Being a parent is challenging, being a parent with a mental illness is even more challenging. When you are juggling parenting with mental illness it can become overwhelming. Trying to meet the needs of a demanding child while ensuring your taking care of your own health is difficult.
It is essential that you learn to manage your time effectively, while you need to support and provide time for your child, you also need time for yourself. The symptoms of your mental illness can make everyday tasks a battle.
If you’re suffering from lack of sleep, motivation, and energy then you may be feeling guilty that you can not take your child to the park or join in with outdoor activities. That does not mean your child has to suffer or miss out on things there friends are doing.
Ask for help at these times.
Have you a family member or friend who would take your child out for an hour?
Having a parent with a mental illness can be hard for a child, if you feel your child would benefit from extra support, then demand it.
Have you enquired about support organizations who can support your child? They can also take them out on day trips where they will meet other children who are in the same situation as them.
If they are invited to a birthday party at school, ask another child s parent if they would be able to take your child for you.
If there is housework to be done, either invite a friend around and in exchange for a cup of coffee, they can do the washing up for you.
Not at all, your friends would rather be given the chance to help you, then watch you suffer.
You really do need to learn how to delegate tasks when you’re mentally ill.
Being a parent with a mental illness can be tough
And remember that reading a book together, watching a family film or providing activities they can do at home alone, are just as welcoming to your child.
You will find younger children will often misbehave and crave attention when bored, plan activities at the start of the week and be prepared for those bad days.
Make use of the good days too.
You are not a lame parent, you are doing your best and that’s all you can do.
Stop looking at other parents and feeling inadequate, they are not you, comparing yourself to others is damaging your own confidence and self-worth.
Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.
Don’t allow the stigma of mental illness to prevent you from doing anything.
While there may be some who appear to judge you, watch you closely or make you feel an imperfect parent, remind yourself that you just have a mental illness and instead feel sorry for them who have ignorance.
Being a parent with a mental illness does not mean you are not and can not, be a great parent.
You are not failing your child.
You are not incompetent in meeting your child’s needs, you may just need a helping hand to support you in doing this.
You are not faulty, you are not broken, you have an illness.
You are not unequal to other parents, in fact, you are probably stronger because of all you have been through.
Being a parent with a mental illness can be problematic but it’s also the most rewarding job you will do.
“Kids can be a pain in the neck when they’re not a lump in your throat.” ~ Barbara Johnson