Don’t you just wish you can clone yourself to help you with parenting duties? Of course, you can always ask for help with your partner, friends, and family. You can also get a 2-camera baby monitor like this for a literal extra “eye” on your kiddos. However, what I realize is that it’s not just the duties that overwhelm parents. If only we can also share our worries and anxieties with other people, parenthood wouldn’t feel like an overloaded backpack on our shoulders, right?
Things That Cause Parenting Worries
It is normal that you feel stressed about the things that are happening. And perhaps, you’re also worried about those that haven’t even happened yet. It is a huge responsibility to take care of another human who would be thoroughly dependent on you for a long time. Not to mention, you might not even be just raising one child.
Comparison with Other Parents
One of the things that cause parents anxiety and worries is comparison. Nowadays, it is so easy to communicate with other parents or even see what their families are doing. You start to have this idea on what a perfect parent should be because of the comparison. And more often, it can affect you negatively because it feels like you are not as great as other parents.
However, let me tell you that not everything you see on the internet is as perfect as they seemed. It’s so easy to curate a selfie of a mom with bomb make-up holding her perfectly behaved and sleeping baby. You can’t help but think why you’re so stressed and why you look this way when other parents seem to have it all together. Why do their children are so well-behaved? It feels like you lack something.
But let me tell you this, parenthood is not a competition. And if other parents seem like they have it together, trust me, they have days where they don’t. Just like you, they also experienced anxiety when their baby won’t stop crying. And just like you, they also feel overwhelmed. Work on yourself and practice the habit of not being affected by other people’s comments and lives.
Timelines Not Being Meet
When you are just preparing for the arrival of your little one, you have probably read a lot of articles and books about the timelines of your child’s development. Of course, you have to keep track of his/her milestones so that you can consult his/her doctor if you have concerns. It’s natural to feel worried if your child is not meeting a milestone. However, every child differs, and your kiddo might just be a late bloomer. But to put you at ease, it’s still best to talk to your pediatrician.
The Feeling of Inadequacy
Just like the first reason, it’s usual for you to feel anxious if you are providing and taking care of your child correctly. Do you have enough finances to support all his/her needs? What about the things he/she is exposed to? Are they free of dangerous chemicals? What about his/her health? Is my child looking sluggish lately? What if he gets bullied at school? Why is my child doing tantrums more often than usual? I am failing as a parent!
I’m sure that these voices are familiar, but they can be debilitating if they are your constant thoughts. Worries progress into anxiety, and you’ll feel like the issues are impossible to overcome. At the same time, the problems are probably non-existent yet, but at the moment, it feels like they will happen no matter what.
How Can You Overcome Parenting Worries
In times like this, your worries could progress into anxiety. We want to make sure that everyone in the family is safe from covid-19, but we’re also worried if we are doing enough for our kids. I am not a mental health expert to diagnose you with anxiety but if you’re experiencing symptoms such as restlessness or having trouble concentrating, it can affect your life negatively. So what can you do to conquer the worries and nagging thoughts?
Before you react to a thought or situation, give yourself some time to calm down. I know it’s easy and probably more familiar for you to immediately respond, but having some time to think first leads to better outcomes. For example, you might notice that your child is having trouble concentrating on his/her homework. Before you jump into negative conclusions, talk to him/her first about what’s distracting him/her.
The problem with our worries is that we think too far ahead instead of addressing the only situation at hand. And most of the time, the things you’re scared about are far likely to happen anyway. You feel like you must act now to prevent or avoid the problems, but trust me, you can deal with other things later. The pandemic is probably one of the things that’s on your mind right now. So if your child develops a fever, you will understandably feel anxious.
Breathe and focus on the situation. Your child is always at home, and no one in the family comes in contact with other people as well. Just concentrate on helping your little one feel better and educate yourself with the other potential causes of the fever. You can also work on a reasonable response to a situation. In this case, since we’re avoiding getting sick, you want to educate your child about hygienic practices and don’ts.
Lastly, be open to the idea that it’s okay to ask for help. We sometimes forget that us parents are humans too and not superheroes. If family and friends are suggesting to help you with the chores, don’t feel bad in saying yes.
It’s perfectly okay for you to ask for someone to babysit your twins to have a Saturday to relax and treat yourself. You are not being selfish. You need to take care of your physical and mental health too, in order to be the best parent for your kids.
Keep an open mind and communicate with your partner or co-parent. The best way to overcome worries is to voice them out. This way, you can talk to a reasonable and realistic voice. They are not as overwhelmed as you, so chances are they’ll have a more suitable response.