Coping with Parental Anxiety: A Brief Guide

Regardless of whether you are a first-time parent or having your fifth baby, introducing a new life to the world is incredibly exciting and incredibly stressful. Some people do indeed take to parenting like a duck to water, but a lot of people experience difficulties. Parental stress and anxiety are rife thanks to hormone changes in the body and sleep deprivation. You are not alone. Luckily, you don’t have to feel like that, there are some coping strategies you can try to alleviate those anxious feelings. take a look. 

Where Does Parental Anxiety Come From?

What does the old adage say? Something about it taking a village? What it neglects to take into account is the amount of unsolicited advice you are suddenly on the receiving end of. Suddenly everyone is an expert, and you’re doing everything wrong. The barrage of questions would be enough to drive anyone up the wall – but new parents are often sleep deprived and more vulnerable to these questions, comments, and concerns that can weigh heavily. There is also obviously the added stress of being responsible for the new, fragile little life that you have created. Seriously, can you believe they just let you leave the hospital with a baby?

What Does Parental Anxiety Look Like?

Parental anxiety can manifest in a few ways. It could be excessive worrying, catastrophising or separation anxiety. Excessive worrying tends to stem from past trauma, which then finds a focus in your child. Maybe you are worried that they aren’t meeting developmental milestones, or that they don’t have enough friends, that you haven’t bonded with them as well as you could, or that they aren’t healthy or safe. If you catastrophise it is like being pessimistically fatalistic. You constantly believe that the worst is going to happen. Everything is always worse than it actually is. Finally, separation anxiety is more common in children, but some parents do experience it too. They simply cannot leave their child for whatever reason; they cannot say goodbye or be apart from them. 


Coping Mechanisms

If you are experiencing parental anxiety, then you need to come up with coping mechanisms to help you. Firstly, having a support system is important; you need to feel comfortable opening up about your fears and feelings with other people, including your co-parent, friends and other parents you know. In doing so, your anxieties tend to lessen their grip and lose some of their power. It is also worth having some good tools in your parenting kit, like Childhealthy – a private paediatrician – offering remote and in-person appointments, which can be invaluable if a lot of your anxieties surround the health of your child. 

Other resources can also help you to learn a lot about parenting and what you can expect at each age of development. It is also important that you accept your anxieties and that you are aware of them; knowing the signs can help you to keep from spiralling. You will also need to look for ways to relax and find a form of self-care that works for you. Ultimately, you will not be in any position to look after anyone else if you do not look after yourself.

In The End

Experiencing stress as a parent is common, but parental anxiety can be a lot more debilitating. Children pick up on atmospheres and emotions, and if you are anxious all the time, then they will feel it. Doing your best to dispel these anxieties is important, and the above coping mechanisms can help. 

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