Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Self Care for Crabby Parents

The parent educator for Asher's class did a "filling up the well class." She urged us to realize that self care is for our relationship and our children's emotional health as well as for our own sanity. She recommended "Parenting From the Inside Out" by Dan Siegal.

Stresses of parenthood:
unpredictable job
dealing with an unreasonable boss
poverty (relative - to pre-kids)
little positive reinforcement
dull, repetitive tasks
sometimes isolating no other adults to talk to
physically draining
clouds thinking
quality of work judged by outsiders
interferes with social relationships
interferes with sexual relationships
lack of sleep makes you cranky
not a lot to give at the end of the day
division of labor tends to be unequal
our own parents judge our parenting
more stress on the breadwinner, higher level of anxiety

In order to cope with the stresses of being a parent of young children we need to ensure we're paying attention to the following dimensions of our identity:

  • Physical
  • intellectural
  • emotional
  • spriritual
  • psychological
Some of the best advice:
  • Give up little pieces of control
  • Practice releasing control
  • Strengthen bond between couple with friendship and shared interest
  • Learn communication and problem solving skills
  • Make sure you time alone
  • Make sure you devote time to activities that nurture your indentity (intellectual and creative)

3 comments:

Zataod said...

I can relate. Our son is 21 months, and parenthood is definitely full of challenges. The reduction in sleep only makes things even tougher.

Bessie said...

Thanks for the warning, Marika. I love the title... we'll have to keep abreast of your learnings on the subject!

Carrie said...

Yes, that's true. Being a parent is a stressful work. You just need to have some break or some time for yourself. Reassessing things to be done and discovering your true self to avoid further serious work.