Parenting has never been an easy job. In many ways, we could argue that it’s simpler today than in generations past. We have modern conveniences and technology to help us out.
So, why does parenting actually seem harder today than in previous decades?
Unfortunately, some of the same things designed to make our lives easier can actually end up making things more complicated and stressful. Let’s take a closer look at why parenting might seem harder today, and what you can do to mitigate some of those problems.
There Are More Options
The changes in technology and society have opened up new opportunities for so many people that simply weren’t as accessible in previous decades. That’s especially true for women.
Today, mothers have plenty of options. They can stay home and raise their children, go back to work, start a new career, or go back to school. If you decide to take on more than one role, it can be fulfilling and exciting, but it can also be overwhelming.
Technology has made it possible to attend school online or even work remotely. But, you’re still essentially working another full-time job if you’re raising your kids. That means more long days and a lot more stress.
Guilt Can Creep In
Because there are so many options and so many people have chosen to go back to work instead of staying home with kids full-time, guilt can start to cause issues. You might feel bad about leaving your kids with a babysitter or at a daycare.
Even if you’re able to work from home, it can be challenging to give your kids the attention they want when you’re trying to get some work done.
Plus, schedules tend to be busier than ever. Maybe your kids are involved in a variety of sports or other extracurricular activities, and you don’t have a lot of quality time together as a family. That can lead to unresolved guilt.
The Desire to Be Different
There’s been a generational shift when it comes to parenting and how today’s parents want to treat their children. In addition to spending time with their kids, today’s parents want to be emotionally available, too.
It’s probably no secret that some older generations have been stereotyped as not being emotionally available or supportive. Some parents from those generations might have even made their kids feel ignored or devalued and unloved.
Many of today’s parents are trying to break that cycle and be there for their children. But, that’s not always easy when you’re dealing with a busy schedule. Plus, worrying about your child’s mental well-being and emotional security can take a toll on your own mental health.
Worries and fears about parenting and how kids are raised have also changed over the years. Today’s parents are worried their kids will face bullying, or that they might struggle with anxiety or depression. Again, those fears can harm your own mental health and end up causing a lot of extra stress.
What Can You Do?
If parenting seems overwhelming at times, pause and take a deep breath. Recognize that you’re not alone in how you feel, and you’re probably doing a better job at raising your kids than you think.
The reality is, you can’t protect your children from everything. The world can be a scary place, even with all of our advancements and changes. Make every attempt to be the kind of parent you truly want to be, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Self-care is essential, and prioritizing your mental and physical health will help you to become a better parent, overall. Contact Valued Living Therapy to learn more about our therapists and what they offer.