Single+Parenting with Mental Illness.

I know how much parents worry, I didn’t always but when on a course I realised almost all my ‘concerns’ were shared by all the parents there who had no mental or anxiety problems.

So if you’re a parent and you worry about whether what you’re doing is good enough, or right or perhaps not done ‘to your best’, believe me that’s completely normal.  However having a mental health condition that affects your ability to complete tasks, and usually its the day-to-day ordinary tasks that we worry and fret over, then there are many things you can do and help available till you feel able to do things on your own.

temp pic alarm

If you have symptoms of falling or for a brief period, being immobile, and you have a young child, then a safety personal alarm system can give a great peace of mind.  A pendant push button, one i used as a precaution, gave great peace of mind.  These alarms are sent to a service that will either come out to you or used your pre-arranged contact (friends and family), and enter your home using a key, the best one is with a Keysafe. This is a box, attached just outside your home/door and only the service has access to it. I have tried to find the one i used, but I can’t recall the name of the service.  It was free, for me as my needs at the time were high. The site I have found may charge, but you should check with your worker/service to access this without charge.  Click the above link, and scroll to Telecare Alarm Systems.  Alternatively see AgeUK, as an alternative.  The great thing about this is if you go out, and have a fear of falling you can also have this alarm with you to a certain radius of your home (please check your service for this.)


Meals can be a daunting task, and sometimes you simply can’t achieve this,for yourself you can use Meals on Wheels, which can provide a hot meal, and also a tea time service.  The service i had offered was up to me to take up on a week to week basis.  Having the option really helped,but i have never actually ended up using it.  If the cost is too high for you, seek out advice from a mental health service or organisation. There may be a more local or specialised company that offers what you need. Halal, Vegetarian and Kosher are usually all catered for.

For your young one, once on solids can be simple meals you put in the oven, from lasagne to macaroni and cheese.  Frozen Vegetable Cutlets, instant mash to ready meals found in the supermarket section that are ‘healthy’ options titled Just For Kids or something similar.  I was under the mistaken notion that if meals weren’t prepared from scratch that I was failing as a parent.  My workers once they found out, soon assured me that as long as my child’s diet was balanced (include fruit, juice, dairy and veg) even chocolate spread on toast was a nutritional meal!  (Naturally i was appalled and then laughed.  Talk about high standards!)

temp barnados(Available in Ireland. See Website for your area)

Basic Care.  I would strenuously recommend that you complete the Webster Stratton Course, delivered by the Parenting Team. Contact your Local Authority for details.  This course not only builds your own confidence, but also with a small group of other parents you get to feel a real sense of camaraderie and the benefit of experience.  If you struggle in the first three months, support including relief can be found via Big Manchester or Community Champions. (See Resources) or other local charities, Barnardo’s and even your support worker. After this, having a family worker involved may  give you the confidence you need, I had Amy from Oldham Social Services, thanks to her and my Social Worker, for all you both did and making me believe i had it in me!   Your family worker, works through the bits you fear, worry about the most. Their visits are scheduled to time in, with that task, i.e giving baby a bath.  They will be there to take you through it and give you any tips or advice that will help and gently back away (in terms of visits) the more you feel you’re able to cope.

Remember; Get to know your worker and whether you trust them.   This will ensure you recieve support and not the poor practise of simply removing children.  Good workers will know that you are a good parent and simply require extra support.

Finally, accept help, from neighbours, friends and family.  Whether its putting a laundry wash on or making you pre-prepared meals (i.e stocking your fridge/freezer).  Every little helps.  Sure Start nurseries generally are very supportive and a great place to find out about services, as well as TimeFor You slots, where free childcare is made available!









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