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How do you find the experience of being a mom? Most likely, you have discovered early in the role that your responsibilities toward your child and the family, as a whole, are not easy. The idea of juggling all your obligations at the workplace and the family while meeting everybody’s expectations of you is daunting even as you think about it. The pressures at work and in the family, as well as the challenge of handling your child as he or she goes through the different phases of growing up, can take their toll on you. Rest assured that if you are going through difficult times as a mom, you are far from alone.
A recent survey on what moms consider are the greatest challenges in playing their role reveals that the early phases of childhood have presented the most number of challenges. This article will discuss the top 5 factors that cause much stress to moms, as well as present ways for you to cope with the stress healthily.
- Going through sleepless nights
All moms have had their fair share of sleep deprivation. You might even think that you have had more than your fair share of sleepless nights. Such scenario is especially true when your child is sick. It is only natural that you, as a mom, cannot sleep well while your child is feeling ill. At the smallest wail from your toddler or the pained breathing of your child, you rouse yourself from sleep just to check on them. When you feel that your child needs professional medical attention, you immediately scoot to the nearest hospital even though it’s in the wee hours of the morning. Suffice it to say that when you became a mom, you have found yourself becoming even more selfless than you thought possible.
- Dealing with your child’s tantrums
Picture this scene. You are at the mall, and your toddler points to a toy, asking you to buy it for him or her. You say no because you are on a tight budget and besides, your child already has enough toys. When your child realizes that you are not giving in to his or her demands, your child begins to throw a fit and starts making a scene in public. Despite your best efforts to silence your child, other mall goers are now looking your way and shooting glances of annoyance at you while you cringe deep inside. How would you act then? Will you just buy the toy that your child wants to silence him or her? Or will you hold your ground, gently but firmly explaining why you are not going to make the purchase?
Is the scenario above a familiar one? As a mom, you probably had to deal with more tantrums than you can count. In an attempt to quiet their children, some moms give in to their children’s petty demands, which results to even more tantrums in the future. Indeed, the stress that comes with having to figure out a way to end your child’s tantrums without giving up parental authority is not a small one.
- Showing extreme patience
Being a mom requires a very high level of patience. Of all the things you need to do, you need to be willing to keep repeating yourself to your child to make sure that he or she understands you. You also have to learn how to understand the way your child thinks and feels even when you feel utterly lost. You have to admit, however, that despite your commitment to keeping your cool even in the most stressful mother-child situations, you sometimes snap. Such momentary loss of patience can end up with you scolding your child too strongly or hitting your child too hard for a mistake he or she has committed.
Of course, you know you can always apologize to your child for going overboard once in a while. Even then, you know you could not undo the scars you may have inflicted on your child nor shrug off your guilt feelings so easily. After all, your child may not be old enough to understand that you are stressed at work or with a family problem, which led to you lashing out your frustrations on them. It is thus unsurprising that moms find motherhood an emotionally taxing responsibility!
- Completing all of your household chores
Being a mom does not end your role of being a wife to your husband. You know that you cannot just neglect your household chores because you now have a baby. Sure, having someone help you out with your chores would make your life easier than doing everything alone. However, not all moms can afford such help at the present and thus need to juggle their responsibilities at home all alone.
A typical domestic scene would, therefore, involve you, as the mom, getting up early in the morning to prepare for your family’s breakfast. Then you would need to help your child prepare for school and then drop him or her off there. When you get back home you find that you have an endless list of chores to do—washing the dishes, washing your clothes, cleaning the house, making yourself lunch, etc. Before you know it, it’s time for you to pick your child up from school and then help him or her with any homework that their teachers may have given them. Then your husband drives home, and you would have to cater for his needs as well. While they are resting, you get busy in the kitchen, preparing for dinner. Most often, your tasks do not end with dinner, which makes you the last person fall asleep at night.
It is no wonder, then, how people call you a supermom! It truly is not an easy role that you are playing in your family.
- Getting your children to eat healthily
Training your child to eat their fruit slices, veggie dishes, and drinks their milk, if they’re no longer drinking breast milk; preferably coconut milk is a good alternative. It is often not an easy one though. It most probably involves a lot of coaxings, bribery, and threatening to get your child to eat healthy foods. After all, your child chooses food according to how the food looks and tastes, and not so much for its nutritional value.
For you to keep your child as healthy as possible, you would need to resort to creativity in feeding them. Some have found that mixing in vitamins in their toddlers’ milk is the best way to make them drink vitamins. If your toddler does not like fruits, you could make a puree or a concentrate of the fruit instead so it would be appealing to them. You could resort to any means of feeding your child as long as you get to make them eat the right foods instead of junk ones.
To sum the list above, the top five challenges of motherhood are dealing with sleepless nights, handling tantrums, showing patience, completing household chores, and feeding your child right. However, there is one more challenge that you, as a mom, face as you deal with all your responsibilities. The greatest challenge of being a mom is probably that of staying healthy and fit despite all the stresses that you have to go through. How could you make sure that you do not neglect yourself while caring for the other members of your family? You may think: Where do I find the time to keep myself healthy and fit when I have to complete a dizzying list of To-Dos every day?
Many healthy moms have found the suggestions below very helpful in addressing their challenges in maintaining physical fitness despite a busy schedule. You may also want to consider the suggestions and see how you could apply them yourself.
- Follow a schedule
No matter how busy you may be, you will most likely be able to complete your chores satisfactorily if you arrange your affairs beforehand. So instead of waiting for the next day before you plan your tasks out, you might find it helpful to plan in advance. Making a schedule and sticking to it can help you spend your time wisely and also give you time to relax.
- Divide the tasks in your family
No matter how much of a supermom you are, you have to admit that you cannot do everything in the house alone. Why don’t you ask other members in your family to help you out on certain tasks? For instance, if your child is old enough to wash the dishes, could he or she probably handle that task? If your husband could help you prepare for dinner every night, you would not be too tired at the end of the day.
- Observe a fitness routine
You do not have to take a 30-minute jog every day to be physically fit. Instead, you can try to fit in 10-minute exercises in your schedule every morning, afternoon, and evening. Doing so will help you stay fit and your blood cholesterol and pressure levels normal.
About the author of this post:
Ashley Sotelo is a pro-active health enthusiast; she does research for various leading health companies focusing mainly on the different alternative treatments available for chronic illnesses. Writing health articles has grown to become her passion, becoming the author of roughly a hundred of such articles and currently writing at BRI Nutrition whose sole purpose is to provide natural and safe supplements. When she is not writing or engaging in her regular fitness routine, she could be found curled up in a nook and reading her favorite books.