Parenthood is not so easy anymore. The evolution of time has come with new challenges and trials. Most of them are unique; hence, if you ask parents from the previous generation, they won’t know how to react to your problems because they never faced them in the first place.
There is always this uncertainty and anxiety revolving around new parents, especially single parents who are under the scrutinizing eyes of the world. The turmoil of being the perfect parent while handling domestic duties takes a mental toll, especially in this economy. Parental anxiety emerges when parents are excessively involved in worrying that things will go wrong. Some of them channel this anxiety to their children through verbalization, while others keep on intoxicating themselves with bizarre thoughts. In both cases, parents suffer beyond measure.
What are the causes of parenthood anxiety?
Parental anxiety is becoming frequent, and it has no one root cause. Some parents with it already have a personal history of mental illness, while some deal with preexisting stress and depression in life. Some young parents already have too much negativity in life, and when they become parents, they cannot cope with the new challenges. Parenthood is a sweet ride, but it comes with its share of problems that can’t be faced quickly by everyone. A lot of new parents, especially mothers, are physically weak. After delivery, the postpartum depression, loneliness, and dealing with parenthood in this economy add more to their anxiety. These thoughts are inevitable. Nobody can shun negative thoughts out of nowhere. Regardless, it’s a battle for your and your child’s sanity.
What are the impacts of Parental Anxiety?
Studies have shown that parental anxiety impacts both children and parents. It has harmed their relationship since the beginning, and both sides are most likely to have communication problems.
There have been cases where parents develop abusive behavior towards the children, and even if that’s not the case, children are most likely to develop anxiety and depression. Parental pressure triggers aggressive or possessive episodes in parents. Single parents tend to bear the bigger burnt because they are completely alone in dealing with this ordeal. Children of parents with anxiety are reported to be less confident and face trouble in school. On an individual level, parents with anxiety cannot cope with the problems at home and work. They don’t seek any help, and this translates into extreme burnout. The consequences are not restricted to mental effects, but parents don’t do well physically in some cases. Their health deteriorates, and they tend to become more vulnerable to heart diseases and chronic illnesses. Some parents indulge in substance abuse which worsens the situation and leads to more anxiety making it difficult for parents to deal with their children.
How to cope with parental anxiety?
What can we do in the first place? It is the real deal. And mind you, everyone has a different journey towards healing. A few things work might for a parent, but others do not. Not every parent can afford therapy or proper medical treatment. Moreover, it is harsh to ask a single parent to go on a holiday for mental peace because most of them might be struggling with money in the first place. Before we advise parents on dealing with parental anxiety, it is our foremost duty to stop burdening them with unnecessary advice or pinpointing the mistakes that would further escalate their stress.
How can parents deal with the anxiety?
If you are a single parent facing divorce or separation, be quick to understand the symptoms. If you are feeling irritable, stressed, anxious, or having low energy levels, don’t ignore these symptoms at any cost. It is not normal, and the sooner you talk about it better it will be.
Parents’ most common mistake, specifically single parents, is that they take the entire burden upon themselves. Please don’t be so harsh on yourself. Take out some time to breathe without worrying about domestic chores. Sit in a park and observe nature, or you can write down your feelings. It would help you to process your trauma.
The next step is to disallow any guilt in ruining your parenthood. Nobody is a perfect parent, and you will make mistakes. Giving your child 6 hours instead of 12 is okay because you are already doing too much to provide them with a secure future. The moment you disallow guilt to take over your emotions, naturally, you will have a positive approach to life. All of this is affordable, and it doesn’t require money but a tremendous amount of willpower.
Single parents lead a very different life. Henceforth, they need to be cautious of two things. Don’t surround yourself with negative people, even if it is your family. Choose your support system wisely because you cannot afford isolation in any case. Isolation and lousy company are a curse. Therefore, please don’t allow it to corrupt your mind and peace. Boundaries are essential, and you have to create them for your greater good.
There are a lot of healthy and affordable strategies to cope with parental anxiety. Start with leading a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating. It’s understandable if you can’t take time for exercise. However, it is much recommended to avoid taking any toxic substances or unhealthy food items if you can’t do so. In case of panic attacks or anxious episodes, learn some breathing exercises. Meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are very effective.
Parenthood is tough, and nobody is taking away your input. We do understand that you have been working extensively to make ends meet. In this chaos, don’t forget to give yourself at least 15 minutes of the day. Being a parent does not mean that you have to neglect yourself, and trust me, nobody would judge you for taking out time for yourself. Even if they, who cares? Your child deserves everything, and most of all, they deserve your love and care. Both of them can’t be given under harsh circumstances. Stress can’t be dealt with without planning and support. You have to manage it, and once you decide to fix it, help will come along and things will get a lot easier.