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  • Writer's pictureInterval Health

5 Ways to Cope with Parenting Stress

Updated: Apr 4



Parenting is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. But there’s no denying it’s also one of the most stressful. Every day, it can seem like there are new challenges to tackle, new schedules to learn, and countless things to check off your to-do list with kids.

Sound familiar? Take a breath. 


Parents often accept stress as the "new status quo". But that mindset is a slippery slope. Parenting stress is very real. And it also has potential consequences. Not only can it impact how you parent your kids, but that kind of stress can also impact your personal relationships, career, and even your well-being.


Knowing how to cope with parenting stress will make life easier. You’ll be able to appreciate and enjoy more moments with your family without feeling totally overwhelmed. 

With that in mind, let’s cover a few of the best coping methods. 


1. Don’t Ignore Your Stress

As a parent, you’re probably used to prioritizing your family’s needs above your own. Sometimes, that can mean ignoring how you feel and pushing your stress aside.


The problem? Emotions demand to be felt. Eventually, that stress will come to the surface stronger than before. That can wreak havoc on your mental health and cause even more stress.


Don’t ignore the way you’re feeling. Acknowledge and address it as quickly as possible so it doesn’t build up inside you and worsen.


2. Prioritize Self-Care

Again, caring for yourself before others might seem counterintuitive as a parent. But you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you aren’t practicing self-care every day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by stress.


Self-care can be simple. Prioritize sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and stay physically active. If you can’t fit anything else into your schedule, focus on those three things. 


Other practices, like journaling, mindfulness, and meditation, can also help reduce stress and help you feel more grounded in the present.


Remember that even though you’re a parent, you still have your own identity. Find time for yourself to explore your interests and hobbies. Take a class, spend time with friends, and dig deeper into what you’re passionate about at home.


Rediscovering yourself and your interests can help with stress while helping you focus on who you are and who you want to be.


3. Lean On Your Support System

Remember that you’re not alone. It takes a village to raise a child, but you often have to ask for help from that village. 


Ask your spouse or partner what they can do to take some of the stress away from you. Ask family members or friends for help if you’re not with anyone. Everyone needs assistance sometimes, and it’s not ever something you should be ashamed of asking for. More often than not, the people in your life who love you will be more than happy to help.


4. Simplify Your Life

Do you ever feel like you have to be in two places at once, juggling a dozen things with your kids? While some activities and events are unavoidable, there’s no reason why you can’t simplify your schedule. 


Create a routine for everyone to follow each day. It will give you and your kids something to look forward to, and everyone will understand what’s expected of them. 


Eliminate things from your life that aren’t adding value. Does your child need to play another sport? What’s their real passion? As a family, discuss things you can do to cut back.


5. Talk to a Professional

If you’re still struggling with parenting stress, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. Therapy is a great way to better understand the source of your stress. A therapist will also help you implement effective stress management techniques. So, no matter how overwhelmed you feel at any moment, you can take control and prevent stress from taking over.


You might not be able to completely eliminate the stress that comes with parenting. But by knowing how to cope, you can enjoy more of the moments rather than letting stress control your family.




 

Jennifer Perera is a mom of two boys, a spouse and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is also Certified as a Perinatal Mental Health Professional by Postpartum Support International. She has a private practice in Springfield, New Jersey and also sees clients throughout New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Illinois via telehealth. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual and couples counseling. She also runs workshops for new parents, teaching them techniques and strategies to help them have a stronger relationship - built to thrive during the parenthood years. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with grief or loss issues surrounding pregnancy.

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