Many people think that a stay at home mom lives a stress free life with nothing to do all day. The reality is that a stay at home mom has to deal with taking care of the children, run errands, cook, clean and make sure everything at home is in tip top shape. The life of a stay at home mom can be very stressful. When the mom is feeling stressed then everyone else in the family will also feel the impact, which makes for a very unhappy home. To help understand what a stay at home mom may feel stressed about and what she can do to help reduce her level of stress, I have interviewed psychotherapist Nicole Urdang.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a holistic psychotherapist and have been in private practice for 30 years. I am a mother of two grown children. My avocations are yoga, writing and eating chocolate.”
What are common things a stay at home mom may stress about?
“Feelings of loneliness and isolation are typical. A stay-at-home mom may be second-guessing her decision to stay at home, experience shifting roles in her marriage, sexual issues with her partner, body issues after giving birth, and changes in relationships with friends and family, just to name a few.”
What are some signs and symptoms that a stay at home mom is feeling stressed?
“Some signs are if a stay-at-home mom feels tense, anxious, worthless, inadequate, guilty and depressed. She may use obsessive-compulsive behaviors like over-eating, shopping,
gambling, drugs/alcohol to numb herself. Or, she might isolate herself from friends and
family. Perhaps, she isn’t taking good care of herself: eating poorly, sleeping too little or too much, or not exercising and avoiding intimacy with her mate.”
What type of impact can stress have on a stay at home mom’s life?
“The stress can be so overwhelming that it could erode her relationship with herself and others. Making her feel cranky, and possibly result in physical symptoms.”
What can a stay at home mom do to reduce stress?
“Get out. Meet friends. Have your mate, relative or babysitter care for your child so you can take a break. Take a yoga class, go for a walk, meet someone for coffee, go to the library, schedule a massage (if you can afford it) or read a book. Ask yourself what you used to enjoy before the baby was born and make a point of doing it. Use free online resources, like Yahoo groups, to chat with other mothers, learn meditation, read other mother’s blogs. Go out with your partner for a walk or dinner and re-connect. Remember what brought you together in the first place. Practice compassion for yourself as you grow into motherhood and this new phase of life. Give yourself a cosmic permission slip to take a break from all the negative thoughts and feelings you have been experiencing.”
What last advice would you like to give a stay at home mom who is experiencing stress?
“If the stress is persistent and you want some relief, find yourself a good counselor.”
Thank you Nicole for the interview. If you would like more information about Nicole Urdang check out her holistic psychotherapy blog on: http://www.goodtherapy.org.
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