Whilst part of this blog is meant to celebrate all the fun and exciting parts of being a parent, it is also important that it is a difficult job, and it does have its effect on us. Being a parent is hard work. Being a parent does have an effect on us both physically and mentally. As a result, it is ok to ask for help. You can’t do “parenting” on your own.
Effect of having children
Remember when life was simple? Remember when you could go out without a care in the world? The effect on having children on parents’ mental health is massive. The stresses of having to look after a new person is huge. The stress that coping with bills, childcare arrangements and practicalities can be tough. All this is forgetting the part where you’re absolutely shattered because your child doesn’t sleep.
The vast majority of parents love their children to the moon and back and there is nothing denying that. However, it is ok to ask for help to give yourself a break. It is ok to ask for help to talk to someone. We can’t be parents in isolation; we need our support network in place.
How I have kept going
For me, the world of blogging has really helped me through some difficult times. Seeing the pictures of others, reading how parents were going out and about really helped me. It gave me a challenge. It gave me some hope that things were going to get better.
And they did get better. I would never say that I was near to having a breakdown. However, I was a new father going through a separation. Life was tough. Life still is tough. At times, I was close to giving up hope. But I didn’t, mainly due my support network as well as the fact that I saw other parents having a great time, and that gave me the strength to carry on.
Blogging is my release. Blogging is helping me get through the tough times.
Without going into specifics, I have seen the effects of someone who couldn’t ask for help. It is horrible. Even years and years later, the scars are still there. Yes, they have faded, but they are there. Even if you are the loneliest person in the world, there are still people who love you, who care for you. It is ok to ask for help, either from them, or for them.
These people would be devastated if you left them. Even more, there will be people who are too young or who haven’t even been born, who will love you when they’re older.
Children provide so much hope in life. They need support and guidance. They need us.
Doing research for this article, I found a couple of really telling charts. The first one shows that men are about 3 times more likely to commit suicide than women.
It is said that this greater risk is due to
- increased family breakdown leaving more men living alone;
- the decline of many traditionally male-dominated industries;
- social expectations about masculinity
The second one is that divorced men are over twice as likely to commit suicide than married men.
Divorce increases the risk of suicide because the individual becomes disconnected from their domestic relationship and social norms. Also, there is a strong cultural emphasis on achieving a strong and happy marriage. Those who divorce may experience a deep sense of disorientation, guilt and emotional hurt.
Ways to Ask for Help
There are many, many avenues for support out there. For some, local parents/child groups are ideal, however, they tend not to work well if your child is school aged, or you work. For others, NCT work well. If your child is school aged, then your child’s school will be able to provide support and advice.
However, if things are much more pressing, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 (UK and Republic of Ireland; this number will not appear on your phone bill), email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch.
My virtual door is always open if you need support. If you’re a mum, dad, or just someone who cares about another human being, it’s ok to ask for help, from myself or anyone else. Just make sure you ask for help before it’s too late.
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