Parenting with a mental health problem

Mother holds baby in bright room
Mother holds baby in bright room

Many of us who care for children may worry about our mental health. We may worry about how it’ll impact our children or how we can look after them.

But with the right support and resources, it’s possible to care for children while managing your mental health problem.

What are the challenges of parenting with a mental health problem? 

All parents face challenges. Having children can be very stressful. But if you have a mental health problem, you may have more concerns or difficulties. For example:

  • Coping with the everyday challenges of parenting. A mental health problem can make the day-to-day challenges of parenting feel harder. For example, anxiety may make you more easily worried. Or depression may mean that you have low energy. You may also experience side effects from medications, such as tiredness. You might also find it more difficult to maintain a routine.
  • You may worry about how your mental health could affect your child. For example, whether they may experience stress or mental health problems themselves. Your child may also be impacted if they take on extra responsibilities around the home to help you. For example, they might have to change when they do their schoolwork. Or the amount of time they have to see their friends.
  • Dealing with other people’s negative ideas about mental health problems. For example, people may judge your parenting abilities because you have a mental health problem. Or your child may be bullied or teased. 
  • Finding it harder to seek help. You may feel worried about asking for help in case people see you as a less capable parent. You may put pressure on yourself to cope for longer than you’re able to. 

You may feel like you need to be the best parent you can be. Or feel guilty that you can’t do certain things with your children. If you’re finding things difficult, it’s really important that you get the right help and support.

“Perfect people or perfect parents don’t exist – just focus on one day at a time and do the best you can”.

Do you live in South East London?

If you are a new or expectant parent living in Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham or Southwark, our warm and welcoming parent groups are here for you.

We run regular groups – including Young Mums, Being Dad, Diversity Matters, and LGBTQ+ Pride parents groups.

Meet our team

Interested? Email mindfulmums@selmind.org.uk or visit our Mindful Mums page