Now I am in no way saying that any parent that struggles with depression is a terrible parent. I am just offering my opinion on helpful tips that have worked for me. You can be an amazing parent with depression and always have your child understand you in a different light.
I am not claiming to be a certified professional who specializes in psychiatry or psychology. I am just a stay at home mom who has been through depression and can share my coping skills to help someone in need. If you are struggling with depression I always recommend therapy from a certified professional.
If you are having suicidal thoughts please call this number 1-800-273-8255 and talk to someone who is trained to help you. They also offer an online chat for those that don’t feel comfortable with talking out loud. It is never too late to get help and there are people who are willing to help you.
You are never alone!
10 Ways To Be An Amazing Parent With Depression
1. Stop Hiding and Share
Usually when you are feeling low, you tend to stow away in a corner, your bedroom, or my favorite spot the bathroom. It just becomes the natural way of dealing with depression and it feels better than being around everyone. Hiding your feelings and not sharing how you feel can make things feel a lot worse.
I found that kids are capable of understanding more than we think they can. Over a course of time sharing on their level how you are feeling can help build a considerable understanding and relationship. I also believe that this can open up dialogue for them in the future, if they ever happen to feel down.
These conversations then become familiar and feel safe because you have always been open with them. This can also help them in their social life to understand that everyone may not be like them or that there are other people who experience what they experience. Our job as parents is to help our children to grow and become aware of all aspects of life.
2. Lazy Day
You can be an amazing parent with depression and take a lazy day without skipping a beat. Being a parent is not about being perfect every single day. It is about the imperfections in life and how it is okay to be imperfect but still be an awesome person.
If you are feeling sad and you don’t have it in you to cook a 5 star meal, it is okay to make PB&J with popcorn and an apple. You did your best and I am pretty sure they were excited because you and I both know every kid loves PB&J. It’s okay not to be the “superhero” mom who does it all.
I am pretty sure you earned every second extra you had to be a little bit more lazy than usual. But when you are ready get back out there and put your cape back on to save the day. When the time comes again for you to slow it down I promise no one will judge you.
3. Ask Why
Asking why is a personal thing that I chose to start externally doing for myself. I started doing things like yoga, spiritual awareness, and meditation. During this time, I created this coping skill for my own depression because I felt like the feelings had an important message to tell me about my life.
Mindfulness is an amazing habit to have because sometimes we just need to stop and connect with our inner self. The answer may or may not come up quickly but I believe depression is trying to slow us down for us to take a minute to listen to the inner message. We just need time for the mind, body, and soul to meet up again.
This is just my belief and what I do when I am experiencing depression. This doesn’t take the feelings away but lessens them in a sense when I can understand why I am feeling what I am feeling. There will be tears but that is apart of the process of expressing those feelings.
4. Be Fluid
It is okay to cry! I can’t make this any clearer. I think it is a very natural thing to do in front of your children. Just as you laugh in front of them, I believe showing other emotions in front of them can be a healthy thing for them to see.
Of course gauging your emotions and talking to your children about your emotions is the best way to do it. But I believe excluding them from the experience could possibly make them feel left out.
5. Get Out
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Go get out and do something fun even if you don’t want to. Skip the chores and go for a walk or a ride in the car.
Sometimes being confined in your home can attribute to your depression and make it worse. I also find it to be refreshing to go do something even if it’s just grocery shopping or window shopping. You could also take the kids to visit family and this will give you some time to talk with someone while the kids play.
6. Quiet Time
I love quiet! Haha. Quiet time is the best.
Even if you aren’t depressed I recommend quiet time. I usually shut everything off and the kids will find an activity to do in their room. I go in my room and just quit mom-ing for awhile.
You could use this time to meditate, to journal, to blog, to watch youtube videos, or craft. But ultimately the point of quiet time is for you to do something for yourself. Or to just clear all the frustration you have built up.
7. Cuddle and Nap
If you aren’t feeling great but really just want to sleep you should try this. I suggest gathering snacks, blankets, and choosing a location in the house that best suits you. You can get snuggled up with all the kids and turn a show on for them to watch while you take a chill pill.
They will feel close to you and you will know that they are safe while you rest a bit. They may even fall asleep and you could take the opportunity to just snooze a bit.
8. Listen to Music
Everyone has a playlist of their favorite songs that they like to listen to while driving. You don’t have to just listen to them in the car but instead have a jam session at home. Kids love music and music is known for uplifting your spirit.
This use to be my go to coping skill when my kids were at home and it was getting crazy. They literally stopped all nonsense and danced until they were exhausted. Sometimes, once I was feeling better I would join in for some fun.
It never failed me! We are a musical household and if you ever came to visit us there would definitely be music playing somewhere. Speaking of music, as I write this N is playing the Descendants playlist.
Writing is my passion and if you share this with me then you know all about journaling. Journals can be a great way to allow for self expression and release of tension. They also can provide you with a way to track your depression.
You could include your littles in the fun as well and allow them to have their own journals. We like to use folders with prongs and hole punched paper to create their journals. They make the decision to draw or write (if they can).
I think blogging could help you with your depression especially if you are having a hard time building a social life and wish you had more support. Writing about what you go through could offer you a community of people to speak to. You may find people you could exchange support with or help someone know that they are not alone.
I like to think that through my own depression and writing about it that I am helping someone. Just like the many other things that I experience, I look at the negative things as ways to offer positive advice. You just never know if that something could be the one thing that makes a big difference in someone’s life.
I wouldn’t mind that uplifting my spirit. Not one bit!
Please remember that as a parent we always try to do our best. Some days that looks like more and other days it needs to be less. But you know what that is quite alright!
Let me know in the comments below which of the 10 tips that you liked the most or you can include your own. Sharing is caring when it comes to our community of parents. I created a free coping skills printable just for you inspired this post and all you have to do is subscribe below to get it.
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