If your partner has a mental illness, it will help you if you gain as much knowledge as you can about it. There may be times where your partner isn’t well and others need to step in and help, particularly to look after your children. Talk to your partner or other family members or visit your partner’s health professional (ask your partner first) to talk about what you can do to help them and support your children.
Young children will pick up on any tension in the house and may not understand the illness, so it’s really important to discuss it with them. When children don’t understand changes in a parent’s behavior they often believe they have done something wrong or are to blame in some way. This can have a profound effect on their mental and emotional development and cause life-long difficulties for them. By talking to them about what’s happening, you can have a really positive impact.
If you and your partner argue, your children will pick up on it. Even if they are in bed or another room, don’t think they can’t hear or won’t be bothered by it – they can, and they will. For their well-being, it’s important to discuss issues with your partner with respect.
Even if you have a positive relationship with your partner, it can be difficult working in partnership through times of stress. How you and your partner relate to each other can have a huge effect on the emotional well-being and development of your kids.When differences of opinion or values are in conflict, children have said it is often how you resolve the issue that is most important to them – not the conflict itself.
Remember it’s important that you are taking care of yourself through difficult times or your own health will suffer. It will wear you down, making you tired and irritable which will compound problems and stresses.
It’s okay to get help if you are having problems coping with the illness. Approach friends or family of yours, your partner, or your children’s – to ask if they can help in some way, such as taking your child to child care in the mornings, or having the children around for a play date or dinner. There are also great community supports available and a range of helpful information on the links below. Remember that asking for help is a positive move.
Here is a link to a video I think might be beneficial for you to watch. It may help: