Parent stress

Home sweet and sour home

I’ve recently been watching filmed observation sessions of families being themselves, as far as they are able in front of a camera anyway, and I’ve found the experience really interesting and humbling for any number of reasons not least that these brave souls have volunteered to be filmed for no other reason than to help people like me have a little window into family life in all it’s diversity and richness. Some of the families have been just two people and the largest so far was eight people, some are quiet and gentle with each other, others loud or boisterous, some have strict codes of behavioral expectations others are quite ‘anything goes’, some seem relaxed and some seem stressy.
What everyone knows of course is that all families have their good times and bad and that even the tightest knit and supportive family has occasions when members have arguments or falling outs as well as others when events from outside the family cause tension and upset. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years working around resilience for children and what helps and supports the development of it and without any doubt how families handle those stressful feelings and events makes all the difference. Whether they help an individual contain and process their problems, whether they belittle or dismiss problems or whether they blow problems out of all proportion and over complicate matters may well set the pattern for a child’s future behaviour.
Today I’m having a bad day because yesterday I lost my diary or rather yesterday I realized my diary has been lost. After taking my house apart and phoning everyone I can think of who might be able to help me find it, I am trying to piece together the next two months of appointments, meetings, training sessions and bookings as well as trying to remember the last month in order to invoice and get some money in. I live alone and in the middle of last night I was overwhelmed in my sleepless concern and replaying of events by the need for some comfort. I really would have liked someone to help me get some perspective, some comfort, some reassurance. I wanted a family around me and all the things they bring.
Today watching another film of a family arguing, whining, criticizing and generally being a bit mean to each other I suddenly felt extremely stressed, just looking at it all from my already stretched and sleepless state. I suddenly wondered how it would be to be in that family and lose my diary or anything else for that matter. I doubt anyone would have understood the enormity – to me – of what had happened as everybody vied to receive sympathy and attention and gave none out. I suppose when it comes down to it living in a family is tough sometimes but so is living without one.