Mental Illness Does Not Define You as a Parent

Mental Illness does not define you as a parent. 

Parenting through mental illness can be difficult. It can alter how we view ourselves as parents. In the darkest days, we think of ourselves failures, unworthy of loving, and providing for our children. It can become overwhelming with the chaos the pain, as it blinds our ability to see the truth. Above all, the truth that you are not a bad parent. 

You are not:

You were not a failure when there was no energy to grocery shop, and cereal is for dinner.

You were not weak when you sobbed in the shower over fears of wanting to run away.

You were not useless when crowds become overwhelming, and you’ve missed school functions.

Mental Illness Does Not Define You As A Parent

You were not unworthy when days went by before you replied to their text messages.

You were not inadequate when social media is bare of pictures of adventures.

You were not damaged when all the sounds around suffocate your mind, and you want to scream.

You were not horrible when each touch, tug, and pull of your body sends an irritating sensation all over.

Parenting through mental illness.

Mental illness strips away the ability to see the radiant power that you hold. It can take away the capacity to know the worth of your life and presence. Mental illness does not define you as a parent. You are more than the moments of suffering. You have continued to fight each day, to love yourself and your children. It is human nature to falter. As parents, we teach our children the importance of endurance: never to give up. Therefore, don’t give up on yourself. 

Remember what you are:

You are a force of endurance.

You are a beacon of possibilities

You are a temple of courage.

You are a collection of stories.

You are a moment worth holding.

You are a warrior of resurrection.

You are, most of all, worthy of unconditional love. Mental Illness Does Not Define You as a Parent

Please note that if you have a mental illness, and are having a hard time coping, please seek help. Click here for the Top HelpLine Resources.

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43 comments

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  1. The Prepping Wife

    I love this post! Every parent should read it because it is important to know that you are not a failure. Too many times we expect perfection from ourselves and the voice in our head is mean when perfection is not achieved. Which that mean voice can be overwhelming, to say the least. One of my favorite quotes from a friend I always think of when I read these things is, “The sun is always shining. Sometimes it is just covered up by clouds.”

  2. Kelly Martin

    This is a really important post for all parents to read. Very encouraging. I’m sure it will help lots of people.

  3. Alexandra

    This was really good. Especially when there are so many pins on Pinterest pointing out the trauma kids go through that have parent’s with a mental illness. I get what they have to do it but…..it was pretty guilt inducing I felt.

    • Mother Fluff

      I think it’s essential for people to know that mental illness doesn’t mean that you are automatically a neglectful parent. Parenting is hard, and many mentally healthy parents can also damage their children.

  4. Joyce Osiango

    This is such a touching post, It is not easy to be a parent leave a lone mentally challenged parent. It can be hard but if one love their partner they will do whatever it takes to make parenting easier for the other.

  5. Olya Amanova

    Being a parent is very challenging and often involves self-blaming for many things even out of our control. Important to understand that there is no better father and mother for your child then you are. And if you do your best – that is the best that you can do.

  6. Livelearnbetter (@livelearnbetter)

    Sometimes, our opinion about other people’s opinions tend to drive us to a dark place we don’t wish to go. I have learnt that everything is 100% my responsibility and I will chose to live well for me and mine irrespective of what others think or say.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  7. mcushing7

    Thank you for sharing this informative post as I believe it is so important to educate about mental illness. This is such a huge problem and it is only going to get worse unless we get rid of the negative views on this as so many people suffer from some sort of mental illness and they are amazing people.

  8. Smita

    Very encouraging and motivating – even for non-parents. Believing yourself worthy of unconditional love is the best kind of self-love and so essential to being happy!

  9. Lyosha Varezhkina

    it is such an important post! It is so open, so honest and so filled with thought. I can not relate it to myself but I do feel how important it is to read your post for people who can

  10. blancanvalbuena

    Mental illness is serious, and yet there is so much stigma around it. Mental illness does not make someone a bad or underperforming parent. It is so important to remember that. What a fantastic post.

  11. angie

    I really needed this today! Over the past year I have been doing a ton of mental health work due to having Complex PTSD. Its a lot of work and sometimes I feel so bad for taking so much time to fix me. So thank you for this! I needed all these reminders!

  12. Nita

    Thanks for these encouraging post. i would share these post with my friend. she’s struggling with it for a very long time. Thanks for sharing

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