Overworked, Stressed Moms,’ What’s New?
Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – SmileNotes –
I hear this story all the time in my counseling practice: I’m overwhelmed and exhausted.
My neck (or back or stomach or head) hurts so bad. My kids are doing great, I monitor their homework, go to all of their games and all that. We eat out a lot as I’m too tired to cook.
I have a great husband who works hard too. Why am I so unhappy?
I ask her a few questions such as:
*how many hours of sleep do you get? (4-6)
*how many meals do you eat a day? (one maybe two)
*fairly healthful meals? (no, I crave sugar)
*any exercise? (I don’t have time)
*when is the last time you did something you enjoy on a regular basis? (oh gosh, let me think,.)
*when is the last time that you had a date night with your spouse without the children? (we never do anything without the kids).
This Mom (and, of course, it could be Dad as well) has her priorities upside down. She takes care of herself last, if at all.
And the well has run dry, meaning she has depleted her resources. If she wants to be healthy for her family, she needs to take care of her needs first, not last. And this is not being selfish, it’s being wise. Just like the announcement during take-off from the flight attendant: In case of an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before attempting to help your children with theirs. Because if you don’t, you might not be conscious to even help your children.
Taking care of yourself is also being a good model for your children and spouse to do the same.
So during this month of Thanksgiving, be grateful for what you have (life) and take good care of it so you can be there with energy, a good attitude, and enthusiasm for your family. A few tips:
*go to bed 15 minutes earlier for a week; then 15 minutes earlier for another week until you get to 7-8 hours
*eat 3 meals a day (or 5 smaller ones), this feeds your body and your mind
*do something kind and fun every week for yourself (tub soak, massage, manicure, read for pleasure, time for your hobby/music/craft, etc.
Just making those small changes will make a significant difference in how you feel. You will be less stressed and more positive!
Copyright © 2017, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from the author.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.