If You Think Motherhood Is Driving You Crazy – You May Be Right

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Even in two-parent families, it appears that the bulk of child-rearing duties still fall to one person. For all the help dads give, it is moms who take on most of the emotional labor of parenting, according to a recent study by researchers at Arizona State University and Oklahoma State University. Mothers handle grocery lists, doctor’s appointments, playdates, homework help, and other responsibilities. And sometimes juggling all those duties becomes more than they can bear, creating a strain on their mental health – as mothers themselves can tell you. “I hit a time in my life when my ability to cope with the normal challenges of every day was weakening,” says Fran Pitre, a mother of three sets of twins and author of the book TwinsX3, in which she described the joys and stresses of raising six children. Her tips to help other mothers avoid being overwhelmed by the normal stresses and strains of raising children include:

Everyone must pitch in. At one time Pitre exhausted herself physically and emotionally by trying to keep her children’s bedrooms organized and clean. “I gave that up when I began going to school while working outside of our home full time,” she says. “Not only did I believe each kid had the ability to take over this task and should, I was just too tired and had too little time.”

A curfew is a must. Few things take more of a toll on a mother’s mental health than worrying about where her children are and whether they are safe. Pitre says that’s why a curfew is a must, and should be adhered to except on special occasions, such as a prom. “If they realize they are going to be a little bit late, they need to text and let you know what’s going on,” she says.

Remember to take care of yourself. Mothers can become so focused on caring for others that they fail to care for themselves, Pitre says. “Don’t neglect your own needs such as exercise, wellness check-ups, quiet alone time, and regular visits to a salon or spa,” she says.

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