Let’s talk about Parent Mental Health Day!

Take A Deep Breath. Close Your Eyes. Relax Your Shoulders. Smile. This Feeling Won’t Last Forever.  

The past two years have been like no other. More than ever, our mental health is suffering. With the ever-changing lock down updates and fear of Covid-19, it’s easy for parents to overlook their own mental health and forget to check in with themselves. So, this day is all about you, the unsung heroes, and to let all you parents out there know - you are not alone!  

Let’s be honest, being a parent is tough. Being a “full” grown adult now, I can understand why my Mum took extra LONG baths with a LARGE glass of wine.

I can kind of imagine how tough being a parent can be; but what I can’t imagine is how tough being a parent to a child with a life limiting disability can be.  

I want to tell you about a conversation I had recently with “Karl Sehmbi” that really touched my heart. Karl’s late son Arun, came to Richard House when he was 16, where he was supported in our care for 4 years. Arun battled a rare neurological disorder called Battens Disease for 10 years, a disease so rare it was diagnosed only 6 months before his passing. 

I was lucky enough to hear Arun’s story and the impact he had on his family and loved ones around him. But what really stuck with me was Karl’s strength and determination through it all. We asked what kind of things Karl did to keep a check on his mental health during this time, he replied: 

“We always made time for films, music and laughter. Keeping fit, this really helped me. I told my wife to just be a Mum and my Daughter to just be a teenager.” 

And I think that’s it - no matter how big or small the situation; whether you’re a parent, child, teenager, (almost) adult- we all have days where we just need to sit, reflect and find ways to be kinder to ourselves and our mental health. 

“Our journey was 10 years, some of them start when the child is born. You have to be able to care for yourself before you can care for the child.” – Karl.  

So, on Parent Mental Health Day, I just want to say to all you wonderful parents out there - thank you! Because you are doing a fabulous job! 

Ben E. King - Stand By Me. Arun's favourite song.