Tips for Parents of Infants in Times of Crisis
We are living in unprecedented times in a global pandemic. As a psychotherapist and child development expert, I witness and assist the anxiety and stress parents are under, and as I say, parenting is messy, and one of my missions is to help with that mess.
We are currently parenting under uncertain conditions. This is not the time to demand perfection from self. It is important for parents to give themselves the grace and the time to gently move through a day with their children. This isn’t a time to be hard on ourselves as parents. We are all doing the best we can. Keep in mind that what children need the most is a consistent loving adult. Ask yourself each day “How can I remain loving?” “How can I remain consistent?” The answer to these two questions is usually as simple as, I need to eat and drink water and/or I need to maintain the pattern of my morning routine.
Parenting infants in times of crisis can be particularly difficult. Since the quarantine began I have kept parents of young children in mind. I know that early childhood is strenuous in normal times, add a pandemic and the difficulty quadruples. Holding this in mind I know that there are many things we cannot control during this time, but there are things we can do to make our everyday interactions with our little ones more peaceful, productive, and meaningful.
Here are five tips I want to share with you that will help you as you parent during these unprecedented times:
Create and become accustomed to living within the boundaries of a predictable and rigid routine.
Be mindful and cautious of your own eating, sleeping and exercise patterns. Try not to neglect your own self care.
Work out, create, and manage the division of labor between all the caregivers involved in the infant’s care. FYI, division of labor between caregivers involved with the infant’s care does not need to be even: who does which care depends on each caregiver’s abilities and time-availability.
Process to understand and realize the person that you used to be prior to becoming a parent. Wishing to have aspects of your past to work, as well as similar, to who you are now as a parent may create resentment, sadness and irritability.
Within the first year, be mindful that 1 in 5 women will suffer from Postpartum Disorders - learn about the symptoms. Early detection is key to positive prognosis.