The Emotional Needs of Parents

You are doing a most important job. The time you spend with your baby will affect how they are in later life, their self esteem and their capacity to manage their own feelings. It is natural to feel completely preoccupied by being a parent.

What you need is that others around you to value the job that you are doing. If you are the one staying at home with your baby, it is important that if you have a partner, they donít expect the house to be run with great efficiency, for you to take on other projects or have a lot of energy to take care of them. You need those around you to recognise and value the time and energy you are giving to your baby.

If you are the one who is working, you might feel left out at times. You might feel your needs are being ignored, or that you are missing out on being with your baby. Or you might struggle with being awake half the night and then facing the demands of a job during the day.

If you are parenting as a couple, it might seem as though you have little time for each other. You might have different ideas about how to parent your child. Your energies might be focussed more on your child (or children) than each other. It can take time to adjust to these changes. It can be important to make time for each other and have time together as a couple.

At this time, each of you are giving a great deal. While it might be impossible on some days to do anything for yourself, it is worth holding on to the feeling that your needs are worthwhile and to try and meet them while you can. Each of us has very different needs. They might include catching up on lost sleep and eating healthily. Or having some time to yourself, seeing friends, reading, exercise, etc.

It can also be important to have people to talk to about how you are feeling and to share each new and exciting development as well as what is difficult and hard-going.