Family planning can be intense. There are so many factors to consider, and we all wonder if we’re ready. In truth, there’s never a perfect time, but there are a few key areas to pay attention to before the child is born. Here are tips to help you determine if you are mentally fit to be a parent.
On being mentally healthy
Mental health is arguably one of the most important pieces of the parenting puzzle because it can impact your ability to do your job.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness, talk to your doctor about getting things under control before the child arrives. This may involve a combination of therapy and medication, but the path of wellness is going to look different for everyone.
For some, mental health is a serious and debilitating issue. And in this post, we’re going to break down five tips for determining if you’re mentally fit to be a parent. If you decide you’re not, there are options. Talk to a doctor about getting help, and as another option, you can consider adoption.
The important part is getting you to a place where you are okay.
5 ways to determine whether you’re mentally fit to be a parent:
1. Suicide is not an option for you
We all know that mental health is not static. It can change from day to day or moment to moment. But if you have a commitment to working things out, if you have hope for a better life, you are likely to be there for your child. If you are having thoughts of self-harm, talk to someone right away. This could present a dangerous situation for you and your child.
2. High self-awareness as a sign of being mentally fit
No one is perfect, and one of the most important parts of being an adult is taking responsibility for our own shortcomings. If you’re in denial about any potential issues you may have, it’s a sign that you aren’t ready to take responsibility for yourself. And if you can’t be responsible for yourself, you’ll find it very difficult to care for another human.
3. You are getting the necessary help
To ensure mental health issues won’t interfere with your ability to be a parent, talk to a healthcare professional. Regardless of what you struggle with, if you commit to getting help and controlling the mental health issue, you may be mentally fit to be a parent.
4. You have a good support system
Not everyone has a large family or a supportive group of friends. But, the old adage is true that it does take a village to raise a child. Whether it’s a village of people to help with childcare or a village to support you mentally and emotionally, you’re going to need help.
Think about who you’ll turn to when things get rough. And if you don’t have anyone, consider joining an online moms group to help you through those difficult times. It’s not quite the same as in-person support, but it’s definitely better than nothing.
5. Being mentally fit: You take care of yourself
If you’re unsure of where you stand in terms of mental fitness, there are some clues that could help you figure it out. Take an objective view of your life right now. How well are you caring for yourself?
Are you showering daily and eating, right? Are you drinking too much alcohol or abusing illicit drugs? These could be signs of depression or other mental health issues to address before you become a parent.
We should all be able to agree that our children deserve the best versions of ourselves we can manage. Do what you can to improve your mental health, so your child gets the best possible parent.
About today’s writer
Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer who has a passion for writing. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles for many different companies. In his free time, you can find him running with his dog, playing his guitar, or outside enjoying any type of fitness activity imaginable.