Should I be talking about my struggles as a parent?
There are a number of reasons why expecting and new parents find it hard to talk to other people about their feelings if they’re finding things difficult. Many people worry about what others will think about them. Some are concerned that they will be viewed as a bad parent. Some even worry that if they admit to struggling, they will have their baby taken away by the authorities. In general, it is very rare for babies to be taken from families – but it does not stop people worrying about it.
It’s important to remember that many people struggle with the transition to becoming a parent. In fact, up to one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads will find it so hard that they will develop perinatal anxiety or depression. It is more common than many people realise, and it is not something people need to feel shame or guilt about.
Those struggling with their mental or emotional wellbeing can have difficulty trusting their own judgement. They might think: ‘Should I really be worried about what I’m feeling? Am I justified in talking about my struggles?’. This doubt and confusion can also make any feelings of shame or guilt even stronger and harder to overcome.
However it is OK to talk about it. In fact, it is better that you do. Telling others about your struggles, or admitting you need help and seeking treatment or advice is not a sign of weakness. It shows that you want the best for yourself and your family.