Prioritise Your Own Welfare
By sacrificing and not attending to your own needs and mental health for the sake of your children, ironically in the long term this does not serve your children’s needs. If you become stressed, burnt out, or depressed as a parent then you can no longer be there for your children.
When your mental health suffers you can become negative,inconsistent and resentful or neglectful in your parenting.
As a result, it is important for parents to prioritise their own welfare and mental health, as well as caring for their children. This is a crucial balance to achieve as much for your children’s sake as your own.
Children need cared-for parents as much as they need parents to care for them.
Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On
It is a bit like the safety notice on planes which says that though your inclination is the reverse, you should first put your own oxygen mask on before helping your child with his. This is why when making crucial parenting decisions you should take into account your own mental health needs as a parent as well as those of your children.
For example, when deciding how to approach a baby not sleeping through the night, some parents opt for letting the child co-sleep with them in their bed for a period and others work hard at getting the child to settle in his room. The decision should be as much about what is least disruptive and most restful for the parent as what works for the child.
Or with a toddler you might feel under pressure to start toilet training with your child, but because you are going through a difficult period in work, it might be a better idea to defer the training until you have more time.
Or with older children, you might become stressed, ferrying them to all their extra-curricular activities when you it would be better for your own mental health to reduce these activities drastically or make other arrangements for your children travelling there.