Being a mom is hard work. It brings so many new challenges that it can make your head spin! With each passing stage of children’s development, parents and caregivers face new questions about how to best care for their children (and themselves and their relationships). Add other demands–such as work, managing personal finances, community involvement, and extended family concerns–to the mix, and it’s easy to see why many parents often feel overwhelmed on a daily basis.
As a professor in a counseling program, I’m a strong believer in the power of counseling to help busy parents cope with the big and small stressors that come along with raising children, along with addressing a variety of other mental health, life, and relationship challenges they may face. According to the American Counseling Association, counseling is defined as “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.” Therefore, counseling offers many potential benefits to parents and caregivers, and seeking counseling can be a powerful tool for self-care as a parent.
Some of the ways that counseling can support moms in practicing self-care include the following:
- Counselors can offer you validation for your feelings and experiences.
- Counseling offers time for yourself, away from the demands of everyday life, in which you can take time for reflection and greater self-awareness.
- Counseling can provide a space for you to think through how to solve the problems you’re facing, along with the guidance of a trained professional.
- A counselor can help you to recognize “blind spots,” or areas of your life that may be contributing to your problems that you haven’t noticed before.
- Counselors can offer you tools for relaxation and stress management.
- Working with a counselor can help you to know that you’re not alone when major life challenges arise.
There is no need for shame in reaching out for help from a trained mental health professional. If you’re interested in finding a counselor, there are resources available to help you do so. Some resources for locating a counselor are as follows:
- Counselor Find (Hosted by the National Board for Certified Counselors)
- Therapist Locator (Hosted by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy)
- The Therapy Directory (Hosted by Psychology Today)
Locally, the United Way’s 2-1-1 service (http://www.unitedwaync.org/nc211) also is available to help community members connect with counseling and other resources in Guilford County.