#Episode 1:Why parenting shouldn’t be a battle against mental health
In partnership with Calgary Journal Health, CMHA Calgary is publishing podcasts and news stories about mental health issues across the city. Stories will be published every Monday on our Balance Blog, or you can track these stories using the hashtag #CalgaryJournalHealth.
In this Mental Health Mind Map podcast series, Calgary parents share their struggles with building a support system to help them tackle parenthood.
By Kyra Bird and Stephanie Hagenaars
Parenting is often seen as a solo endeavour, but this common perception often leaves parents feeling as though they can’t, or shouldn’t, reach out for help when they need it.
Tiffany Austin, creator of The Good Enuf Mommy blog and mom to a seven-year-old son, says her parenthood struggles began in pregnancy when she was put on bed rest, experienced a tough labour, and was hospitalized with postpartum psychosis a few weeks later. Austin, like many of the mothers in a 2015 Pew Research Centre report, found her support system online through social media.
The Pew report indicates that 75 per cent of parents use social media and 45 per cent of mothers who use social media strongly agree that they receive the support of friends on social media, in comparison to just 22 per cent of fathers who responded the same way.
A.J. Bergin, on the other hand, hasn’t yet turned to social media for parenting help.
He recently separated from his wife and is now navigating co-parenting his two-year-old daughter, Rune. Bergin is beginning to rebuild the support system that he sees as an integral part of parenting.
“It is so important to build your community around yourself because when you are at your low you need someone to help out,” he says.