- Mental Health
Stress Relief for Stay-At-Home Moms
For some reason there are people in this world who tend to think that stay-at-home moms are uneducated and do nothing but eat bon-bons and watch television all day. These opinions could not be further from the truth. Women who choose to stay at home are often stretched to their limits from morning until night and frequently suffer from stress because of all of the demands placed on them.
Ask any stay-at-home mom what they do all day and you'll probably be amazed at the answers. Moms are constantly running around dealing with children, who can be quite trying at times. They handle the family finances and volunteer at various charities. They organize the house, cook, clean, help out at school, and take children to and from various events. They may also deal with elderly parents or other ill family members.
Many of these women have advanced college degrees and have given up lucrative careers to stay at home with their children. Some may deal with issues like loneliness or depression and some may have regrets about their career choices.
In short, stay-at-home moms are the backbone of a family. They are the ones who hold it all together, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. That is a lot of responsibility for one person and it leads to a lot of stress. Luckily there are many ways for stay-at-home moms to get relief.
Outside of the House
Activities without children
Sometimes it is fun to get away from the house alone. Try out one of these ideas.
- Monthly friends group - Get together with girlfriends once a month. Start a book club or a Bunco night. It's a great way to let off some steam.
- Volunteer - Many organizations need help and it's a very rewarding thing to do. Most organizations are willing to work around a schedule and they are grateful for the help.
- Take classes - There are many local colleges and organizations which offer classes on almost any subject. These courses are offered at various times throughout the day. Learn a new language or brush up on an old art skill. You'll get out of the house and meet new friends.
- Lunch with a friend - Make a standing lunch date with a friend. This is easier when children are school-aged.
Check the internet for mothers groups in your area. MOMS, with the slogan, "MOMS Offering Moms Support", is a non-profit organization with groups in many locations.
Activities with children
Children are loads of fun and doing things with them is a wonderful way to relieve stress. Try one of these fun ideas.
- Mother/child classes - These work well with younger children who are not in school yet, or with older children in the evening. There are many organizations that offer classes for mothers and children. Check out the local YMCA and Gymboree or other local child-based play centers. Local colleges are also a good place to find classes. You'll get out of the house, meet other local mothers and have fun bonding with your child.
- Community mothers groups - Most communities have mothers groups that meet at members homes on a regular basis. Children have fun playing while mothers enjoy each other's company. It's a great place to vent, get advice and have a good time.
- Playgrounds - If it's a nice day, just go outside to a public playground. Chances are you'll meet other moms there and the children will have a good time in the sun. Best of all, it's free.
Schedule Alone Time
Set aside dedicated alone time during the week. Work out a time with your spouse and stick to the schedule. If you stay at home during your alone time, make sure children, spouse and pets stay away. This is your time. A few easy ideas for alone time stress relievers are:
- Yoga - Many local gyms offer yoga classes and there are DVDs available too.
- Meditation - Take a class at a local organization or buy a book to learn the methods.
- Exercise - Take a walk or join a gym. The benefits of exercising are limitless.
- Hobbies - Take up painting, photography or another hobby.
- Reading - Get lost in a great book.
- Bubble Baths - Take a luxurious bubble bath. Make it special by lighting candles and using fancy bath products.
- Take a drive - An easy stress reliever, hop in the car and take a drive through the countryside.
Special activities are not always easy to schedule and the cost can sometimes be prohibitive, but they are worth it every once in a while.
- Date night - Get a babysitter and schedule a date night. Go see a movie and grab dinner.
- Spa Day - Ask for a spa gift certificate for a birthday or Christmas gift. Pamper yourself with a facial or a massage.
It Is Important to Relieve Stress
Stress is a major problem for stay-at-home moms. It can lead to problems in the home and depression for the mothers. It is also something that most stay-at-home mothers deal with every day.
Stress relief comes in many forms. A mother can enjoy some alone time and she can enjoy time away from the house either with or without her children. Whatever choice a stay-at-home mom makes, it is important for the entire family that she takes time to relieve her stress.
© 2012 Claudia Mitchell