Motherhood is a wonderful part of life that many women look forward to, however, it is wrought with various sources of stress that many people never consider. Everyone’s situation is different, but mothers may be subject to various sources of stress and anxiety such as prenatal stress, postpartum depression, the stress of existing children adapting to a new child in a household, family conflict, and so much more. Working moms may have entirely different and additional sources of stress in terms of balancing the needs of the household with the needs of their child, while stay-at-home mothers may experience stress from being isolated at home, or having their career changed in expected ways. Regardless of the situation that a mother is in, and at what point in motherhood they are, maternal stress is a real thing.
Various sources of stress and anxiety in mothers can contribute to, or manifest as, mental health problems. The feeling of drowning in stress can lead to anxiety or panic attacks, while a lack of coping skills for stress responses can contribute to depression, chronic stress, sleep disorders, and more.
Unique Sources of Stress for Mothers
As a mother, you are managing more than you may realize – what is for dinner tonight, what clothes your children have available, how you’ll get your son or daughter to soccer practice while picking up your other child from rehearsal – it is a lot and often falls on your shoulders. An excellent article from mother.ly probably resonates with mothers everywhere. In this article, the fact that it all falls on your shoulders is pretty clear – “…it’s not just the children and the shopping lists we manage. It’s all of it—we think about the cleaning, the cooking, the organizing, the planning, the dressing, the gift-buying, the brushing, the laundering, the caring about the everything.” While this paints a pretty good picture of the responsibilities that impact you as a mother, it goes far beyond that…
Emotional anxiety about your children and their well being is a constant source of stress. Are we doing a good enough job as a parent? Are they being provided with the right tools and skills to deal with bullies, school, and life in general? Are we doing the right things to make them a good person? Having these questions constantly at the forefront of our thoughts is a major source of parenting stress. Things that are outside of your control can also cause stress – if you are going on a family trip, will your child travel quietly and calmly, or will you be enduring the judgmental looks of your fellow travelers on a three-hour flight?
Mothers Can Manage Stress
So how do we cope with this? How can we be a good parent while managing our mental health and keeping our stress levels in check? Well, the first piece of good news is that you are a good mother since you are concerned about how to keep being a good mother. The other piece of good news is that coping strategies can be learned and practiced in such a way as to improve your well-being mentally and lower levels of stress, all while continuing to build your relationship with your child. At the Granato Group, we are ready to talk with you and help to manage the stress that you experience as a mother – give us a call, many of us are mothers too!