Mother’s mental health

Motherhood has been always challenged, no matter for new moms or experienced moms. Moms have to take care of their children and their families; meanwhile, they have to be in different roles in life, such as cooks, shoppers, drivers…etc.  Therefore, expectations, thoughts from others, health problems might cause more stress and distress. So for moms, taking care of themselves is really important before they can help for their children and families. In a community resource book “Mother’s Mental Health Toolkit”, various tips and recommendations have been introduced. I would like to share some of them with moms.

  • Make a self-care checklist to recognize your needs of food, sleep, exercise and help.
  • Remember that no mom is perfect. Be relaxed when you hear any thoughts placed on you, which could be right or wrong.
  • Having positive feeling about yourself can prepare a woman for mothering. Also be more aware your positive qualities will improve your self-esteem as a woman and a mother.
  • The emotional connection called Attachment is developed between children and their caregivers. It will be in varying levels with lifelong consequences when children are in different ages.
  • To manage their emotions, meet the demands of caring for their children and deal with distress from life, moms can try to accept, tolerate and look for the meaning of distress. The coping strategies are Self-Soothing, such as listening to music and having bath, as well as Improving the Moment, which is Imagery, Meanings, Prayer/Meditation/Reflection, Relaxation, One thing in the moment, Vacation and Encouragement.
  • Learn how to communicate with others to adjust to motherhood; a mom needs supports from her partner, family and friends, knowing positive communication and conflict resolution are important to build healthy relationship with her partner, family and friends.
  • Parenting is about understanding your goals as a parent. So, try to figure out what your child needs, know what you could try, stay open and attentive to your children, as well as attempt to understand what they are communicating to you and respond.
  • Attend a parenting support program or a parenting program to develop strong supportive relationships with other families and friends; find valuable information on the Internet or from reliable resources.
  • Use open, honest and age-appropriate communication with your child. Do not force your child to take on a caregiving role for which he or she is not prepared.
  • You need a safety plan to help you leave away an abusive relationship.
  • Many roles for mother to be on will cause depression. The symptoms of depression may affect a mother’s ability to parent well.
  • Body, thinking and feelings are three core dimensions to be considered with a mother’s mental wellness. Know about some of the mental health issues will help to assess her health concern.
  • If you have any mental health concern, you may allow friends and family to help, talk to your children about your problem, or seek a treatment.
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