02-27-2020 10:19 AM
Ask a Child and Family Professional
Question: "I struggle to balance myself with parenting, working and wife responsibilities. Sometimes I think I can't. Sometimes I think I don't want to. Every other time I do my absolute best. I feel like I am going to have a heart attack most of the time. What should I be doing to gain that emotional balance and control?"
Whenever I see a question about balancing commitments when it comes to parenting I remember a quote that I heard once... “If you are being a good parent 51% of the time, then you are being a good parent most of the time”. When you find the perfect balance between home/children/personal/work/everything else tell us all so that we can benefit as well.
In answer to your question, I wonder if it’s about working out the need versus the want, and then balancing the personal in with that as well. The hardest part of being an parent is the commitments that we need to prioritise. What we do know is that our teens need us. They need us to be present, to keep them safe and secure and to be as emotionally available as we can for them. The caveat is that when we don’t feel safe and emotionally secure we can’t provide the best part of ourselves for them.
Making time for oneself is crucial for our own wellbeing. Make time for yourself and let those around you know what you are doing is really important. Sometimes we can be scolded for taking time out as others see it as being lazy or being unproductive but this time is actually really important for good mental health. If you just need to go and spend some time gardening, watching a TV show, having a bath or going to spend time with friends, let those around you know that you need this time and do the best that you can to plan this with your family. Modelling this behaviour to our teens reinforces the importance of self-care as well as teaching essential life skills.
Discussing how you’re going to balance your responsibilities and self-care with your family is really important as it shows that you have considered their activities and what is important to them. Otherwise known as negotiation and compromise, if you can master these with a little bit of empathy you are on the right path to gaining emotional balance and control.
That being said, if you really feel like you are going to have a heart attack, please seek medical attention. It’s so important to have a good relationship with a trusted GP where you can seek advice for your physical, mental and emotional health.
If you feel like you need some support with your parenting while staying connected to your teen, you may benefit from ReachOut Parents One-on-one Support.
James, Child and Family Professional at The Benevolent Society
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