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The Hidden Feelings: Why Mother's are stressed

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  • The Hidden Feelings: Why Mother's are stressed

    In "The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood" Kathleen Kendall-Tackett talks about the stressors we experience as mothers. She lists the below. Do any of these apply to you, your mothering community, or do you have different ones?

    Too Much, Too Many: i.e. too many people in a confined space, leading to lines, traffic, and pollution; too much stimulation in the way of advertisements, billboards, etc.

    Driving: Mothers drive children to school, extracurricular activites, appointments, etc.

    House: housing costs that dictate many other lifestyle choices such as type of job person takes, hours being worked, and commuting distance.

    Paper: An average person handles about 300 sheets of paper per day. According to some estimates, we spend an average of eight months in our lives sorthing through junk mail alone.

    Work: Americans work too much. We have recently surprassed the Japanese, and now have the longest work week of any industrialized nation.

    Debt: dictates how much both mothers and fathers work, and it is a source of chronic stress.

    The Long Arm of Technology: Modern technology has provided us with items such as cellular telephones, laptop computers, e-mail, and the Internet. Technology has increased our availability for work and the pace of work. Being "available" twenty-four hours a day has undobutedly increased our workloads and and the pace of our lives.

    Vacations: We tend to work right up to the day we leave, then spend a frantic couple of hours packing and preparing the house for our departure. We may drive or fly for hours, and once there, we dash from activity to activity. We return home only to go back to work the next day.

    I love this summation of stress:
    "We are living in a new world, one that challenges our peace of mind and our inner grace. With its frenetic pace and constant state of flux, modern life often feels chaotic and unstable, and leaves us unsure of the ground we walk on... Many of us feel cut off from life's blessings, from our neighbors, from the wonders of nature, and from our sense of our own significance in the scheme of things. Modern life leaves us feeling spiritually starved."

  • #2
    My copy of the book is on the way but I can't wait sounds great! I love this though. I think the house one is huge, especially with the current market. My husband and I are constantly stressing about how our house dictates everything we do, the property taxes just keep going up, and it's so crazy how something so basic causes so much stress! And technology, wonderful but seriously if I didn't have my laptop and computer I probably wouldn't be sitting here I would be doing something else probably leisurly instead of getting sucked in everytime I hear that stupid ding of a new e-mail coming. I should just turn it off.

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    • #3
      There are so many AH-Ha moments in this book! Some of my favorites are "don't be afraid of the other mom's making fun of you" I can't even count the number of times I have come home from a play date feeling like a horrible mom, I must not be doing enough, or doing it right. There was an article recently in Parents magazine entitled "Life in the slow Lane" It now resides on my fridge. Also I read an article in Money magazine and it talked about one Dad who decided to make it a point to stay off the computer when his kids were around after watching his daughter play let's check e-mail. I think this talks exactly to her point of technology.

      I am going to take active strides to cut down on my peripheral stressors here are some things I'm going to do what do others plan to do?

      I already canceled one of my daughters activities
      Sign up for a yoga class once a week for myself
      Keep the computer off when my daughter is awake

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      • #4
        What a wonderful question. Hmm, here’s my responses.

        1) Continue to take a 30 min to 1 hour relaxation break after lunch; making sure to do it consistently. I’m not so consistent as of late. I think doing this will also be a great example for my daughter.
        2) Continue to journal to get any of the “annoyances” or “peripherals” out on paper so that it can be gone from the brain.
        3) Listen to my music more often so that I can infuse some of me into the day.

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        • #5
          I have not read the book but felt compelled to write.

          I just came off a very stressful month! My husband's job cut his hours and then he went into a depression. I feel really trapped by the money situation. So far, to alleviate the situation, I've been trying to look for more work for myself (I work from home). I even applied at a daycare, which I'm admittedly a stay-at-home advocate. I was offered the job, but am still considering it, as I found it distressing how cold some of the daycare workers and parents acted toward the children. But, I feel I already work too much.

          The past three days, I decided to have an impromptu vacation -- rather, just didn't work. I spent time playing pretend with my kids and watching a couple movies. And while I'm certainly not helping the money situation, it was really nice to focus on something else for a change.

          So...long story short, I think I'm going to reduce my stress by not obsessing over money problems as much.

          Also, I wanted to add, I do find music is very relaxing. I also like to sing and was recently invited to join the church choir. I wondered if I really had time to do the rehearsals, but I went to the first one tonight and had so much fun!
          Last edited by LisaL; 02-03-2010, 04:29 AM.

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          • #6
            I am so glad that you were able to do something fun for yourself. I too stress over the money situation and feel so pulled away from my priorities. Lately I have been reminded in all kinds of different areas of my life but how fleeting time with our children are. That before we know it our children are adults and how we wished we spent more time with them or did things differently. It's made me think a lot about this. I too wish money wasn't an issue and maybe it won't become one in the future. For right now, I just do the best that I can. Sometimes I do feel guilty on certain days and wonder what opportunities I missed on that day.

            Some of the things the book mentions seem so hard to do:
            Identify the Positives in Your Life
            Take time out for self care (a biggie to work on for me)
            Change your daily work (still pondering this one)
            Start laughing again (I've heard of laughter yoga but haven't tried it yet; maybe a comedy club or more comendy videos?)
            Seek a mothering mentor (as an API leader people seek that from me)
            Go online for support (I am just not good at this)
            Learn to pace yourself
            consider hiring a coach (I have considered this)
            cultivate a spiritual life (I am trying to be out with nature more but it's not safe for a woman alone)
            surround yourself with beauty (I have worked on this one at least)

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            • #7
              I think that this is the biggest challenge in life and as Mom's it seems to just multiply in it's difficulties! We stress about money but not just for Money's sake. What if we were to identify what the stress of the money was really about. Is it our fear that we won't be able to provide for our kids, and what does that mean to us? Is it the essential's we are worring about providing food,clothes, etc. Or are we spending our time worrying about not being able to provide the biggest and best toys, or all the extra-curricular's? The book touches on this and the idea of simplifying. I have been trying to really identify why I worry about money, because it's not just the money, that's just paper it's my expectations and societies expectations of me. I have learned to let go of my thinking I need to buy the latest style's for my daughter, I always get compliments on the stuff I find at resales and that my sister sends me. I think the hardest has been letting go of the idea that I have to provide everything for my child, I look at how I was raised my mom's motto in life seemed to be we can't afford it! But I had it pretty good growing up, I had my mom and making paper dolls out of magazines with my mom was so much better than playing with the latest toy bought at the store. I TRY and keep it all in perspective.

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              • #8
                I love your post and it did get me thinking. The book does touch on simplicity. It seems so simple to do this and say it but I find it quite a challenge. I will achieve it and then next thing it's gotten out of control again. I think the areas of simplicity we could monetary wise would be to not need so much "extra's" and feeling like we need to spend for ourselves every month because we definitely don't have it to give. I also think driving less to save on fuel would be a good help. Remaining dilligent with coupon cutting and take advantage of store sales in comibination with coupons. THose are all ways to simplify and also at the same time take some big chunks out of monetary needs.

                Anyone else who could cut stuff out? If so, what?

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