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On Parenting, Mental Health, and A Path To The Future

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At a time when we are constantly hearing about what people are doing wrong in the news, it is nice to take a moment to see what they are doing right. Parenting is not an easy job for anyone, much less a single mother, but in the case of Jolyn Farber, recently named Ms. New York America 2018, it just comes naturally. An entrepreneur at heart, Ms. Farber says her daughter is her “joy” and puts her above all else. One reason for this: she understands the challenges and stresses of being a parent.

“When I had my daughter, I realized just how big being a mother was going to be. Then I took a deeper look around me and saw other mothers, who weren’t as lucky as I was, and who faced challenges with their children, and understood the true impact of those challenges on them and their children,” said Farber.

This moment changed Ms. New York America 2018 and she began looking for ways to help those with mental and physical challenges in the New York area. From volunteering to donations, she has continued to give tirelessly to organizations – and individuals which need help.

One way Ms. Farber plans to give back over the holiday season is by participating in events across the East Coast that offer opportunities never seen before for those with challenges. Whether it is her participation at a holiday event, or volunteering at a bakery that supports those with mental and physical challenges, Ms. Farber not only “talks the talk, but she walks the walk.”

At this time of year, when people feel additional stress and anxiety about holidays, holiday shopping and the holiday rush, Farber recommends a simple solution proffered by her five year old daughter: “be grateful for what you have.” Being grateful means sharing opportunities with those who aren’t in the same position – and not by their own doing.

Here are several tips Farber suggests which will help make the holidays easier for you and those around you. First, plan your events so that there is enough time in-between them to handle any issues that may arise. Second, refill any prescriptions long before they are used up. This way, when you are travelling, you will always have enough. It is a known fact that sometimes there are delays with pharmacies and prescriptions, so having those few extra pills – or even the vacation refill – will help prevent dips in your medication. Plan accordingly when agreeing to travel and visits. If you know that certain situations produce additional stress and anxiety for those with challenges, find creative ways to work around them, so they are easier on everyone.

Most importantly, remember to reach out if you need help during this holiday season; also remember the time, effort, and care our families, caregivers, and friends give those with special needs give every day. The challenges they face may not be the same but they have an emotional and physical toll as well.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.