The arrival in the world of a child is a moment full of joy and happiness, of tenderness, of numerous and intense emotions. This comes together with having more responsibilities, as a child comes into the world helplessly and totally dependent twenty-four hours a day.
Being a parent means that life changes completely, and along with the countless joys of the arrival of a child, numerous insecurities appear, such as fears about the ability to be a good caregiver, comparisons with other parents, etc. All of this coupled with stressful situations such as not knowing what is happening to your child (especially in the early stages when they are not yet able to speak), schedule changes, lack of sleep…
These situations, together with the insecurities described, can push parents to the limit and cause the stress they suffer to seriously affect their emotional stability and their performance in any activity.
The importance of stress management in parenting
Although there are many helpful books and tutorials on parenting and how to cope with this time, the reality is that when a parent holds their baby, everything they read can help, but it won’t be an instruction manual with all the answers.
There is constant concern for our child, physical and mental fatigue , lack of time with a partner, decreased leisure time, etc. There are many changes almost immediately which, if we do not learn to face them, can lead to many problems due to stress.
That is why it is important to take into account a series of recommendations, which can help us go through this moment of happiness and uncertainty at the same time.
1. Express the emotions and thoughts that are generating that stress
Being exposed to comparison and social judgment causes a lot of suffering for parents with doubts, with fears, because they do not dare to expose themselves to the world.
Lean on your own, on your partner, on relatives who have children, on friends , on people you trust who are not afraid of this judgment and with whom you can express yourself freely.
2. Try to rest
Especially in the early stage of babies, adult sleep will be disturbed and reduced . This causes irritability, due to tiredness and increased activity. It is important to rest during the hours of sleep , so that sleep is as restful as possible.
3. Take care of your diet
The feeding and safety of the baby are a priority . However, many parents tend to eat anything and usually not in the amounts they need. That is why it is important to pay attention to what you are going to eat; it is not a question of making elaborate recipes, but of eating healthy.
4. Incorporate physical activity that you find enjoyable
The release of dopamine during any sporting activity will help balance stress levels .
Since there is much less time available, you can combine, for example, half an hour of aerobic exercise outside the house with some activity that can be done at home.
5. Time for you
If you feel good, your baby will feel it. Spending time with you will not make you a worse parent, nor will you be selfish .
You need to be well to be able to deal with the frustrations that can arise in this time of constant change. It’s important to find a moment for yourself to do something you love, a reward.
6. Don’t compare yourself
Don’t try to be the best , because we are sorry to tell you that there are no instructions for a better parent. Focus on your child and not on what other parents do.
It’s about being the best you can be for your baby and accepting that that doesn’t mean being perfect, that it’s a learning process that you can also enjoy.
7. Return to a state of calm when you are stressed
The practice of Mindfulness is a great help for “the automatic pilot” and to be more aware of all that parenting generates in us.
With this practice, in addition to improving your well-being, you will be able to be more attentive, better navigate your emotions, avoiding impulsive and uncontrolled reactions, and learn to be flexible and a parent who values compassion and emotional connection.
8. Psychological support
If you have not been to therapy before, the arrival of a child in the world is a good time to be able to meet certain needs.
Going to the psychologist helps us to see what burdens we have that we do not want to pass on to our children, what is in us that we want to remain, what we need to repair and what we want to let go of. The work we do will benefit our child, because we will not be conditioned by our past ; it will be a new experience, a relationship that is built from another base.
Mindfulness workshop for parents at Cepsim Madrid
At the Centro Psicológico Cepsim we offer a training workshop in Mindfulness for parents that will help you in your paternity or maternity. It will be held on March 2.
Since motherhood and fatherhood carry with them countless responsibilities, it is necessary to adapt quickly to everyday life. Moreover, as the baby grows, the needs change; it is an evolutionary process of change that can exhaust us, and through this course you will learn tools to be able to deal with all that anxiety and to enjoy . This course from the Centro Psicológico Cepsim is indicated for people who have recently been parents or who are thinking of becoming parents.
Through the practice of Mindfulness you will learn to educate in a responsible way. As we said before, it is not about being the best, but about being aware of how you educate and where you are doing it from, whether from our experience, from the tiredness of the moment, or from being able to reflect and stop. All this by paying attention to what is happening to our child, why it is happening to him and how we can help him.
You can learn about our Mindfulness workshops on our website www.psicologiamadrid.es.
Psychological support for pregnant women and new parents
In addition, from the Cepsim Psychological Centre we offer psychological support for pregnant women, as well as for new parents, to face the stress and problems that this stage of life can bring.