Baby's First Year · Parenting

Parenting can be stressful: 4 tips to cope with stress

Dad holding crying baby

A common theme or topic that parents in my parenting groups talk about is how life as they know it has changed.  I spent a good amount of my career providing health teaching, guidance and support to parents with newborns up to early school aged children.  Parents would share their joys but also their “difficulties” and many times their tears.

Parenting can be a rewarding experience but at the same time a stressful one. Guiding and nurturing your child from infancy, to toddler and to school age can be some of the most rewarding times of your life.   These moments can bring so much joy as you witness your child’s milestones at each stage.

But really, parenting can also be hard as you balance other family responsibilities.  This may cause you to have different feelings like anxiety, anger, sadness or guilt.  This can result in parenting stress.

What’s stress?

Stress is your body’s reaction to your changing environment.  Changes in your environment could include:

  • having a baby
  • having a second child
  • starting a new job or returning to work/school
  • your child starting a new year at school
  • managing seasonal illnesses
  • changes in household routines

There are good and bad types of stress. The good types are the ones you can manage and balance in your life.  “Bad” stress is what makes you feel out of control and causes your body to feel sick.

Tips to cope with stress:

Every parent will respond differently to stress.  It’s important to understand and know if you’re feeling stress.  It can’t be avoided but here are a few tips to help you handle it better:

  1. Make time for yourself
  2. Make time for other people in your life
  3. Manage your anger
  4. Look for support

Finding a way to balance your stress can help you continue to enjoy being a parent and lead a healthier life!

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