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Mum

How do you manage your mental illness as a solo parent with young ones who don’t listen?

Hi, feels like a losing battles sometimes doesn’t it? As a previous single parent with mental health issues this is what I’ve found to help the most.

Do you have a support system? Family, friends? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It feels really daunting but you have to prioritise yourself. If it’s just for an hour or so to have your little(s) so you can focus solely on doing something that helps your mind relax. Is that something that’s accessible to you?

In the moment, as I feel like I’m about to lose my rag with my kid who isn’t listening I do something called ‘box breathing’. Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, and exhale for four seconds. I repeat this a few times, usually in a separate space from them. It really helps regulate my nervous system so I can get back in the moment without yelling. Doesn’t happen every time but the more I do it the more I’ve found it to be successful.

I think sometimes bigger picture perspective helps too. Kids just don’t have the same agenda as us and their concept of time is non-existent so they don’t understand when you’re in a rush, etc.

Hoping any of this helps and just know that single parenting is the absolute hardest job in the world and you’re doing great. The fact that you’ve come on here to ask for help shows how much you love your kid/kids. Hang in there!

Mum of 2