As a parent, it’s hard to have balance in our lives. Between supporting our kids, working or going to school, managing the household tasks, and all of our other responsibilities — parenting is stressful in the best of times.
But over the past year, stress has increased significantly. And not just parenting stress. For many families, financial stress and relationship stress have increased, too.
We are parenting 24 hours a day, seven days a week — and many of us feel like we are at a breaking point.
New parents also face a hard reality. Traditionally, new moms and dads develop a community with families in their neighborhood and through their children’s activities. Parents no longer have the natural space at the park or playground to connect with each other.
Until we can safely be together again, Jefferson Center’s Colorado Spirit Team is providing free mental health and problem-solving support to Jeffco residents.
Jeffco families are using Colorado Spirit for one-on-one help to solve personal parenting challenges:
- How can I help my child with their schoolwork when I don’t feel confident?
- Why do I feel angry and irritated with my kids much of the time?
- What do I do when my child refuses to get online for school?
- What can I do if I feel like my child is falling behind?
- How can I support my child when they feel scared, anxious or worried?
- How do I talk to my child about death?
- How can I deal with my own sadness when I am busy with my kids all the time?
Here are some additional ways that Colorado Spirit counselors can support you:
- Managing feelings of worry, sadness, hopelessness, or anger
- Understanding and managing stress
- Connecting to community resources
Colorado Spirit offers free and confidential support including individual counseling, couples counseling, and group support.
Routines create sense of security during insecure times
In addition to reaching out for support when we need it, creating daily routines is another way that we can help our kids — and ourselves — feel safer and more secure.
Chelsea Vibert, Clinical Lead for Colorado Spirit, explains it this way: “If I let my toddler play in the backyard, there is a fence, he knows where the limits are. He still has freedom to explore but he feels safe and contained. On the other hand, if I take him to the front yard where there are cars and people, and dogs, I have to do a lot more to maintain his sense of safety and security.”
Creating and sticking to daily routines is even more important during times like this when normal family routines have been disrupted. Try to make a dinner routine and a bedtime routine that you stick to every day.
Simple daily routines will help children feel safe. And routines give us as adults a clear path to manage our family even with so much uncertainty.
It takes a village … so it’s great to live in Jeffco!
That old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is 100% true! We all need support from the community to raise our kids.
During the pandemic, many of the traditional ways that families receive support from the community have shifted.
“This has been a huge change for new parents in particular. As new parents, one of the best gifts we get is a connection with other parents, someone to share experience with,” said Vibert. “The early years are really challenging and the relationships we build during that time are important to our well-being.”
Luckily, Jeffco is home to many high-quality parenting support resources that we can easily access when we need support and to connect with other families.
Learn about free parenting programs and kid-friendly events in our community.
If you need support with housing, food, health care, mental health care, or other services, enter your zip code to connect to the many support programs in our community.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact Colorado Crisis Services.
Colorado Spirit counseling is not meant to take the place of individual mental health therapy — it’s better to access that through your insurance provider. Medicaid has a mental health benefit, and most other insurers do, as well.