How Moms Can Manage their Own Stress During Difficult Times! - Greenwich Moms

Kelly Akehurst, Mental Health Counselor, is a mom of two and a survivor of postpartum anxiety and depression. Her passion for working with moms came after she had her two children and realized how important support in a variety of ways is for moms. She is enthusiastic about staying up to date on parenting tips and ways to help parents during difficult transitions.

We are fortunate to have Kelly share some crucial information about how Moms can manage your own stress during difficult times

Kelly received my master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She also has specialized post graduate training in maternal health through Postpartum Support International.

A maternal health psychotherapist is a specialty in the mental health field that focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of mothers.

Our own complicated lives and world events can lead to intense stress for parents. What are some of the ways you can tell a Mom’s stress is affecting her parenting?

It’s stressful being a parent! Stress can impact parenting in many ways but if you ever thought “I feel like I’m not the parent I want to be”, this can often be a sign that stress is affecting parenting and family life. A few ways to tell if it’s impacting parenting is if you have difficulty feeling present with your kids, irritability or if you find it difficult to do daily tasks.

What are some ways long term that Moms can manage their stress? Or ways they can continue to effectively parent during stressful times?

One very important thing you can do is take a step back when you notice that you are getting stressed or reacting and then come back when you feel less stressed. We often react to our children’s behavior. When we are in a calm headspace, approaching our children and their behavior with curiosity can help us better understand what is going on with our children.

Should Moms address their own stress with their children?

It’s important for children to see us as human and let them know we get stressed too. We can say things like, “I need a mommy moment” or “I’m in the red right now, I need a moment” if you feel you need to step away. This not only keeps the situation from escalating but models for our children what to do when feeling stressed out. I also think it’s important to apologize to children if we have reacted to them due to our own stress.

How do you work with clients to help them address their own stress and how it affects their children?

I take an individualized approach in helping parents manage their stress. Everyone’s situation is unique. Together, we work through specific challenges and figure out what will help each family. This can include working through ways for mom to get a break and do something enjoyable, exploring childcare options, relationship issues, new mother questions and anything else that might come up.

Do you have any advice for Moms on some simple day to day strategies to manage their own stress?

Yes! Do at least one thing a day that you love to do and spend time with family and friends. Connection and community are so important to our overall health and well-being.

If you need additional help, please reach out to Kelly at: 

Kelly Akehurst, LPC
Psychotherapy for Women
270 Greenwich Avenue, Suite 19
Greenwich, CT 06830
(475) 477-0278

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