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How grandparents can boost a mother’s mental wellbeing

In Features, Mind Health, Motherhood, Stories by Nicole Fuge

Modern mums may not have the whole village. But even having grandparents around has been shown to help a mother’s mental wellbeing.

By Anneka Rose

Being a mum is brilliant, but let’s be honest, it’s also bloody hard. Especially when the kids are so little and it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Add in work, housework, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, and it’s no wonder mums sometimes feel like they’re about to explode.

That’s where the grandparents come in, like a cavalry charge of cuddles and cups of tea. Having involved grandparents in your family unit isn’t just about childcare (although that’s a massive help in itself), it’s about giving mum a much-needed mental health boost.


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Less Stress, More Smiles

Raising little ones comes with its fair share of worries, from tantrums in the supermarket to endless questions about why the sky is blue. Having reliable and involved grandparents can take a big chunk of that stress off mum’s shoulders. Whether it’s taking the kids for a few hours each week, helping with bath time and bedtime stories, or simply being a listening ear, grandparents can provide emotional support and practical assistance. This frees mum up to breathe a bit, manage her stress levels more effectively, and feel generally more chipper.

Happy Mum, Happy Home

Studies have shown a link between grandparental involvement and reduced symptoms of depression in mums. The emotional support, validation, and sense of community that grandparents offer can significantly boost mum’s mood and help her feel less isolated. This positive impact on mum’s mental health creates a happier and more nurturing environment for the whole family, which is a win-win all round.

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Confidence Boost for Super Mums

Juggling everything can make even the strongest mum feel like she’s failing sometimes. Supportive grandparents can be a massive source of encouragement and validation, reminding mum of her strengths and capabilities. This positive reinforcement can do wonders for her self-esteem and confidence, making her feel more equipped to handle the challenges of motherhood.

Building Strong Family Bonds

Grandparents play a crucial role in creating strong family bonds. Their involvement in their grandchildren’s lives creates lasting memories and shared experiences, strengthening the family unit. This sense of belonging and community can be incredibly beneficial for mum, providing her with a support network she can rely on during tough times.

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It’s Not Just About Childcare

While practical help with childcare is a lifesaver, the emotional support offered by grandparents is equally, if not more, important. Grandparents can be a confidante and sounding board, offering non-judgmental support and valuable advice based on their own experiences. This emotional connection can be a source of immense comfort and strength for mum, especially during challenging times.

Building Positive Relationships

It’s important to remember that the quality of the grandparent-grandchild relationship significantly impacts the benefits it offers to the mum. Open communication, respect for boundaries, and collaboration between parents and grandparents are crucial for fostering positive and healthy relationships.

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For Women Without This Support

We understand that not everyone lives in the same town as their parents, has a close relationship with them, or they may have lost them altogether. But it’s important to remember that you are not alone. You can build your own beautiful support network, whatever that may look like.

  • Connect with other mums: Join local parenting groups, online forums, or attend playdates. Sharing experiences and challenges with other mums can be incredibly helpful.
  • Seek professional help: If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist or counsellor. They can provide you with the tools and support you need to cope.
  • Explore community resources: Many local organisations offer support services for families, including childcare, counselling, and social activities.

Remember, even without parents around, you can still create a strong and supportive environment for yourself and your children. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and build your own village.

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