Monday, September 24, 2012

Stress proof your motherhood...

Life in this modern day and age has become such a relentless rat race that moms in particular, single and or working moms are likely to feel incredible levels of stress, in particular if you are trying to bring up small ones, manage a competitive stance on the career front and hold an important relationship together and sometimes do all of this without extended family support or a partners contribution. We all agree that mothers have so many responsibilities and so little time, so how do they cope? Remember stress will inevitably have its costs in the long run, where later you could get high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and so on, and end up being a long term burden to the kids you love. In any case don't we all owe it to ourselves to be happy in our lives, not just slaves to the system in our own homes?

Having heard  popular complaints such as I don't remember the last time there was "me" time, why is it always me that has to do XYZ, Im such a bad mother Im fed up…we decided to interview a number of ladies on their ideas for how to stress proof motherhood..the ideas were surprisingly uniform!

On top of the list is Time Management- a valuable skill which we learn in the office place which can save us at home! Doing anything at the correct time is always a way of avoiding stress and aggravation, and if you need help in this, create a habit of making lists of things to do, with their deadlines.(hey modern phones are good at this with the little electronic beeps to remind you) Delegate anything that you can to your brood, because they have to learn, regardless of whether they are boys or girls,  they must be able to cope with the difficulties of modern life and what better a way than to train them early! Next comes Prioritizing. Do we really have to go to that cousins wedding, or birthday party or  is there a way we can politely and graciously decline and yet make our sincere best wishes clear? Days of shopping , fit ons , anxiety knocked off in one go(not to mention all that expense- you can use the money saved to send them an honestly useful gift!) . And if you are planning a party, think about your invitees, the simpler you make it the less stress there will be.  Perhaps you can insist on an informal location and informal clothes, instead of the usual showing off! Prioritizing applies at home too, don't obsess about cleanliness if it's at the expense of your temper, as long as the kids are happy and well fed who cares about a few dog hairs on the sofa…and the latest scientific findings are that pets are good for you too, just train them first. Take time to be thankful for the Special moments in life, like clean sun dried cotton laundry…watch an occasional comedy with the kids, taking the dog for a walk, teaching little ones how to grow tomatoes or make pol sambol, or going shopping or when your seven year old decides to make you some tea. Don't try be a perfectionist and DON'T agree to do too much, there are only so many hours in a day and you deserve some time for yourself too! Keeping yourself happy is NOT a CRIME, it is finally for the good of your child! In Austrailia, a lady called Amanda Cox, mother of three, has actually formed the Bad Mothers Club, where she and fellow "bad" mothers support each other over why they gave up in the race to become perfect .

Finally…one very important tip that I found from talking to my friends was "STOP LISTENING to people trying to judge you!" which is very true. People (ehem, women mostly) have a tendency to say mean little things like Oh how skinny your kid is…or such a pity she had to wear braces…or you should do this, you should not have done that. As long as your kids know you love them, and you know you are doing your best for them, do allow all those nosy old in law aunts to go fly kites.

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