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Parenting and Mental Health

Parenthood is a journey filled with love, joy, and fulfillment. Parenthood is also a journey filled with change, mental health challenges, difficulty finding balance, and very little sleep.


Mental health challenges in parenting can include:

  • Sleep Deprivation: Adjusting to a newborn's sleep schedule can lead to exhaustion and disrupted sleep patterns, impacting mood and cognitive functioning.

  • Isolation and Loneliness: Parenting can be isolating, particularly for stay-at-home parents or those without a strong support network, leading to feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

  • Pressure to Be Perfect: Societal pressure and unrealistic expectations of parenthood can contribute to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and anxiety.

  • Financial Stress: Providing for a family financially can be stressful, especially in uncertain economic times or for single parents.

  • Changes in Relationship Dynamics: Balancing the needs of children with those of a partner can strain relationships and lead to conflict and tension.


Prioritizing self-care is essential for maintaining mental health and well-being as a parent. However, it is often easier said than done. Here are some self-care strategies to consider:

  • Prioritize Sleep: “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is a joke. We laugh and then we try to establish a consistent care routine (enlist support from partners, family members, or friends to share caregiving responsibilities when possible) that provides real opportunities for rest. 

  • Set Boundaries: Learn to say no to additional commitments or responsibilities that may overwhelm you and prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

  • Practice Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine to reduce stress and promote emotional well-being.

  • Stay Connected: Maintain social connections with friends and family members who provide support, empathy, and understanding.

  • Seek Professional Help: Don't hesitate to seek support from a therapist or mental health professional if you're struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.

Diffuse photo of a mother feeding a toddler with a spoonful of food in one hand and a small rubber ducky in the other. You cannot see either mother's or baby's face... just hands and diffuse outlines of their bodies and heads.

Creating a strong support network is crucial for navigating the challenges of parenthood. We all hear “it takes a village” but where is that village? Here are some ideas for building a support network:

  • Connect with Other Parents: Join parenting groups, attend playdates, or participate in online forums to connect with other parents who can relate to your experiences.

  • Lean on Loved Ones: Don't hesitate to ask for help from family members or friends when you need it, whether it's for childcare, household chores (yes, you CAN ask them to mop or do the dishes), or emotional support.

  • Join a Support Group: Consider joining a parenting support group or seeking out specialized groups for parents facing specific challenges, such as postpartum depression or single parenting.

  • Utilize Community Resources: Take advantage of community resources such as parenting classes, childcare services, and mental health hotlines for additional support and assistance.


It's important to recognize that struggling with mental health as a parent is common and does not reflect inadequacy or failure. By openly discussing and addressing mental health concerns, we can break down stigma, increase awareness, and ensure that parents receive the support and resources they need to thrive.

Parenting and mental health are closely intertwined, and prioritizing self-care and seeking support are essential for maintaining well-being. By recognizing the challenges, practicing self-compassion, and building a strong support network, parents can navigate the ups and downs of parenthood with resilience and strength.

If you feel like you could use some parenting support, or support around navigating this season of life, we'd be happy to help!

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