How to cope with motherhood stress
Motherhood is an amazingly fulfilling role but at the same time, there are stresses associated with it. Let’s take a look!
Children bring joy, love, and countless blessings to our lives, however, with the commitment to nurture another human being from infancy to adulthood comes times of stress, which can often be significant. Of course, every mother faces different challenges, but the most common causes of stress include the following:
With all the care and nurturing that children require, as well as the additional demands of extra people in the household, most mothers feel short of time. Whether it’s a lack of enough time to get the laundry done, time to spend just playing with the kids, time to yourself, or time for dozens of other important activities, many mothers find that there are simply not enough hours in the day to do everything that they need or would like to do.
Whether using day-care, a nanny, or working from home, caring for children is expensive. As they grow into new clothes, new activities, and eventually off to college, each child can impact a family’s budget. While children are more than worth the expense, parents do tend to face financial stress.
As mothers invest the necessary time into their relationships with their children, sometimes other relationships take a back seat, especially when children are young and need more attention. Mothers of young children often feel torn between meeting the needs of their little one and still having the energy for stimulating conversation and relaxing times with their partner.
They may also find it more difficult to make time for their friends as they juggle the responsibilities of motherhood. Also, as children grow and change, mothers can change and grow in new directions, which can also put pressure on longstanding relationships.
Charged with the responsibility to care for a vulnerable young soul and nurture this sweet life to adulthood, many mothers feel the world to be a more perilous place than it once seemed. From the days when toddlers are climbing the walls and putting everything in their mouths to the days when teens are driving without us and preparing for college, there are a multitude of dangers our children face, and therefore stresses that mothers face.
Mothers also worry about their children’s behaviour and social development, which makes every new stage of development a challenge.
There’s also the fear that many mothers have that they’re not doing a good enough job. Because each child has unique temperament traits, needs, and quirks, and because children grow and change all the time, it’s impossible to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to mothering.
That means that mothers are constantly re-evaluating what they’re doing, looking for new insights (from parenting experts who often disagree with one another on major issues), and trying to stay one step ahead of their kids to be their best as mothers. Often, there are mysteries to be solved, crises to handle, and little dramas to deal with along the way. Given all these things, it’s easy for mothers to question themselves, and become stressed by the consequences of making a mistake. It’s all part of being a conscientious mother.
COMMON STRESS RELATED AILMENTS
Stress can make you reach for junk or comfort foods or upset your stomach to the point that you feel like you can’t eat. Common stress-related stomach troubles include cramps, bloating, heartburn and even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published in 2017 in the medical journal ‘Frontiers in System Neuroscience’. It’s also true that IBS affects more women than men. Depending on how you respond, these stomach-related ailments can lead to weight loss or weight gain.
Stress can lead to breakouts, and even itchy rashes and hives in some people.
From being in a blue or irritable mood to more serious mental issues, like depression, your emotional health suffers when there’s stress in your life.
Trouble falling or staying asleep is common in women affected by stress, and this is particularly counterproductive since a good night’s sleep can help ease stress.
Stress makes it hard to focus and be effective in your responsibilities at home or work, and that can compound your problems if the stress comes from your job to begin with.
Stress can negatively affect the entire cardiovascular system, and while it doesn’t directly cause high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack, it can definitely contribute to them.
Lowered immune response
One of the more complicated physical reactions to stress is your body’s lessened ability to fight off disease, whether it’s a cold or a flare-up of a chronic condition.
HOW TO LOWER STRESS LEVELS
In a survey of 3,000 people, it was found that 25% of happiness hinges on how well you handle stress. And the most important stress management strategy was recorded as planning. This means anticipating what’s going to stress you and having the tools in place to minimise the tension. Here are some more tips for managing stress:
Improve your diet
By eating well-balanced meals and skipping junk food, you can improve your physical wellbeing and, in turn, your emotional health.
Make time for exercise
Exercise is a phenomenal way of dealing with stress and depression and research shows that getting active can lift your spirits by increasing the hormones and neurochemicals that can improve your mood.
Find fun ways to relax
Connect with family and friends and people you enjoy being around. Rediscover favourite hobbies! Research published in one of the leading psychiatry journals linked pursuits that require focus, like making crafts, drawing, or even home repairs, with stress-reducing effects. Other popular stressbusters include yoga, meditation and pretty much all exercise.
Many mothers find it difficult to make time and save energy to care for themselves. Gone are most of the spa treatments, personal enrichment activities and even hobbies of the pre-child days once a woman’s responsibilities multiply with the advent of motherhood. Sadly, many of us need this time to be alone, reflect, explore in a journal, and take care of ourselves to be in a good position to care for others.
Finally, if you feel overwhelmed by stress and its effects, talk to your doctor about ways to deal with it. You may learn new techniques for managing stress on your own, or you may find that therapy with a mental health professional will better help you to get it all under control.