Managing everything that is necessary on a daily basis takes strength and resilience. Resilience may be something that you have in excess supply, or resilience may be something that you might wish to develop within yourself.
Resilience is an elusive concept meaning that there is not a universal definition that people agree upon. Psychologists often view resilience in relation to stress or risks for stressful scenario’s such as Rutter: “resilience is concerned with individual variations in response to risk. Some people succumb to stress and adversity whereas others overcome life hazards”. Further, Walsh extended the definition to include being able to withstand hardship and “rebound from adversity, becoming more strengthened and resourceful. The Cambridge dictionary simply says that resilience is both: “the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened”; and “the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed”.
Words of importance when we think about being resilient:
- rebound from adversity
- becoming strengthened and resourceful
- being happy and successful
- personal growth happens as we manage life’s stressors and we become resilient
Being resilient is about taking care of yourself so that you can manage the small and large difficulties that present themselves today, tomorrow and the next day.
Resilience is also about becoming strengthened by good experiences that validate you and learning from mistakes or events that didn’t go so well. When we reflect and seek perspective on issues that challenge us, we can become stronger and more capable of managing next time. In these ways, becoming resilient is a process of growth, validation and successful discovery of yourself as a parent with more to manage than many other parents.
The research evidence suggests that mothers who achieve a calmer mindset and tolerance for challenges that come along, also seem to prepare better for those challenges. Parent wellbeing and resilience is supported by:
- spending time seeking perspective and reflecting on what was done well or what could be improved
- being able to see the positive side as well as the challenging side of an issue is helpful
- judging a situation or event from several perspectives including what can be learned or gained, what might be avoided in the future, or what others perceived and experienced builds understanding
- learning from past events can neutralise or prevent the same scenario in the future, or at least change how we respond to the adverse (difficult or challenging) event
- participating in the daily hassles and uplifts that occur in family life!
When we are kind and compassionate to ourselves we manage family life with more patience.