You have your own life, your own needs, and your own challenges. If parenting is demoralizing you or depleting you, you need your own self-care and support.
You may be caught in a vortex of difficulty, trying to deal not only with one child but with his or her siblings, with your mate, with your parents—and then there are all of your social and existential needs, your need for friends, meaning, and all the rest. Life lived this way is like a hurricane. It is a fair question and not a selfish question to ask, “What do I need?” Unless you ask that question and arrive at some satisfactory answers, you may be jeopardizing your physical health and your emotional wellbeing and coming to the table of life as a weakened version of yourself.
Do you need to ask someone to help for the day? Ask. Do you need to completely rethink how you are holding a career and home life? Do that rethinking. Do you need to institute a healing practice for the mind or for the body? Start that. Do you need to heal from early trauma? Learn how that is possible and try out something you learn. Is your anxiety high? Learn and use some anxiety management strategy, maybe something as simple as a little intentional deep breathing. Are you always hungry, always craving, always rushing? Face your own appetites and your own racing energy. I have been addressing you all month as a parent but you are a person too. What do you need? What must you do? Consider.
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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
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