As a new mom, my daughter’s maternity leave has come to an end and she will be returning to work full-time this week. The current state of the economy leaves no choice but to place her two children, both under the age of two, in daycare. My daughter’s experience in a family daycare home left her with many fond memories, and she still continues to keep in touch with her former daycare provider. This experience in turn, was the bell weather for how my daughter determined who would watch her children.
However, nonetheless, there is always a margin for stress to emerge.
For some of us, stress is a condition that we cannot tackle alone. If you are a mom who has tried to manage your stress alone but to no avail, it may be time to seek help from an outside source. Here are a few suggestions to help with that decision.
Stress can affect our physical body. Too much stress can lead to symptoms like hair loss, headaches, weight loss or weight gain, ulcers, and depressive disorders. All of these symptoms can be signs of conditions other than stress, but if you have been in otherwise good health before they showed up, there is a good chance that stress may be the cause.
Examine your daily life. What are the pressures you face each day? Stress on the job can spill over into family life. The threat of downsizing or loss of a job due to poor performance can cause problems at home to get blown out of proportion.
If the problem is within the family or the marriage, this can in turn affect your performance at work. Increased sensitivity is a sign that something has hold of your mind and is not letting go. In both situations, the consequences could be devastating and life changing.
See a medical doctor if your physical body has shown signs of stress overload. Be sure to tell your doctor when the symptoms started and their intensity. The more information you can provide to our doctor, the better chance of an accurate diagnosis. Holding back anything because of embarrassment is not wise.
Get a full physical exam each year. This will give your doctor a baseline to work from when assessing new problems. Whatever his diagnosis, comply as fully as you can. It’s the difference between getting well or getting worse.
Stress builds up when there is no outlet for the pressure. Moms that have no one to confide in about things going on in their lives could use the help of a professional counselor. A counselor will listen as you speak and offer coping suggestions and solutions.
Many employers offer employee assistance programs (EAP) that allow employees to see counselors for little or no cost. The human resources officer would have information about that. These programs are confidential.
There are clinical psychiatrists and psychologists who can help, whether the problem is related to a mental or chemical breakdown in the brain or situations outside your control. Marriage counseling can help you and your spouse if this is the source of your stress. Group counseling can help moms whose stress has led to unhealthy addictions like smoking, drinking, or overeating.
If your weight is causing stress, join a fitness center and sign up with a personal trainer – someone who will hold you accountable. Sometimes just having an appointment to work out will get you to the guy. And, of course, getting regular exercise can be enough to combat your high levels of stress. Either way, it sure can’t hurt!
Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. Moms are always helping others, but sometimes we are the ones in need. Doing nothing is the worst solution to the problem of stress.