It takes a lot to raise a baby as one article published by Psychology Today elaborates. That’s not to say you shouldn’t give it a go! All we’re saying here is that before having kids, it helps to be certain that you’re adequately grounded and stable!
What Kind of Stability would one Need?
You might be thinking by stability we’re talking about your financial resources and ability to take on the monetary aspect of parenting. You may even associate stability with having your marriage or relationship intact.
Though all this is well and good, what we’re saying is that before you have a child, it helps to be as emotionally grounded as possible. Nobody’s perfect and even as parents we all falter, however there are ways that we can do our bit to mitigate the potential unintended damage we do to our children while learning to be parents!
Where Does Therapy Come In?
Therapy is one great way to ensure you’ve got the emotional robustness you need to take on the responsibility of parenting and here’s why.
You Might Just Need It
The thing about therapy is that many of those who seek it do not know of its benefits until they have had a therapeutic experience that affected them. Further, many of us suffer with mental health complications and due to the way our lives have rolled out, never really become conscious of or address them. At times, even if we do know deep within that we have something, we might not do what is needed to address the same because of stigmas or simply because the environment allows it.
Children take a lot out of us emotionally which is why dealing with any pending mental health stuff prior to having them is recommended. Further, it is known for mental health problems to pass from one generation to the next because of conditioning and the way we may end up nurturing our young ones.
Seeking therapy prior to having a baby might alert you of anything that needs to be addressed and gives you the time and space to work on it. That way, you can be a healthier and safer parent.
Spot Check for Problematic Behaviors
Just because you don’t suffer from a full blown disorder does not mean you don’t place somewhere or another on a spectrum! That’s not a bad thing – if you’re human, it’s a fact!
People often look at mental health as something black and white. It isn’t. You could have borderline or narcissistic behaviors without having a full blown disorder. You could have combinations of behavior traits which even individually are damaging.
This could include a bad temper, an inability to reciprocate physical affection, obsessive compulsive behaviors and so on. The thing about young children is that they are extremely sensitive and little things can hugely effect how they develop.
Seeking therapy also helps you run a spot check for such behavioral hiccups and seriously iron things out before you become a parent!
Really Being Good Enough
The thing about parenting is that no matter how hard we try, we can never be perfect. There really is no such thing as a perfect parent. What we can be is ‘good enough’ parents. In order to do so, we need to be emotionally equipped.
Our children, especially in their early years will likely provide as much stress as they do joy. We need to be the best of ourselves despite and provide them the environment they need to grow and thrive. We can only do this if we ourselves are feeling solid enough. As they say on airplanes during emergency announcements, “attend to yourself first, and then others”!
Seeking therapy prior to having a baby puts you on solid emotional ground helping you truly be a good enough parent – the best you can be in any case!
If you and your spouse or partner have a baby in the works or are considering becoming parents, maybe bash things out with a therapist too. We sign contracts for work, we hire consultants for matters of import – having a baby is huge and doing your ‘due diligence’ helps so to speak!
If you’re located in Palo Alto and are looking for a family therapist who specializes in working with couples on any and all things related to the family setup, give us a shout and set up an appointment.