Is Being a Parent Stressful? (Part II)

Stress, depression, burnout… All words we find in articles dealing with parenthood. The subject attracts a lot of comments on social media sites.

From the outside, we can ask if things are truly going that badly on “Planet Parents.” Certainly not, but things could be going better.

By Julie Fortier, editorial editor, Naître et Grandir magazine

Looking for Solutions

Yes, there are solutions to parental stress, methods that can help parents, and they are well known: More work-family conciliation measures (and parents who give themselves permission to use them when they have a right to); a better division of household chores; care for children and mental health care for parents; better access to health care professionals and psychologists… these are the most frequently cited solutions.

Lowering the expectations that parents impose upon themselves; breaking the isolation; asking those close to you for assistance; taking time out for oneself, are among the advice given to lower parental stress and prevent parental distress.

Going out and getting help, especially when you’re not lucky enough to have a supportive circle of family and friends, is another way to lower the pressures on parents. Sadly, 25% of parents don’t know what resources are offered in their region, according to Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) data.

Maybe young parents reflexively turn to social media to find solutions.

Specialist Sonia Lupien says that parental groups on the internet can be a positive thing. When parents go through rough moments, the encouragement and advice of others could give them “the impression that they’re retaking control of the situation,” Lupien explains.

Still a Taboo Subject?

Clearly, when we feel that we’re sinking, that nothing is going right, it’s important to seek professional help. Many cases of post-partum depression aren’t ever diagnosed or treated. Many mothers don’t express their distress because they think it’ll make them look like bad moms.

As shown by the numerous reactions to my articles on depression among mothers, just talking about things seems to do some good. Often, the comments I get can be summarized by: “Thank you for putting what into words.”   

First seen in: Reflet de Société, Vol. 27, no. 1, printemps (spring) 2019

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