While parenting can no doubt bring tremendous joy, it is arguably harder than ever before: the pace and demands of today’s world are steadily increasing, workplace pressures are on the rise, and parents are facing a whole new set of challenges, leading to a feeling that no matter how hard you try, there is never enough time to get everything done.
Here are three suggestions to help if you are feeling overwhelmed as parent:
Give yourself a break
No parent is perfect, and every child is different. The myth of the perfect parent, effortlessly raising incredible children while ascending new heights in their careers and still finding time to volunteer in the community and have an active social life, is just that – a myth that is not reasonable or realistic, so don’t succumb to the pressures of living up to some external ideal. Give yourself permission to learn as a parent; you will make mistakes, so learn from them and embrace them.
As well, take time to focus on yourself. Even though finding personal time and taking breaks can be challenging, develop a self-care regime that works for you and allow yourself time to recharge. Some ideas are:
- Take a walk/go for a run
- Disconnect from your devices
- Read a book for entertainment
Let your children learn
There is a difference between learning and failure, though you often do not have one without the other. Allowing your child to learn means you recognize that they will make mistakes and errors in judgement. Try not to bail them out at the first sign of trouble, guide them and support them as they navigate their choices, and allow natural consequences as a result of those choices. At an appropriate time, discuss how things went and what they learned from the experience.
Build your community
It takes a village! While technology provides us with many platforms to connect us, in some ways it has also disconnected us. Extended family and neighbourhood networks are disappearing. Focus on building your physical network and community of support. Some ideas might include:
- Attending local community events/family events.
- Planning a block party and get to know your neighbours.
- Asking for help. Reach out to your existing networks, friends and family. Share with them the struggles you are facing and what you need to feel more supported.
- Getting professional support, if needed. Contact CPA Assist, your EAP Program, or other local support services designed for parents and families.
If you are interested in exploring more about this topic, join CPA Assist for its upcoming event:
Parenting in 2019: Raising children who are independent and well-adjusted
An intimate evening featuring a guest psychologist from the CPA Assist program, who will provide insights and tools to help parents and caregivers navigate the challenges of raising children in the world today. The session will focus on:
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Understanding the impact of brain development
- Handling challenging and high-risk behaviours
- Examining screen time and social media
March 12, Calgary
5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
March 19, Edmonton
5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
If you or someone you know is struggling with family issues, personal or professional, or other mental health issues, please reach out. CPA Assist provides confidential 24-hour support to Alberta CPAs, CPA candidates, and their immediate families. Call toll-free at 1-855-596-4222.