Humbly & Honestly Speaking- Mental Health
Parents often feel alone; I know I have.
When I had my first son, I had so much help and support. But hardships happen and the anxiety I’d felt as a teenager came back. I managed, not the best, but I survived. Regardless, life went on.
Around the time I had my second son, my anxiety become harder to manage. The hardships had not stopped coming and it was not easy to manage them in my life along with a career, a young family, and supporting extended family members. My anxiety reminded me that I had not fully processed and healed some very difficult things in my life.
My support system was as not helpful as it previously was and some people that I had relied on in the past were no longer a support. I was having a hard time and knew some changes were needed. I had to reach out to get support and help for my mental health.
We all struggle with mental health.
Just like physical health, emotional and mental health is part of being human. Life has many beautiful things and many challenges, and we all have times where our mental health is great and we all have times when it’s not so great. Variable mental health is part of our humanity.
Unfortunately, mental health issues get negatively stigmatized but May is Mental Health Month and I’m thankful to be able to talk about it openly here.
I am a huge advocate for mental health care and, because of the work I do in early learning and with parents, I am committed to building an understanding of mental health care and its importance for parents.
Being a mentally healthy parent is important for raising mentally healthy children. As a mom I feel strongly about helping to guide my children to what is best for them and to protect them from unhealthy or harmful situations. I can only do this if I have good mental health care.
Mental health care is important at an individual level, in relationships, and even more important when raising children. I started this blog with my own story, how I first experienced anxiety as a teenager in college and then again, more strongly, as a new mom.
I needed to reach out for the support. Luckily, when I reached out there were people to meet me where I was at and teach me how to have difficult conversations, have boundaries and help me work on a healthy life.
Friends and family are great for support, and having a safe and private place to talk is crucial. I am a huge advocate for mental health specialists, like therapists, counselors, and psychologists. They are trained professionals to help you navigate difficult situations.
Sometimes, sharing these issues with friends or family results in hurtful comments or misguided advice. I have experienced this and was often worse off than before I shared personal information. So, I really believe in working with someone who has professional training. Knowing that person will keep what you tell them confidential is important, and you avoid issues like biases, judgements, or violations of privacy that may come with sharing with friends or family.
I have a lot of respect for parents that reach out for help because it requires setting your pride aside, being humble,
and being honest and real. Right now, honesty and humility are two traits our communities need to raise healthy, grounded children. And what child wouldn’t want a healthy parent? I know I want my children to have a good mom and that is what I strive for and work towards every day.
Honestly, it takes an entire community of individuals that are aware of mental health care to be family-friendly and help create a good and safe environment for children to grow. I know for a fact that there are many wonderful, kind-hearted people and organizations that are working to make our communities healthy and inclusive.
Now, I enjoy being alone for reflection and meditation as part of my daily self-care routine. I know I’m not alone, and you don’t have to feel alone either.
There are many kinds of resources are available, including reaching out to Pollywog for help in finding what will work for you. Our website has lots of resources, click here and if you need to talk to someone, call us at 541-917-4884.
Here are some articles for additional reading around mental health:
6 Tips for Setting Better Boundaries– Boundary setting is hard, but it beats the alternative.
7 Signs of Mental Health– Tolerance, patience, and a few more crucial capacities
Mental health: What’s normal, what’s not What’s considered normal mental health? Patterns in thoughts, feelings and behaviors can suggest when to get help for yourself or someone you care about.
Until next time, stay safe and peace!