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Enjoying Parenting and Life Side by Side


Enjoying Parenting and Life Side by Side


It is often said that parenting is the most challenging job you’ll ever do, and yet it can bring you great joy and happiness. Raising your children and seeing them develop into unique people can be a reward in itself, as it adds meaning and purpose to your life.

Psychology Today aptly describes parenting as “the ultimate long-term investment for which you need to be prepared to put far more into it than what you can get out of it.” While it may boost happiness sometimes, the work and exhaustion that accompany parenting can also contribute to depression. 


A Challenge Accepted by Many

Despite the sketchy details on what’s rewarding about parenting, many take the plunge to assume the role, only to find out that it can get worse before it gets better. The New York Times summarizes the results of studies by numerous scholars reporting on the significantly lower levels of happiness, life and marital satisfaction, and psychological and emotional well-being in parents as compared with non-parents.

While postpartum depression usually fades over time, regular stressors and high-intensity demands are to be expected when you are a parent. Beyond the fatigue associated with child care, there are often mundane or bizarre rituals to make the children eat, stop crying, or fall asleep, and mounting piles of clothes to wash and toys to put away. You do these things not for fun and excitement, but because you want your children to be comfortable, clean, safe, healthy, and happy.


The Risks of Parenting

The authors of the same studies suggest that the emotional demands of parenthood far outweigh the emotional rewards of having children. Parenthood is so exhausting that it can psychologically and emotionally wear out any parent. The act of caring for children can drain you emotionally, cognitively, and psychologically. Furthermore, child-oriented activities are not the most challenging for an adult, and may not help you to feel psychologically present most of the time.

Parenthood is a big leap, probably bigger than you are prepared for. In itself, it can lead to negative feelings, such as depression, disappointment, boredom, ineffectiveness, etc. It is a big change that can be difficult to handle, as it involves the responsibility of caring for a young, helpless, and dependent individual. Active parenting presents a set of challenges that extend far beyond when the children grow and leave home.

Luckily, there is a way to enjoy parenting and life side by side.


Parenting Is Also Taking Care of Yourself

Like most things, childhood too shall pass. The sleepless nights of bottle feeding and multitasking will give way to homework management, proms, weddings, and finally, empty-nesting. Parenthood, after all, is a process. Approaching it as such can help your sanity intact. There may be harrowing times, but keep in mind the good times as well.

What is important are your feelings and attitude about being a parent. Are you enjoying your role? Parenting is like a roller coaster ride where you can feel a wide range of emotions in different situations at different times. Sometimes you can feel joy, pride, happiness, and satisfaction. At other times, you feel tired, upset, unappreciated, or angry.

Take parenting seriously, but never neglect to notice your feelings. Being a parent consumes a lot of physical and emotional energy. You can’t be effective if you’re too frazzled. Nurturing yourself is as important as nurturing the whole family. If you feel that your energy is running low, it is beneficial to talk with a professional to find out the underlying causes and address the problem, so you can continue to function as a parent.


Getting Support to Enjoy the Ride

All parents need support in rough times. In many cases, seeking help from trusted family or friends makes it easier to face the challenges. It is, however, a smarter option to get counseling as a proactive step to better enjoy parenting and life. Using the services of a counselor can help you work through your feelings and sort out the difficulties you’re experiencing as a parent.

If you or your partner are struggling with parenting issues, let Carolina Counseling Services — Sanford, NC, help you. There are independently contracted counselors with experience and training who can work with parents and children, regardless of age. The right-fit counselor can  provide emotional support and guidance to make your parenting style more effective, less exhausting, and more gratifying for both you and your children. Make a call now to schedule an appointment and get started.


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Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC

Counties: Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore County, NC

Areas: Sanford NC, Tramway NC, Olivia NC, Broadway NC, Cumnock NC, Gulf NC, Goldston NC, Carbonton NC, Glendon NC, Carthage NC, Cameron NC, Lillington NC, Moncure NC

Zip Codes: 27330, 27332, 28327, 27505, 27546

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare,/Tricare Prime, Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Fetima Wellington, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy and Marriage Counseling. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Addiction and Recovery, Relationship Issues, Post Partum Depression, Family Conflict, Crisis Intervention, ODD, Conduct Disorder, LGBTQ
 Insurance: BCBS,  Cash, HSA and FSA (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

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Carolina Counseling Services - Sanford, NC
304 N Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330

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Fayetteville, NC 28311