hack’ we can consume on TikTok then we may be feeling the effects of sleep deprivation more than our predecessors – and its negative effect on our psyche.

But it’s not all bad. It won’t last forever (trust, us, it really won’t). You will get through it. Your children will grow and sleep. Until they do, there are things you can do to address the slump you feel, to try and rebalance your brain and body and feel more like yourself.

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Nurturing love: healing relationship woes after parenthood.

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Parenthood is a transformative journey filled with joy, but it can also present challenges to relationships. The post-childbirth phase often brings about unique stressors that can strain the bond between partners . This article explores effective strategies for healing relationships after parenthood, resolving issues, and rekindling love amidst the challenges of raising a child.

Resolving relationship issues: post-childbirth strategies.

The period following childbirth is often marked by an array of emotions and adjustments that can strain the dynamics of a relationship. To facilitate relationship healing, it’s crucial to employ post-childbirth strategies that prioritize effective communication and understanding. Couples should openly express their feelings, expectations, and concerns, fostering an environment where both partners feel heard and supported.

Rekindling post-baby.

Rekindling love after becoming parents requires intentional effort. Amidst the exhaustion and new responsibilities, couples must prioritize nurturing their emotional connection. Planning regular date nights, expressing gratitude for each other’s contributions, and finding shared activities are essential steps in fostering intimacy and reigniting the spark that may dim amidst the challenges of parenthood.

Mending relationships as parents.

Parenthood often unveils pre-existing relationship issues, making it imperative to take deliberate steps to mend any rifts that may arise. Communication is key in this process, but beyond that, couples need to identify specific actions to address underlying concerns. This might involve setting realistic expectations, defining roles and responsibilities, and actively working towards shared goals.

Healing steps for parental relationship issues.

Healing relationship issues in parenthood requires a combination of self-reflection and mutual effort. Couples should take steps to enhance their understanding of each other’s perspectives, practice empathy, and actively listen. Recognizing that both partners may be navigating their unique challenges can foster a sense of unity in overcoming obstacles, laying the foundation for a healthier relationship.

Amidst the sleepless nights and countless responsibilities, it’s crucial for couples to focus on nurturing their love. This involves acknowledging each other’s efforts, celebrating small victories, and maintaining a sense of humour. Nurturing love post-parenting challenges requires a mindset shift, valuing the partnership amidst the chaos and finding joy in the shared journey of raising a child.

5 steps: resolving relationships issues post-birth.

Communication is Key

Effective communication is the bedrock of a healthy relationship, particularly after becoming parents. Clear, open, and honest communication is vital in resolving conflicts, understanding each other’s needs, and staying connected emotionally. Regular check-ins, where both partners have the opportunity to express their feelings and concerns, can strengthen the foundation of the relationship.

Managing Expectations

One of the significant challenges after becoming parents is managing expectations. Roles and responsibilities shift, and couples may find themselves grappling with unmet expectations. To navigate this, it’s crucial to have open conversations about individual needs, redefine roles based on practical considerations, and set realistic expectations that both partners can strive to meet.

Seeking Professional Help

When relationship issues persist or become more complex, seeking professional help can be a valuable step in the healing process. Couples therapy or counselling offers a safe space for partners to explore their concerns, improve communication skills, and work towards a healthier relationship. Professional guidance can provide insights and tools that may not be readily apparent in day-to-day interactions.

Quality Time Together

Finding quality time for each other amidst the demands of parenthood is essential for relationship healing. Whether it’s a simple at-home date night, a walk in the park, or even a brief moment of connection during a hectic day, prioritizing quality time helps strengthen the emotional bond. It’s a reminder that, beyond the roles of mom and dad, there exists a foundation of love and partnership.

Celebrating Achievements

Celebrating achievements, no matter how small, is a powerful strategy for relationship healing after parenthood. Expressing gratitude for each other’s contributions, acknowledging efforts, and celebrating milestones creates a positive atmosphere in the relationship. This practice fosters a sense of appreciation and mutual support, crucial elements in navigating the complexities of parenthood together.


Navigating the path of relationship healing after parenthood demands dedication, understanding, and a commitment to evolving as a couple. By implementing strategies to resolve issues, rekindling love, and taking proactive steps to nurture the relationship, couples can not only weather the challenges of parenting but emerge with a stronger and more resilient bond. Parenthood is a shared journey, and the commitment to nurturing love post-parenthood challenges is the foundation for a lasting and fulfilling relationship.

Our comprehensive resources aim to provide valuable insights and actionable tips to enable parents to nurture and rekindle their relationship post childbirth and heal relationship woes.

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How parental roles shape & influence self-identity.

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Becoming a parent is a profound and life-altering experience. It is a journey that not only involves taking care of a child but also involves navigating the complex realm of self-identity. Parental roles have a significant impact on how individuals perceive themselves and how they fit into the world. This article delves into the exploration of parental identity and its influence on self-identity.

Understanding self-identity.

Self-identity refers to how individuals perceive themselves, their beliefs, values, and characteristics that shape their sense of self. It is the foundation upon which we build our lives and make choices. Understanding self-identity is crucial as it plays a fundamental role in our well-being, relationships, and overall satisfaction with life.

The impact of parenthood on self-identity.

Parenthood is a transformative experience that brings about significant changes in an individual’s self-identity. The arrival of a child alters priorities, values, and responsibilities. The once independent and carefree individual must now adapt to the demands of being a parent. This transition can be both exciting and challenging as individuals navigate the changes that parenthood brings.

Parental identity exploration: navigating the changes.

As individuals embark on the journey of parenthood, they often find themselves exploring their parental identity. This exploration involves understanding and embracing the new roles and responsibilities that come with being a parent. It requires individuals to redefine themselves in the context of their new family dynamic.

Navigating these changes can be a complex process. Some individuals may find it difficult to let go of their pre-parenthood identity, while others may struggle to find a balance between their parental role and their personal desires. It is essential to recognize that this exploration is a natural part of the journey and that it takes time to fully embrace and integrate the new identity.

How parental roles shape and influence self-identity.

Parental roles play a significant role in shaping and influencing self-identity. For example, the role of a caregiver may lead to a heightened sense of compassion and nurturing qualities, while the role of a provider may create a sense of responsibility and determination.

Sleep deprivation, changes in routines, and the constant demands of caring for a child can leave individuals feeling exhausted and uncertain about their new identity.

Additionally, societal expectations and pressures can also contribute to the challenges of adapting to parenthood. There may be a sense of comparison to other parents or pressure to conform to certain parenting styles. These external influences can further complicate the process of establishing a solid self-identity as a parent.

Strategies for managing identity changes during parenthood.

Managing identity changes during parenthood requires self-reflection, self-compassion, and open communication. Here are some strategies to navigate this transformative journey:

Embrace the changes: Recognise that parenthood will bring about changes in your self-identity. Embrace these changes and view them as opportunities for personal growth.

Self-care: Prioritise self-care to maintain a sense of self amidst the demands of parenthood. Take time for yourself, engage in activities that bring you joy, and seek support from loved ones.

Open communication: Maintain open and honest communication with your partner about your feelings, concerns, and experiences. Sharing your journey with someone who understands can provide a sense of validation and support.

Establish boundaries: Set clear boundaries between your parental role and your personal life. Find a balance that allows you to fulfil your responsibilities as a parent while also nurturing your own needs and interests.

Seek support: Reach out to support groups, parenting classes, or professional counsellors who can provide guidance and reassurance during this transformative phase.


Parenthood brings about significant changes in self-identity. By acknowledging the challenges, exploring the changes, and implementing strategies for self-care and communication, individuals can find a sense of balance and fulfilment in their new identity as parents. Embrace the journey and allow parenthood to shape and influence your self-identity positively.

Our comprehensive resources aim to provide valuable insights and actionable tips to enable parents to cope with identity changes and build their parental identity through their parental journey.

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Balancing parenthood & career: tools for adapting work patterns & reducing commitments.

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One of the most significant challenges faced by working parents is finding the right balance between their career and family responsibilities. In today’s fast-paced world, where the demands of work seem to be ever-increasing, it can be overwhelming to juggle both roles effectively. However, with the right strategies and adjustments to work patterns, it is possible to strike a harmonious balance between parenthood and a successful career.

The challenges of balancing parenthood and a career.

Balancing parenthood and a career can be a daunting task. As a parent, there is a constant pressure to meet the needs of your children, while simultaneously excelling in your professional life. The demands of parenthood, such as childcare responsibilities, school events, and medical appointments, can often clash with work obligations, leading to feelings of guilt and stress.

Adapting work patterns in parenthood.

Adapting work patterns is crucial for parents who wish to strike a balance between their career and family life. Traditional 9-to-5 work models may not always be feasible for parents, especially those with young children. By exploring flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, parents can create a work schedule that accommodates their family’s needs.

Adjusting work commitments in parenting.

Adjusting work commitments is an essential aspect of balancing parenthood and a career. Parents need to evaluate their current work commitments and identify areas where adjustments can be made. This may involve re-evaluating priorities, delegating tasks, or even considering a career change if the current job does not align with their family goals.

One effective strategy is to establish clear boundaries between work and family time. Set specific hours for work and dedicate uninterrupted time to your children during non-work hours. This separation helps create a sense of structure and allows parents to be fully present in both roles without feeling overwhelmed or guilty.

Redefining work patterns.

Navigating the complex terrain of parenting and employment often requires redefining work patterns. It involves thinking outside the box and finding innovative ways to integrate work and family life. This may include negotiating for reduced hours, exploring job-sharing arrangements, or even starting a home-based business or freelancing.

Work adaptations for successful parenthood.

While every family’s circumstances are different, there are some general strategies that can help parents navigate this challenging journey of parenthood successfully.

Your employer should be open and clear about your needs, concerns, and possible work arrangements. By fostering an understanding and supportive work environment, parents will feel more confident and comfortable managing work and family responsibilities.

Build a network of support from family, friends, and your community to relieve some of the pressures of parenting. This can include sharing childcare responsibilities, sharing a carpool with other parents, or even joining parenting support groups.

Work-life balance tips for working parents.

Finding a work-life balance is an ongoing process that requires conscious effort and self-reflection. Here are some additional tips to help working parents achieve a healthy balance:

  • Learn to say no to non-essential commitments that may take valuable time away from your family. Identify your most important tasks and complete them first.
  • Establish clear boundaries between work and family time. Inform colleagues of your availability and avoid taking work calls during family time.
  • Sharing the load can relieve some of the stress, whether you hire a babysitter or ask your partner to take on more responsibilities.
  • Set aside time for self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies. Being present for your family and taking care of yourself is crucial.
  • Put away distractions, such as your phone, when you are with your family, so you can be fully present. Make lasting memories of these moments.


Balancing parenthood and a career is undoubtedly a challenge, but with the right strategies and adjustments to work patterns, it is possible to find harmony between the two. By adapting work commitments, exploring flexible work arrangements, and redefining work patterns, parents can create a more balanced and fulfilling life for themselves and their families. Remember, it is not about achieving perfection in every aspect of life but rather finding a work-life integration that brings joy and satisfaction. With determination, support, and a willingness to make necessary changes, working parents can thrive both personally and professionally.

Our comprehensive resources aim to provide valuable insights and actionable tips to enable parents to create a better work-life balance and adapt their work patterns to parenthood.

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Breaking the stigma: A comprehensive guide to parental depression & low mood.

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Understanding parental depression & low mood

Parental depression and low mood are common but often misunderstood conditions that can have a significant impact on both parents and their children. It is crucial to recognise and understand the signs and symptoms of parental depression in order to provide appropriate support and intervention. Parental depression refers to the presence of depressive symptoms in one or both parents, while low mood encompasses a broader range of negative emotions that may not meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of depression.

Depression is a complex condition that can manifest differently in individuals. Some common signs of parental depression include persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. It is important to note that not all parents experiencing depression will exhibit the same symptoms, and the severity and duration of these symptoms can vary. Low mood, on the other hand, can encompass feelings of sadness, frustration, anger, or general dissatisfaction with life.

Impact of parenthood on mental well-being

When a parent experiences depression or low mood, it can have a profound impact on their children’s emotional well-being and development. Children are highly observant and sensitive to changes in their parents’ mood and behaviour, and they may internalise their parent’s emotions, leading to feelings of confusion, guilt, or blame. Parental depression can affect a child’s sense of security, disrupt attachment patterns, and hinder their social and emotional development.

Strategies for combating low mood in parents

There are numerous resources and support systems available for parents dealing with depression and low mood. Online platforms and apps, such as Pareful, provide a wealth of educational resources, articles, and forums where parents can find information, share experiences, and connect with others facing similar challenges. Professional organisations, such as mental health associations and parenting support networks, can also provide valuable resources and referrals to qualified healthcare providers.

Mental health challenges of motherhood

One of the biggest challenges faced by mothers experiencing depression or low mood is the stigma associated with mental health issues. There is often a societal expectation that parents should always be happy and emotionally available for their children, which can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation for those struggling with depression.

Education and raising awareness are key in challenging and dispelling misconceptions about parental depression. By sharing personal stories, providing accurate information, and promoting empathy and understanding, we can help shift the narrative and create a culture of acceptance and support.

Coping with parental depression

Managing depression or low mood as a parent can feel overwhelming, but there are strategies that can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being. It is important to develop a support network of friends, family, or support groups who can offer understanding, encouragement, and practical help when needed. Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation, such as hobbies, exercise, or mindfulness practices, can also be beneficial for mental health.


Breaking the stigma surrounding parental depression and low mood needs open conversations, understanding, and practical strategies. Through addressing postnatal depression, understanding the effects of parenthood on mental well-being, and adopting mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude practices, parents can deal with the difficulties while prioritizing their mental health. Our comprehensive resources aim to provide valuable insights and actionable tips to enable parents to strive for mental well-being and challenge the stigma associated with parental mental health difficulties.

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Managing anxiety triggered by my child.

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On our journey through life, we encounter a multitude of emotions, each with its own unique flavour and intensity. Among these, anxiety is a formidable foe that can strike unexpectedly, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable. For many parents, a peculiar source of anxiety can be their own child. While parenthood is a cherished experience, it is not uncommon for a parent to find themselves grappling with anxiety triggered by their offspring. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricate web of emotions that form when ‘my child triggers my anxiety.’ We will explore the reasons behind this phenomenon and provide practical tips on how to manage and even conquer it.

The complex emotions of parenthood

Parenthood is a profound and rewarding journey, filled with love, joy, and boundless moments of pride. However, it is also a path paved with its own unique set of challenges, including sleepless nights, tantrums, and endless responsibilities. Amidst these challenges, it is entirely normal to experience moments of anxiety. After all, raising a child is a monumental task that demands unwavering commitment and dedication.

Why does my child trigger my anxiety?

Anxiety in parents can manifest in various ways, often triggered by concerns and uncertainties related to their child’s well-being and future. Here are some common reasons why your child might trigger your anxiety:

  • Fear of the Unknown

As a parent, you are acutely aware of the unpredictable nature of life. You worry about your child’s safety, health, and future. This fear of the unknown can be a significant source of anxiety, as you grapple with the uncertainty of what lies ahead for your little one.

  • Comparison with Others

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your child’s milestones and achievements with those of other children. This constant comparison can lead to self-doubt and anxiety as you wonder if your child is meeting societal expectations.

  • Balancing Act

Juggling the demands of parenthood with personal and professional responsibilities can be overwhelming. The constant need to strike a balance between family and other commitments can lead to stress and anxiety.

  • Overprotective Instincts

A natural instinct for parents is to protect their children from harm. However, when this protective instinct becomes excessive, it can lead to anxiety. Constantly worrying about your child’s safety can take a toll on your mental well-being.

Coping strategies for parental anxiety

While it’s normal to experience anxiety as a parent, it’s essential to develop coping strategies to manage and alleviate these feelings effectively. Here are some practical steps to help you navigate the complex terrain of parental anxiety:

1. Open communication

Maintaining open and honest communication with your child can significantly reduce anxiety. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings, and make sure they know you are there to listen and support them.

2. Seek support

Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional. Talking about your feelings and concerns with a trusted confidant can provide much-needed relief.

3. Practice self-care

Remember that you cannot be the best parent if you neglect your own well-being. Dedicate time to self-care activities that help you relax and recharge.

4. Set realistic expectations

Avoid comparing your child to others and set realistic expectations based on their unique abilities and strengths. Embrace their individuality and encourage them to develop at their own pace.

5. Mindfulness & meditation

Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine can help reduce anxiety. These practices can enhance your ability to stay present and calm in the face of uncertainty.

Certainly, let’s delve further into strategies to overcome parental anxiety and enhance your experience as a parent.

Embrace flexibility

One of the keys to reducing anxiety as a parent is to embrace flexibility. Life with children is inherently unpredictable, and rigid expectations can lead to unnecessary stress. Instead, be open to adapting to changing circumstances and finding creative solutions to unexpected challenges. By staying flexible, you can navigate the ups and downs of parenthood with greater ease.

Connect with other parents

Sharing experiences and advice with other parents can be incredibly reassuring. Joining parenting support groups, either in person or online, can provide you with a sense of community and help you realise that many other parents are facing similar challenges. These connections can offer emotional support and valuable insights into effective parenting strategies.

Prioritise self-compassion

It’s easy for parents to be overly critical of themselves, especially when anxiety creeps in. Remember that no one is a perfect parent, and making mistakes is part of the journey. Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a friend facing similar challenges. This shift in mindset can significantly reduce parental anxiety.

Set realistic boundaries

As parents, we often want to provide the best for our children, but it’s essential to set realistic boundaries to prevent burnout. Know your limits and learn to say no when necessary. Prioritise your well-being, as a healthy and balanced parent is better equipped to care for their child effectively.

Seek professional help when needed

If your anxiety as a parent becomes overwhelming and begins to impact your daily life, seeking professional help is a responsible and courageous step. A trained therapist or counsellor can offer guidance and support tailored to your specific situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel that your anxiety is becoming unmanageable.

Celebrate milestones

In the midst of anxiety, it’s easy to overlook the small victories and milestones that your child achieves. Take time to celebrate these moments, no matter how minor they may seem. Recognizing and appreciating your child’s growth and accomplishments can shift your focus from anxiety to joy.

Parenting is a remarkable journey filled with love, growth, and countless cherished memories. However, it is not without its challenges, including the anxiety that can arise when you feel that ‘my child triggers my anxiety.’ By understanding the root causes of this anxiety and implementing practical strategies like open communication, seeking support, practising self-care, and embracing flexibility, you can navigate parenthood with greater ease and confidence.

Remember that parental anxiety is a shared experience, and you are not alone in this journey. Connect with other parents, prioritise self-compassion, and celebrate the moments that make parenthood a beautiful adventure. By doing so, you can not only manage but also thrive in your role as a loving and supportive parent.

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‘I don’t like being a mum’: Embracing the challenges of motherhood.

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Motherhood is a journey filled with highs and lows, a rollercoaster of emotions, and an undeniable love that knows no bounds. However, let’s be honest; not every day is a breeze, and it’s okay to admit that some days you don’t like being a mum.

As a mother, you are juggling multiple roles, responsibilities, and expectations, all while trying to maintain your sanity and well-being. The pressure to be a good mom, the internal struggle to balance everything, and the mental toll it takes can leave you feeling overwhelmed and questioning yourself. Yet, amidst the challenges, remember that you are not alone, and every mother, at some point, faces similar feelings.

Accept That Parenting Is Challenging

Being a mum is not easy. Balancing family members, your role as a good mum, and your mental health can be overwhelming. This is especially challenging if you are a stay-at-home mum. But take a deep breath and repeat this affirmation: “I am doing my best, and that’s enough.”

Accepting that motherhood comes with its challenges doesn’t make you a horrible mum; it makes you human. Not every moment will be hard, so take the time to notice and embrace mindfully at least five positive moments each day. It could be your child’s giggle, a loving gesture, or a moment of pure joy.

Moreover, seeking help and support doesn’t mean you are failing as a mother. Reach out to family, friends, or support groups when you feel overwhelmed. Having someone to talk to or share your experiences with can make a world of difference. Nurture your mental health and seek assistance when needed.

Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine to stay grounded. Start with a few minutes of mindful breathing or meditation each morning. Throughout the day, take mindful breaks by focusing on your breath or practicing gratitude. Embrace the present moment and let go of worries about the past or future.

Become Mindfully Present in Motherhood

With endless responsibilities as a mother, it’s easy to be physically present but mentally elsewhere. Mindfulness can change that. When you engage in motherly duties, be fully present in the moment. Engage your senses, listen attentively, and cherish those fleeting moments.

Set aside dedicated time for mindful bonding with your kids. Whether it’s reading a story together, going for a nature walk, or enjoying playtime, being mindfully present during these moments can create lasting memories and deepen your connection with your children.

Practice mindful breathing to calm your mind and body when overwhelmed or emotionally triggered. Take a few deep breaths, focus on your breath, and let go of tension or stress. By grounding yourself in the present moment, you can respond to challenges with patience and composure.

Another mindful practice to consider is journaling. Write down your thoughts and feelings, allowing yourself to process emotions in a non-judgmental way. Journaling can be a therapeutic outlet for expressing your innermost thoughts and gaining clarity as a mother.

Understand Your Expectations

Before becoming a mother, you may have had certain expectations about motherhood. It’s essential to examine those expectations and ask yourself if they were realistic given your knowledge at the time.

If your expectations don’t match reality, it’s okay to acknowledge that and let go of guilt or disappointment. Motherhood is a journey of growth, and it’s okay to adapt and adjust. Be gentle with yourself and remember that you’re doing your best.

To manage feelings of regret or resentment, consider seeking professional support, such as talking to a therapist or counselor. They can provide a safe space to explore your emotions and help you navigate the complexities of motherhood.

A Mindful Journey to Motherhood

In the midst of the daily challenges of motherhood, mindfulness can be your anchor, helping you embrace emotions and experiences. At Pareful, we understand the struggles, the ups and downs, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Mindfulness is not about being perfect; it’s about being kind to yourself and finding peace in the present moment. As you navigate the journey of motherhood, remember that you’re not alone, and there is a mindful path to enjoying motherhood even on tough days.

So, take a moment for yourself, breathe, and explore how mindfulness can help you cherish the joys of motherhood while navigating its challenges. Embrace motherhood mindfully, and let Pareful be your ally on this incredible journey.

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Understanding the hidden effects of parental mental health.

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In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to overlook the impact that parental mental health can have on the entire family. While we often focus on the visible signs of mental illness, the hidden effects can be equally profound. Breaking the silence and shedding light on this topic is crucial in order to provide support and understanding to families facing these challenges.

In this article, we will explore the often-overlooked consequences of parental mental health on children, partners, and the overall family dynamic. From the emotional toll it takes on children to the strain it puts on relationships, we’ll delve into the complexities of this issue and offer practical strategies for coping and healing. By increasing awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding parental mental health, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society for all. So, let’s dive in and uncover the hidden effects of parental mental health that need our attention and understanding.

The Impact of Parental Mental Health on Children

Parental mental health has a profound impact on children, shaping their emotional well-being and overall development. Growing up in a household where a parent is struggling with mental health issues can be incredibly challenging for children. They may witness the emotional turmoil, erratic behavior, and instability that often accompany these conditions. As a result, children may experience feelings of fear, confusion, and even guilt, blaming themselves for their parent’s struggles. The constant exposure to stress and tension can disrupt their sense of security and stability, leading to emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Moreover, children of parents with mental health issues may also be at a higher risk of developing mental health problems themselves. Research has shown that genetics and environmental factors play a role in the transmission of mental health conditions, and growing up in a household with a parent experiencing mental illness can increase the likelihood of developing similar issues. It is therefore crucial to address parental mental health concerns not only for the well-being of the parent but also for the long-term mental health outcomes of their children.

Understanding the Hidden Effects of Parental Mental Health

While the impact of parental mental health on children is well-documented, there are also hidden effects that extend beyond the immediate family unit. For example, when a parent is struggling with mental health issues, it can strain the relationship with their partner or spouse. The non-affected partner may find themselves taking on additional responsibilities, both in terms of household duties and caring for the children. This imbalance can lead to feelings of resentment, frustration, and even burnout, as the burden of maintaining the family falls heavily on their shoulders.

Additionally, parental mental health can affect the extended family and the wider social network. Family members may feel helpless or unsure of how to support the parent and children, leading to strained relationships and a sense of isolation. Friends and acquaintances may also struggle to understand the challenges faced by the family, further contributing to the sense of stigma and shame surrounding mental health issues. By recognizing and acknowledging these hidden effects, we can begin to address them and provide the necessary support to families experiencing parental mental health challenges.

Common Mental Health Conditions in Parents

Parental mental health issues can manifest in various forms, with some conditions being more prevalent than others. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health conditions experienced by parents. Depression can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of motivation, making it difficult for parents to engage with their children and meet their emotional needs. Anxiety, on the other hand, often manifests as excessive worry and fear, which can impact a parent’s ability to provide a secure and nurturing environment for their children.

Other mental health conditions that may affect parents include bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, and substance abuse disorders. Bipolar disorder can result in extreme mood swings and erratic behavior, making it challenging for parents to maintain a stable and consistent presence for their children. Postpartum depression, which affects some new mothers, can interfere with the bonding process and disrupt the early stages of parent-child attachment. Substance abuse disorders can also have a profound impact on parenting abilities, as they can impair judgment, affect emotional stability, and lead to neglect or abuse.

Signs and Symptoms of Parental Mental Health Issues

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of parental mental health issues is crucial for early intervention and support. It’s important to note that the symptoms may vary depending on the specific mental health condition and the individual’s unique circumstances. However, some common signs to look out for include:

  1. Changes in mood and behavior: Parents experiencing mental health issues may exhibit noticeable changes in their mood, such as increased irritability, anger, or sadness. They may also withdraw from social activities, lose interest in previously enjoyed hobbies, or display changes in sleep patterns and appetite.
  2. Difficulty functioning: Mental health issues can impact a parent’s ability to carry out daily tasks and responsibilities. They may struggle to maintain their personal hygiene, keep up with household chores, or fulfill their parental duties effectively.
  3. Neglecting self-care: Parents experiencing mental health challenges may neglect their own self-care, putting their physical health and well-being at risk. They may have difficulty attending medical appointments, taking prescribed medications, or engaging in activities that promote self-care and stress reduction.
  4. Affecting parent-child interactions: Mental health issues can interfere with the parent-child relationship, affecting the quality of interactions and the child’s emotional well-being. Parents may have difficulty engaging with their children, expressing affection, or responding to their emotional needs.
  5. Increased substance use: Some parents may turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with their mental health challenges. This can further exacerbate the negative effects on their parenting abilities and overall family dynamics.

If you notice any of these signs or suspect that a parent may be struggling with their mental health, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Encouraging open and non-judgmental communication can create a safe space for the parent to seek help and support.

The Ripple Effect: How Parental Mental Health Affects the Family Dynamic

The impact of parental mental health extends beyond the affected individual. The family dynamic can be significantly altered by the challenges faced by a parent with mental health issues. The strain on the parent-child relationship can lead to increased conflict, tension, and disrupted communication within the family. Children may feel a sense of insecurity and unpredictability, unsure of how their parent’s mental health will affect their daily lives.

Furthermore, the non-affected parent or partner may experience feelings of frustration, helplessness, and resentment. They may feel overwhelmed by the additional responsibilities they have to shoulder, leading to emotional and physical exhaustion. This strain can put a significant strain on the relationship, leading to increased conflict and a breakdown in communication.

The impact of parental mental health on siblings should also be acknowledged. Siblings may feel neglected or overshadowed by the needs of the affected parent, leading to feelings of resentment or a sense of invisibility within the family. It is important to provide support and understanding to all members of the family unit, ensuring that their emotional needs are met and their voices are heard.

Breaking the Silence: Why It’s Important to Talk About Parental Mental Health

Breaking the silence surrounding parental mental health is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to reduce the stigma and shame associated with mental health issues. By openly discussing these challenges, we can create a more compassionate and understanding society that supports individuals and families facing mental health difficulties.

Talking about parental mental health also raises awareness about the hidden effects it can have on children, partners, and the family dynamic. By shedding light on these issues, we can encourage earlier intervention and support, minimizing the long-term impact on families.

Furthermore, open and honest conversations about parental mental health can lead to increased access to resources and support services. Families may feel more empowered to seek help and guidance, knowing that they are not alone in their struggles. This can lead to improved outcomes for both the affected parent and the entire family.

Seeking Help and Support for Parental Mental Health

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health challenges as a parent, it is important to seek help and support. Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources available to assist you in navigating these difficulties.

Start by reaching out to a healthcare professional, such as your family doctor or a mental health specialist. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, develop a treatment plan, and connect you with appropriate support services.

Therapy can be an invaluable resource for both the affected parent and the entire family. Individual therapy can help the parent address their mental health challenges and develop coping strategies, while family therapy can improve communication, rebuild trust, and strengthen the family unit.

Support groups can also be beneficial, as they provide a safe space for parents to connect with others facing similar challenges. Sharing experiences, exchanging advice, and receiving validation can help alleviate feelings of isolation and provide a sense of community.

Additionally, it is important to take care of your own well-being as a parent. Engage in self-care activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Prioritize your physical health by eating nutritious meals, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish but necessary for your own well-being and your ability to care for your family.

Summary

Parental mental health has far-reaching effects on children, partners, and the overall family dynamic. By understanding and addressing these hidden effects, we can provide support and compassion to families facing these challenges. From the emotional toll it takes on children to the strain it puts on relationships, parental mental health requires our attention and understanding.

Breaking the silence surrounding parental mental health is crucial in order to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and provide access to resources and support. By having open and honest conversations, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society for all families. Seeking help and support is essential, and there are resources available to assist parents and families in their journey towards healing and well-being.

Let us work together to break the silence, increase awareness, and provide support to families affected by parental mental health issues. By doing so, we can create a brighter future for all.

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How to keep your energy levels up as a parent.

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Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs in the world. It can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. With the demands of family life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and drained of energy. However, with these few tips and tricks, you can find ways to remain energised as a parent.

Create Boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries for yourself and your family. Having clear expectations for how much time and energy you spend on tasks will help prevent burnout. Set limits on how much time you spend on activities such as housework or errands, so that you can focus more on your family and take some downtime for yourself.

Prioritise Self Care
Self-care is essential for any parent—it helps build resilience and maintain balance during difficult times. Take time out of each day to do something just for yourself—whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, or meditating—and make sure that it’s something that brings joy into your life. This will help you recharge and give you more energy to devote to parenting when needed.

Schedule Breaks
Having regular breaks throughout the day can be an effective way to give yourself a mental break from parenting duties while still managing your time efficiently. Plan mini-breaks throughout the day where you can step away from your tasks for 10-15 minutes at a time; this gives your mind a chance to rest without feeling guilty about taking too much time away from your responsibilities.


Staying energised as a parent isn’t always easy but with these tips in mind, it can become more manageable. Remember that self-care is essential; if you don’t take care of yourself first, then you won’t have enough energy left over for your family. So find ways that work best for you—whether it be setting boundaries, taking breaks throughout the day or scheduling time just for yourself—to ensure that you have enough energy to get through each day with ease.


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Let’s talk competitive parenting.

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Competitive parenting arises from the desire to ensure the best possible development of your children. However, it is easy to see your children too much as an extension of your own ego.

Most parents care deeply about doing a good job raising their children and it’s therefore tempting to make comparisons with other parents and other children to try to see whether the development of your child is ‘on track.’ ‘Good’ parenting has become quite complex and ‘success’ is assessed in a wide range of areas: academic, social, musical, athletic, spiritual, artistic, etc. 

There is also the danger of trying to see parenting as a ‘mechanistic’ input/output model with predictable outcomes. The extreme end of this is the ‘tiger mum’ approach that became popular in 2010s. It assumed that strict parenting characterised by discipline and commitment to excellence focusing on academic achievements creates ‘successful’ children. However, recent research suggest that tiger parenting does not produce high-achieving child prodigies but leaves children with social and psychological issues. This is not to say that parents shouldn’t be ambitious about educating their children. But it is important to keep a balance between the different educational goals and not to sacrifice the child’s happiness and mental wellbeing for pure academic success. 

Parents should also avoid seeing their children as an extension of their own ego or as the ultimate luxury accessory. While our children are the biological result of our gene pool, they are individuals in their own right and should be nurtured to develop their personality.  

The ‘concerted cultivation’ of children can lead to a sense of competition that hurts both children and parents. It makes parents feel anxious, inadequate, and critical of their kids. When parents feel anxious about how they or their children will be evaluated, they tend to behave in more controlling ways. Children who perceive higher levels of criticism from parents also report more feelings of depression and anxiety. At its worst, competitive parenting puts tremendous pressure on children, because the underlying message is that the child needs to achieve in order to prove that the parenting is successful.

It takes a conscious effort to resist the pull of competitive parenting. We need to recognise that our children are not lumps of clay to be moulded. They are each unique constellations of strengths and weaknesses, interests and aversions. They are shaped not just by us, their parents, but also by their own choices, experiences, and other relationships.


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