Dear Barb – A Mom’s Plate

Dear Barb:

Hi, I am the mother of three children, ages fourteen, twelve, and eight. My husband and I both work full time and I take courses at AU. My daughter takes piano lessons and my son is in hockey. I am feelings so stressed out that I am yelling at my kids and my husband constantly. My husband tries his best to help but he has a demanding job and is often away on business. I end up feeling guilty all the time and that I am not a good mother. I’m sure there are lots of mothers that feel like I do and I’m wondering how they cope? Maybe I am doing too much. I have considered giving up working on my degree until the kids are older, but I love doing my courses; it feels like I am doing something for myself. I really need some advice! Thanks, from frazzled Laurie.

Hi Laurie:

You are right, I’m sure there are many moms out there who share your dilemma. Being a mom is the most difficult job in the world, and nobody knows this going into it. It starts out with this tiny baby who just lives for your touch and nurturing, then escalates into a two-year-old running around like they are the center of the universe, followed by the young child, who, for the most part, is pretty reasonable, except when you don’t provide what they want when they want it. All this is to prepare you for the self-centered teens who know everything. This is the phase you are just entering with your oldest. As a mom, you should be careful not to lose touch with yourself. You not just a mom, you are a wife, daughter, employee, and student just to name a few. It’s important that you take time for yourself, even if this means getting up half an hour earlier in the morning to do yoga, or go for a walk, or just sit by yourself and enjoy a coffee. It is essential that you begin your day centered and well balanced, thus providing you with some resources to get through your day. Also, try to make your home environment peaceful, everyone will benefit from a little quiet. For example, spend an hour a day, possibly after dinner, where the TV and all electronics are unplugged. Encourage your children to read a book, or go outside and play. Your children will resist at first, but make this a part of their daily routine and eventually they will accept this as part of their life. Hopefully as adults they will have learned to live a more peaceful life. When you get really frazzled rather than yelling at your kids or your husband, which only makes things worse, try some deep breathing and self talk. Tell yourself this will pass, as all things eventually do. On the practical side of things, if you can afford to, hire someone to help with the housework or cooking. There are services that will provide fully prepared meals for families. This way you are still enjoying a homemade meal without all the work or expense of going out to a restaurant. There are many books you may want to read that can help with the mom overload including: Be That Mom: Ignite Your Passion, Organize Your Life and Embrace Your Family! by Tina O’Connor. Life Skills Smart Moms Must Have: Proven Strategies to Keep You Sane! By J. Rembrandt. Hope this information helps.

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Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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