Stress includes all of our physical, emotional and cognitive reactions to disturbing external or internal events. Those disturbing events are called stressors. Actually, we feel stressed considering some event as a threat which we can not overcome. There are many events which can cause stress, like life changing and other responsibilities and duties. Parenting is one of the most significant changes in the life of a woman and a man that includes many obligations and a big responsibility. Because of that, it’s normal for parents to be under stress. Also, parents should know what is parental stress if want to take control and overcome it for the health of their children and them.
If you already have tested are you a parent under stress and want to overcome stress now, first, you should understand what is parental stress. So, I will explain what usually stresses parents. Also, I will advise you how to overcome parental stress.
What is parental stress for employed parents?
A job can help parents to fill the family budget and redirect their attention to some other tasks from housework and childcare. Also, in the work, they are surrounded by other people which can be very positive. Nevertheless, an additional job often implies additional stress to parents. The situation can be even worse if a job isn’t paid enough or not provides the reimbursement expenses, pension or lunch pause. Besides, if associates or superiors are unpleasant, additional work is a springboard to stress.
A job can worse your parental stress in the next common situations:
- if you aren’t paid enough
- if you have the ambition to make progress but not opportunities for improvement
- when you have a lot of work but insufficient time
- if you have bad cooperation with colleagues or supervisors
- when you have a lot of obligations without control over the situation
- if a job is boring and routine without a challenge
People who have the following characteristics are most often under stress:
- Competitive spirit
- The need for someone else’s approval
- Chronic rage
- Impatience and irritability
It’s really difficult to coordinate work and parenting. Nevertheless, the most employees make the decision to become parents. However, in the modern age, there are many of those who postpone such decision or completely renounce parenting because of their careers.
What is parental stress for parents who stay at home?
Mostly, mothers are parents who stay at home. But, in modern times, families in which mothers work and fathers care about housework are more common. However, a parent who stays at home to care house and children is also at high risk of parental stress. The housework and childcare actually burden unemployed parent equally as job employed parent. The difference is that an employed parent is surrounded by other people, while usually the unemployed isn’t. If his friends work too, he spends most of his days alone or only with his children. Usually, monotony causes stress at a parent who stays at home. This is especially hard if he waits for his partner all day and then partner comes back from work too tired to talk.
Unemployed parents are often stressed out because they can’t provide financial support to their family. This is especially true in families in a difficult financial situation. Also, if one parent has a job and another hasn’t, the helplessness of the unemployed parent can grow into a sense of dependence on his partner.
Promoting the rejection of conventional roles is even more stressed by female housewives. Women don’t need courses, studies, and diplomas to become mothers. That is why many wrongly consider that the mother role isn’t prestigious, which often causes a feeling of less value in a housewife. This is especially evident in mothers who have unrealized career plans in societies that promote a business success as a dream of life.
What is parental stress for a single parent?
Nowadays, there is an increasing number of single-parent families. In such families, stress is much higher because a single parent often doesn’t have anyone to share care about children, money, careers. Also, a single parent has less leisure time for himself and socializing with other people. This is especially expressed in parents who don’t have conventional support, ie kindreds who could help them with the children care.
New support VS conventional support and parental stress
The new family system causes more stress than it was before. Conventional families were included parents and parents of parents. In conventional families, grandparents supported mothers about children care. Nowadays, that conventional support was changing significantly.
Families are getting rougher. The necessity for a person to earn in later years because of the extension of retirement deadline influence that change. This is also affected by the rapid life tempo that overslaugh grandparents to take time with grandchildren. Also, men and women put away parenting increasingly because of studies, careers or the inability to find an adequate partner. That is why many today even don’t experience to become grandparents, so such a conventional support isn’t available to future parents.
Namely, parents now have less physical work because of home appliances. Nevertheless, considering children care, home appliances certainly cannot replace the grandparents. Instead of asking a mother or a father for advice, today’s parents must turn to experts. That’s why there are more and more books, radio and television shows, internet pages and courses about parenting. Simply, nowadays, mass media, schools and kindergartens replace grandparents! The fact is that there is a lot of information about parenting that is often contradictory. This often confuses young parents and even more can cause uncertainty, loss of self-confidence, tension and stress.
The most common complaints of parents under stress
Nowadays, it seems that parents are struggling with stress and if they are employed and if they aren’t. The most common complaints of parents under stress are:
- I feel that I am always on duty.
- It’s hard for me to organize the time for all family members.
- I try to be the perfect parent always.
- It’s hardest to say NO, even in situations when I know that this answer is the right one.
- I am getting tired because I need to know the answers to all the questions that kids are asking.
- The discipline of children is hard for me because I always look like a bad guy.
- I don’t like the question what is my job because I’m just a parent, but I actually do everything.
- My kids are clashing between themselves too much.
- I haven’t a leisure time for myself. I devote all day to work and my children. After that, I am too tired to have some fun.
- I constantly worry about the lives of my children and family. If the children are late for school, I think the worst.
How to overcome parental stress?
The first step to overcoming parental stress is learning what is parental stress. By knowing what is parental stress, you be able to recognize are you a parent under stress. Then, if you need to overcome parental stress, you must be aware that you, as a parent, have the right on that!
Stress management involves increasing the sense of control over it, realistic assessment of stressful situations and improving the problem-solving skills. From that, the following tips to overcome parental stress are:
- Don’t wait to be saved. React on time and help yourself. You can smile by reminding some wonderful memories or some funny event. Don’t expect someone else to fun you. Make fun yourself.
- Learn to read the signals that your body gives you, so recognize the announcement of stress on time. Consider what situations bring you stress. Then start avoiding them. If you can’t avoid them, start considering them differently, positive. Think about the benefits that you have from these situations and use them to motivate you to deal with them. In this way, you even would begin like those situations.
- Evaluate your role as a parent! Identify why parenting is good for you! Maybe because of childcare, enjoying a child’s activities, feeling that someone need you or something else… If you think about parenting positively, not just about the obligations that come out of it, it will bring you a significantly smaller amount of parental stress.
- Consider what you expect from yourself as a parent! Have achievable goals that are in line with your other obligations.
- Accept yourself as you are! Be realistic! Nobody is perfect, so don’t require that for yourself. Try to improve yourself, but accepting your shortcomings. Instead of thinking about what you should be, think about what you are.
- Do things one by one! This will bring you a better organization and less tension.
- Praise yourself! Think about your qualities and don’t be too modest to mention these in front of your children, partner or someone else. That is a more pleasant way to hear someone else’s opinion than to demand it in anger or appeal to your account.
- Care yourself! Walk, eat properly, sleep well. Determine the healthiest diet for yourself. if you provide your body with all the necessary nutrients, you will be less prone to stress.
- Teach your children or other householders to do housework! Learn them to wipe dust, return toys to their places, wash clothes and dishes, etc. Of course, teach them according to their abilities. Teach them to treat you as a parent, not as a cheap worker! On that way, you will care good work habits in your children and that will bring you more free time for sure!
- Have fun! If you are an employee, after business commitments, spend at least half an hour in some activities that you like before you start housework. Go with friends on coffee, enjoy a warm bath or watch some interesting movie. It’s important to find time for yourself! It may be after your children are asleep or before they wake up. Also, you can have fun together with your children. Instead of sending them outside to play, go out with them and enjoy a play. In addition to your children, learn how small things can make pleasure!
- Find a support from experts. I recommend you to join Positive Parenting Solutions where you can find one excellent parenting expert, Amy McCready. She can come into your home by phone or video call to give you an action plan for overcoming stress. No matter how chaotic things you feel, you will see improvement after the very first call.
At the end…
Does this article explain what is parental stress? Do you have some more advice on how to overcome parental stress? What relax you and give you strength to overcome all your parenting duties?
If you have some more question or advice what is parental stress and how to overcome it, put a comment or contact us. Let’s share our experiences, emotions and opinions in order to learn how to deal with the most frequent problem of modern society, known as stress.