Working Parents and your Mental Health

These days, many of us have both parents working outside of the home, if we are lucky enough to even have a two-parent household.  Ensuring your mental health is of utmost importance in the game of life.  If you are not mentally cared for, you can start to slip in all areas of your life, including parenting.  Depression, anxiety, and everyday stress can take away from everything you work for on a daily basis.


One of the hardest things to get as a parent is rest.  Rest is something that many of us working parents do not have time for on a daily basis. We often wake up and rush throughout the day to get all of your responsibilities met.  We forget to schedule in some time for ourselves to unwind.  If you are that pressed for time, consider cutting back on the unnecessary to give yourself a break.


Plan for extra time for your children to get ready in the morning. If you are rushed, it adds extra stress.  Get lunches and backpacks ready the night before and try and get up a little early to ensure the morning routine is seamless. Preview your day ahead to ensure your child knows what is expected in the day ahead.  Offer choices as well to let your child feel they are in control, like their clothes or snack selection.  When you get home, make sure to take a few minutes to reconnect by asking your child how their day was and to give them your full attention.


Personal resiliency is an important skill that your children should be taught. Building resiliency is necessary to help us recover from negative experiences or emotions and to cope with adversity and change. This skill can help your child to adapt and succeed.  To build resiliency, you must build relationships by eating meals together, showing individual interest I your child and being ready to listen when your child is ready.  You must also build emotional skills where you teach your child to understand their feelings and manage their emotions.  Competence is also important by giving time for free play and time to develop their own personal interests.


One thing parent’s need to understand is that working outside the home is not harming your child.  Traditional roles included the father working outside the home and the mother taking care of the home; however, times have changed and the roles have been reversed at times and in other situations both parents are working outside the home.  Rest assured, there have been no problems reported with children of stay-at-home mom’s versus working moms.  It may be normal to feel uneasy about leaving your child in the care of others as you continue to work.  Remember you are contributing financially to your family as you work and you are building opportunities for them in the future.  Never feel guilty about doing better for yourself and your family and for showing your children you can raise a family and still work outside of the home.

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