AdoptResources's Blog

blogging about adoption, attachment, parenting & family life

When the going gets tough…

with 6 comments

Being a parent through adoption brings it’s ups and downs…. some are part and parcel of being a parent and some are unique to adoption. When you’re in the middle of a down, it can be difficult to pick yourself up and keep going. The hard thing is that this is often when your child needs you the most.

To be emotionally available at a time when your energy levels are low is not easy. So what can you do…

  • tune into your own feelings (difficult when you’re tuning in and trying to respond to those around you!!) and recognise when you’re getting stressed
  • take some time out – even if it’s just to go into another room/sit down for a cup of tea/read a magazine
  • don’t try to tackle difficult issues when you don’t have the energy or resources
  • explain how you feel in easy to understand, non-blaming ways… “I’m not going to… right now because I’m feeling tired/sad/need a rest…”
  • and give an opportunity to reconnect… “we can try that again when…”
  • take a step back and think about possible triggers for whatever is going on right now… are there any recent changes that might explain changes in behaviour… sometimes things that have been dealt with a long time ago can resurface as children reach a new developmental stage
  • is there anything you can bring into your family routine that can help
  • talk to someone who understands… your health visitor, social worker, friend, fellow adoptive parent, foster carer, adoption coach
  • explain to your partner/family how you are feeling – can they help take the pressure off you/are they ok?
  • ask for help from your support network…
  • if you can , book in some babysitting or extra childcare to give you a chance to recharge your batteries ***you need to balance this with the fact that your child needs you and will need to see more of you but they do not need you stressed and approaching burn out***
  • think about your diet, sleep, exercise etc – often at times of stress we don’t pay enough attention to our physical needs.

Part of the secret is in recognising your stress levels and acting on them and remembering that to be able to care for your child and respond to them emotionally, you might need to give yourself a little TLC first.

Do you have any other tips to share? I’d love to hear your comments.

Written by adoptresources

July 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Fantastic blog post and very informative.

    I would suggest having a treat stashed away like a luxury chocolate or a favourite handful of nuts if you’re a savoury person, that you could go and eat by yourself in total peace.

    Thanks for your post – I do think it’s BRILLIANT

    adoption ali

    July 27, 2010 at 7:00 am

  2. Phew – reassuring that I find I already do a lot of things on that list!! Thanks x


    July 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm

  3. it sounds a bit ‘tree huggy’ but if you just simply take your attention to your breath. Do it right now. Then follow it for as many breaths as you can. Maybe think or breathe the word ‘calm’ in and out if you feel like it. It works… i know because i use it.

    l x


    July 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm

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