Motherhood is stressful. Think about all the roles you have on a daily basis. Taking care of your sick child, talking to the teacher about why homework wasn’t turned in on time, mediating a sibling conflict, making sure teeth are brushed and hair is combed, putting dinner on the table….and I’m sure you can list a thousand more!
That’s like being a doctor, a lawyer, a chef and a cruise ship director all in one! Can you think of any paid position in the world where you have to switch from one role to another all in a day’s work? No wonder you’re stressed.
So what does stress look and feel like?
Stress is no joke. It can affect you physically and mentally. Here are some common signs of stress:
1.Feeling burned out
3.Anxious thoughts or “keyed up”
4.Feeling agitated, irritable, snappish
5.Easily frustrated by the small things
There are many physical symptoms as well, including fatigue or heart palpitations. It’s really important to go to your doctor to get those symptoms checked out. I can’t emphasize that enough. A doctor’s input is critical because it may be possible that a medical intervention is necessary to help you feel better, or to catch something more serious.
So what should you do about stress? Practice good self-care.
Self-care? But I’m too busy taking care of my kids!
Ever been on an airplane? You know how they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help others? Same thing for moms! Your child is more likely to thrive when she sees her mom taking care of herself. Other than self-care helping life feel better for you, here’s a few good reasons taking care of yourself is good for your children:
• You’re modeling self-regulation, which is the ability to handle life’s stressors as they come your way.
• You’re demonstrating good self-esteem, because self-care communicates to your child you are valuable and worthy of taking care of.
• You are working on creating a more calm and focused state, which can improve intellectual and social-emotional intelligence, which helps in all facets of your life. This directly benefits your child as she grows to be a capable young adult.
Check out next week’s post for specific strategies on how to take care of yourself!
Bottom line: Everyday stress is normal, but over time it can be overwhelming and develop into more serious problems. Your stress affects your children and your family so taking care of yourself can help your family’s overall functioning. Not only do you deserve to care for yourself, it will help you and your child in the long run.
Please comment below: Ever felt stressed? How did you know?
Jenmarie Eadie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State with a dual concentration in Children, Youth, and Families; and Behavioral Health. Her proudest accomplishment is following her dream of opening up a practice that is designed to focus on the whole family. She currently serves families in Southern California.