12-09-2022 04:57 PM - edited 12-09-2022 05:02 PM
We’re getting closer to the end of the year, and what a year it has been!
As school holidays have begun or are beginning, we know that this time of year can be a very busy and difficult time for parents are carers.
Over the next few months, many important celebrations will take place: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Chinese New Year. Even for those of us who don't celebrate holidays at this time, the end of a year can bring up complex emotions and struggles for many.
- Grieving loved ones who are no longer with us
- Spending time with family
- Increased triggers for drinking alcohol, taking drugs and gambling
- Struggling with money, financial stress and gift giving
- Support services are shutting down, and mental health professionals are taking leave
- School holiday stress and pressure
- Increased carer or family responsibilities
If you’re feeling nervous or worried about the next couple of months and wondering how you will get through it and support your family, remember that you aren’t alone, and help is available.
We understand that this can be a difficult time for parents and carers and have put together a list of resources to make getting the support you need easier.
Parenting and carer support
ReachOut coaching service provides access to free and confidential one-on-one support with a professional family and parenting coach.
Raising Children provides information and resources on nutrition, development, behaviour and parenting children of all ages. Raising children also has information, tips and resources for single parents
Deadly Tots provides information, resources, parenting courses and community events for Aboriginal families.
Relationships Australia NSW offers a range of support services, courses and programs to help single parents and their children cope with change after a family separation
Parentline offers free telephone counselling services to parents and carers all around Australia. In some states, Parentline may also offer face-to-face counselling, webchat, parenting courses, and provide resources for positive wellbeing for families.
Parentline ACT: 02 6287 3833
9 am-5 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
Parent Line NSW: 1300 1300 52
9 am-9 pm, Monday to Friday; 4 pm-9 pm, weekends
Parentline Queensland and Northern Territory: 1300 30 1300
8 am-10 pm, 7 days
Parent Helpline South Australia: 1300 364 100
24 hours, 7 days
Parentline Tasmania: 1300 808 178
24 hours, 7 days
Parentline Victoria: 13 22 89
8 am-12 am, 7 days (including public holidays)
Ngala Parenting Line (WA): 08 9368 9368 (metro) / 1800 111 546 (regional)
8am-8pm, 7 days
Financial aid and Christmas hampers
The gifts, food, parties and expectations can all start to add up. If you’re not able to spend money comfortably, go easy on yourself – the expectations can add to and even prolong the stress. Instead, do something meaningful for others and give gifts such as a handpicked care package, a babysitting voucher or an offer to help with the huge pile of dishes after Christmas lunch.
If you’re struggling to afford essential items like food, medication and transport costs, here are some services that might be worth contacting.
Family and relationship struggles
The end of the year and new year can bring stressful relationship challenges – dealing with grief and loss, coping with complicated family dynamics or spending time away from loved ones.
Sadly, it can also be a time when domestic and family violence surfaces. No matter what it is you’re going through, know that we’re here to listen and point you in the right direction if you need emergency help.
If you find yourself without a safe place to sleep, there’s a good chance you’ve got a lot on your plate. It’s overwhelming to figure out your next steps, so consider contacting one of these state-based homelessness services.
Drug and alcohol support
Celebrating with friends and family might mean exposure to drugs and alcohol will increase, which can be challenging if you’re limiting your consumption or recovery from addiction.
If you need support, information or a referral, it might be helpful to get in touch with your local alcohol and drug service.
Christmas can be a really challenging time for many, and supporting those who may be going through a difficult time can be especially rewarding. For example, you could serve a meal at a community centre, take gifts to an approved charity accepting Christmas gifts, or visit people at your nursing home. Some councils can also offer a community Christmas party you can join.
Here are some volunteering opportunities if you’re interested in giving back to your community.
13 11 14
1300 659 467
1300 78 99 78
13 96 76