Not many people will deny that the job of a parent is hard, but this job gets harder if you are dealing with depression. This particular ailment could affect you in all sorts of ways that could get in the way of parenting or even hurt your children. The following guide will help you navigate parenting as you deal with depression.
It is clear that depression can affect you in ways parents simply cannot allow. Sometimes, your depression could make it hard for you to enjoy your child’s play at school, or it can stop you from playing with them.
This is the reason many parents sometimes end up abusing antidepressants since it gives you relief from your symptoms and allows you to parent again. You do not want to do this because medications can be addictive, and that is a whole other issue you do not want to burden your family with.
Handling Your Mood
As a parent, you probably want to do your best to shield your kids from bad things, including your depression, but that may not always be a good thing. Your children are not going to be blind to some of the symptoms you are experiencing.
You are going to experience things like mood swings around small children, and they deserve an explanation. Try to express that these symptoms might make you experience unexplainable feelings at times and that it is not their fault. Do your best to be aware of your feelings, and step away when necessary.
Rethink Your Lifestyle
The depression you are dealing with has to be addressed in a number of ways. You are probably already talking to a professional, but you should also consider changing your lifestyle to be the best parent you can be right now.
For example, it might be a good idea to stay away from coffee and energy drinks. Some parents live on these because life can get hectic, but these are stimulants that could agitate your symptoms. You might also want to ask your partner to take up more parenting duties to give you time to work through your ailment.
Support is Vital
Your partner and doctor are probably already supporting you, but that does not mean you cannot use more support. You are not the only parent going through this, so why not reach out to friends or even support groups that you may find online.
These extended support groups help because they not only show you that you are not alone; they also offer tips. You’d be surprised how powerful understanding can be right now, especially if you feel alone.
You probably want to give 100 percent to your children all the time, but your depression is not going to let you do that all the time. There is no need to feel sorry or guilty about failing to give your children everything you want because this is not entirely up to you right now.
Right now, you want to give yourself some grace and understanding. Forgive yourself when you aren’t able to give too much of yourself or when you do something you don’t love. Learning to forgive yourself is important because failing to do so could plunge you into a deeper depression, and you do not want that.
Talk to your doctor to try to learn what other steps you can take to protect your family as you struggle with depression. He or she will have additional suggestions to help keep you afloat.