Life as a parent is full of joy. There are moments of utter happiness and love. There are tough parts too. Even tougher if you’re a single parent. It can be during these times you realise you need to look after yourself too. Your child, or children, will require a huge amount of your time. Some more so than others. You need to ensure you look after your own mental health. The truth is, you can’t be a brilliant parent if your own health and happiness isn’t being looked after. There is help in a lot of different places, but it has to be you who takes the first step towards that support. Different people require different levels of focus on their own health. Some are more resilient than others. Don’t judge yourself by other people. It’s one of the worst things you can do. You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Focus on yourself. Hopefully these tips can help you to look after your own mental help as a parent. Or at least to start thinking about it in different ways.
You need to start thinking about your own health early on. It can be tough. You’ll be on a high first, with everyone congratulating you and wanting to see you. It’s a nice feeling. But after a while you might start experiencing separate emotions. It’s times like these when you might want to start focusing on yourself, especially before the baby arrives. You might be focusing on announcement ideas, or clothes or how to start decorating the nursery. At this point remember to still think about yourself and do what you enjoy otherwise it might creep up on you.
Set Out Boundaries Early On
This isn’t just with your baby, but with your partner too. They have to help and do their fair share. Even if you’re a single parent, the other parent should be involved with some capacity and help out as best as possible. Make this clear from the outset. It’s just about looking after yourself but also ensuring your baby is exposed to those who are going to be major parts of its life early on.
Focus On Your Hobby
Just because you have a baby it doesn’t mean you have to forget about your hobby. No matter what it is, you can continue. If you like reading, make time for it. Ensure you get to do it. The same with exercise. This can be a little harder as a single parent but certainly doable if you utilise your family. By continuing with your hobbies you can ensure you keep a modicum of normality in your life. Pursuing hobbies is fine and there’s nothing wrong with it. You just might have to shave back the time spent on them or cut back on the amount. Just ensure you don’t cut back on them altogether.
If you’re really struggling you need to get help. Postnatal depression can be awful so ensure you get the right help. You may not even have it that bad. Start by telling the person closest to you. It might be your friend, or a partner. Go from there. Once you’ve told someone it can be a lot easier to move to the next step. A burden shared is halved. You’ll feel much better and hopefully you can start on your road to recovery. There are so many charities out there which can help you and they’re only a phone call away. If you don’t have that family member to talk to, pick up the phone. What’s the worst that can happen, especially if you do it anonymously. You’ll feel far better for sharing your problem. In these cases, you’ll be sharing your problem with people who know what they’re doing and know what routes to go down to get you the additional help you need. Just look at what’s available in your local area on Google to get started.
Use Your Family
If you’re lucky enough to have a good family around you then make sure you use them. Use them to babysit, but also use them for experience. Other women who have had children can be great for advice. Make sure you use it. Don’t withdraw. They can really help ease the burden. Even someone coming around for a couple of hours to hold the baby so you can relax makes a huge difference. You need to ensure you get time for yourself and this is a great way to do that, as long as it’s in moderation.