Parenthood can be one of the most rewarding stages in lif, nurturing your child and watching them grow. In 2021, there were 19.3 million families in the UK, which represents a 6.5% increase compared to previous years and 3.0 million lone parent families, which accounts for 15.4% of families in the UK. (Families and households in the UK - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
For the most part whether you are a parent, single-parent or carer, trying to prioritise your mental wellbeing with the needs of your children can be challenging especially when trying to balance this with other factors such as everyday parenting stress and additional challenges like work, financial worries, relationship issues, schooling / education concerns, dealing with children with SEN or special needs, behavioural/health issues etc. It is quite understandable that that at times some parentis can feel overwhelmed, highly stressed and unable to cope.
The Mental Health Foundation report that approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents. (Family and parenting: statistics | Mental Health Foundation)
The research shows that for parents social isolation and loneliness is especially a higher risk factor for young parents and single parents/carers. ‘The Campaign to End Loneliness’ reported that more than half of single parents are found to be intensely socially lonely. (campaigntoendloneliness.org)
This can also be fuelled by additional challenges such as parents or children suffering with mental/health issues or having/complex needs, and added discrimination for parents who belong to disadvantaged or stigmatised groups.
These additional challenges to parenting can impact parents wellbeing, and attempts to positively parent yourself and your child(ren).
Below are some tips to help boost parent wellbeing
3 Tips to Support Parent's Wellbeing
1. Make time for yourself/partner – although finding time outside of parenting and work can be challenging, it is important to find personal time for yourself and/ (with partner/friends) as it will not only help you maintain a sense of self but more importantly its for your sanity! You can also combine healthy leisure choices with socialising if you feel your short of time eg. going to a fitness/activity with a friend.
2. Lower your expectation of yourself – to be able to do so much, to be so serious, to be a ‘perfect parent’, reduce your ‘blame’ or pressure to adopt ‘helicopter parenting’. Remember you can only do so much, and all trying to live up to unrealistic ideals & unnecessary pressure. Remember social media will only highlight the ‘best bits’ and not the ‘worst parts’ are hidden!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, our slogan is ‘it takes a village’ and it really does! Many parents struggle with issues such as parenting, finances, children or mental health. Social connectivity and support is vital not only for parent wellbeing but also that of your children.
If you need support with specific area, or you feel you are struggling we have our non-judgmental 1-2-1 mentoring, parent groups and workshops, as well as information and signposting support available.
Resources & Links
Gingerbread Charity – Support for Lone Parents
Support for Parent with Children Special Education Needs (SEN)
MIND - Parenting with Mental Health
For More Links Visit DIRECTORY
If you would like 1-2--1 support or free online community sessions, access to our discounted wellbeing services or information and support Contact Us .
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