Parenting is often describes as possibly the most stressful – and most fulfilling – job of one's life. There is perhaps no other connection between two humans that is as bonded and infinite as parenthood, and none other with the potential to cause so much anxiety and pain.
Parenthood also brings with it one of the most jarring and immediate transitions in life that can shock even the most prepared of parents-to-be. Many parents have questions about how to best raise their children through the expected and unexpected bumps along the way, and there are many answers to each of those questions.
Transition to Parenthood
Entering parenthood brings with it a wealth of emotions, ranging from excitement and happiness to fear of the unknown. Suddenly, a unit of two has become three, with the new baby requiring an immense amount of time and resources to care for.
Common questions and issues that arise during this time include: selecting a primary caretaker for the child; adjusting to new schedules and financial responsibilities; balancing work and family obligations; and maintaining the marital relationship while adjusting to the new roles of parenthood.
Some families may experience the baby blues or post-partum depression. These are all common issues that arise during the transition to parenthood.
Single Parenthood Counseling
More than 12 million American households are headed by a single parent, and in 80% of the cases, that parent is a woman.
Single parents may experience a unique set of stressors, including increased need for social support, financial difficulties, and more. Furthermore, dominant cultural narratives around single parenting can paint a dismal picture; however, every family, no matter their structure, experiences their own set of bumps in the road, and single parents are no different.
There is no lack of information out there about the “proper” way to raise a child, and making decisions about how to best guide your child's development can be fraught with anxiety. Issues can arise around common transitions, including sleep and potty training all the way through entering school, adolescence, and young adulthood.
The transition back to a two-person household can be just as exciting and nerve-wracking as the transition to parenthood. Many couples struggle to connect with one another after many years of focusing primarily on their children, and the empty nest period can be extraordinarily painful.
On the other hand, empty nesting is an opportunity for parents to turn back towards one another and begin a new period of life as a couple.
Remarriage & Blending Families
Bringing together two families is an opportunity for growth and joy, and also the cause of strife for many newly blended families. Children may fear losing contact with the non-custodial parent and resist bonding with or respecting the new adults in their life.
Different perspective on parenting and discipline may come into conflict with two sets of children in the house. Fortunately, these conflicts are common and many families are able to successfully bring two families together.