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Balancing Parenthood: Coping with Overwhelm and Anger


Hi there, I'm Nancy, a mother of two wonderful children, including my daughter Sylvia, who has autism. As a parent, I face a unique set of challenges in managing the demands of parenthood, caring for my children, managing household chores, working, and taking care of myself.

There are times when I feel overwhelmed by the needs of both of my children. Caring for Sylvia, who requires extra attention and support, can be challenging. At times, I struggle to find the right balance between meeting her needs and those of my other child. I wake up early in the morning to get my children ready for school, make breakfast, and pack their lunches. I then head off to work, where I spend the next eight hours dealing with deadlines and pressures associated with work as I am sure you can relate. After work, I pick up my kids from school, help them with their homework, and prepare dinner. By the time I put my kids to bed, I'm exhausted and often feel like I have no time for myself.

There are also times when I feel angry as a parent. It's not easy to keep my cool when Sylvia is having a meltdown or not responding to my requests. I've caught myself shouting or using physical discipline, and I'm not proud of it. I know that anger is a natural response to stress, but I also recognize that it's not a healthy way to manage my emotions.

Managing overwhelm and anger as a parent can be challenging, but it's essential to prioritize our mental health and well-being. Here are some strategies that I've found helpful in managing my emotions:

  1. Take time for self-care: As parents, we often prioritize our children's needs above our own. However, it's essential to take time for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate. Whether it's taking a hot bath, reading a book, or going for a walk, finding time for self-care can help us manage our stress and overwhelm.

  2. Ask for help: It's okay to ask for help when we're feeling overwhelmed. Whether it's asking our partner, a family member, or a friend to help with childcare or household chores, reaching out for support can help us manage our responsibilities more effectively.

  3. Use positive discipline techniques: Instead of shouting or using physical discipline, I've found that positive discipline techniques are more effective in managing my children's behavior. For example, setting clear expectations, giving my children choices, and praising good behavior are all effective ways to promote positive behavior in children.

  4. Practice deep breathing: When I feel angry or overwhelmed, I find that deep breathing can help me calm down and manage my emotions. Taking a few deep breaths can help us slow down and recenter our thoughts and emotions.

In conclusion, being a parent of a child with autism can be overwhelming and stressful, but it's essential to prioritize our mental health and well-being. By taking time for self-care, asking for help, using positive discipline techniques, and practicing deep breathing, we can manage our emotions more effectively and create a healthy and supportive environment for ourselves and our children. 


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