How do you stay sane?

Alison - posted on 07/13/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am writing a book (Millennium Mom) about my journey of motherhood and how I realized I needed to take care of myself in order to care for my children. This book will provide practical ideas on how to stay sane and will provide insight into how to embrace motherhood in a fast-paced world. Please post any comments/ideas on how you stay balanced and how you nurture yourself.

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Jean - posted on 07/14/2009

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" did not. I realize now that I probably suffered from Postpartum Depression but was too proud, embarrassed and too busy trying to be a good mom to get help. My physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs were put on the back burner and at times this caused me to lose sight of the joys of motherhood. I am hoping this book will make people laugh and will encourage mothers who do not have a support network to have faith and hope and to believe that their job as mother is the most important and challenging and rewarding job in the world." PLEASE look at lovemyhormones.blogspot.com it will have alot of avswer for you about this above quote, and can help all women.REALLY it is nit a scam it is real and I am in middel of treatment na dI fell like crap now but I have seen th end result and I want it. I need it.

Casie - posted on 07/13/2009

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I did not get married and have children to be alone. I work , come home, we all cook dinner while we talk about our day, we eat together at the table, on the weekend we might in front of the t.v., we try to play a family game after dinner and then we each have a little time for whatever before bed. I enjoy my family.

Jean - posted on 07/13/2009

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Women health!!!! go to lovemyhormones.blogspot.com Gretchen clark Jones on facefook she has helped soooo many get there monds and body and self back!!!

Ashley - posted on 07/13/2009

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I would wish you luck with writing your book but luck is for the ill prepared. You my dear, will do a fantastic job I'm sure. Let me know when it's done, I would be honored to add it to my collection.

Alison - posted on 07/13/2009

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Dear Sue, Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Exercise will be included in the book as a wonderful coping strategy. Like you I admire Ashley's story. Someone asked me what I loved most about being a mom and other than their hugs and kisses,seeing them do something for the first time does put me in my seat and fills me with joy and excitement. I delight in my children but I have finally learned not to worry so much about what others think and I realized I can't do this job alone.

Ashley - posted on 07/13/2009

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No,Bravo to you Sue. I am happy to hear what you had to say and I commend your courage in saying it. So often (like today seeing a mother dragging her child through a grocery store saying "keep up!" while she is on her cell phone gossiping with a girl friend) I wish I could 'make' mothers enjoy their children. The way they ignore them and waste their time with them is the worst kind of extravagence. They are so precious,and all the joy they have to give is frequently being tossed aside and it's frustrating. Thank you for reminding me to be empathetic.

Alison - posted on 07/13/2009

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Dear Ashley,

First of all I believe I am doing God's work. I am a devout Christian and had it not been for my faith I would not have enjoyed mothering as much as I have. This book will not be a series of whinny stories but in fact will be filled with humour. I feel the Lord is calling me to write this book in the hopes that at least one woman may be spared some pain and will seek the help and direction she needs. My book is my story. My mother died before I had children, my husband worked 12 hour days, often out of town, all of our extended family was 8hrs away. I didn't have many friends other than God. When my mother was a stay at home mom she had a village helping her. I did not. I realize now that I probably suffered from Postpartum Depression but was too proud, embarrassed and too busy trying to be a good mom to get help. My physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs were put on the back burner and at times this caused me to lose sight of the joys of motherhood. I am hoping this book will make people laugh and will encourage mothers who do not have a support network to have faith and hope and to believe that their job as mother is the most important and challenging and rewarding job in the world.

Susan - posted on 07/13/2009

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Hi Alison,

I think your book is a great idea....I think the most important thing to understand is just as every child is different, so is every mother and we all have things we can teach each other. Some mothers, such as Ashely, take delight in things that other mothers may not. I love helping my kids make cookies, but to sit down and play Monopoly when there are clothes to fold is tough for me; other mothers love playing games! Also, some mothers may not have the same support system as Ashley, the same patience, the same beliefs that obviously give Ashley her sense of place and comfort in this world. She sounds very sure and confident of what her role is--a decisive woman, secure in her faith and beliefs. Bravo!

I disagree with Ashley, we DO live in a fast-paced world, and a world that is changing very rapidly. Last year it was Facebook ( do I let my child use it?)--this year it is Twitter. I don't think it is more stressful than past generations, but we do deal with different stresses--as a parent, there is always some new issue to think about and make decisions on. For example: one friend's husband left her after 12 years; my sister's son has severe, severe allergies that no doctor can seem to cure. Is that not stressful? To say that "none" of our generation knows anything about stress is quite the generalization!

Whenever a group of mothers gets together, the conversation flows--we talk to each other, hear each other's stories, get ideas, support, comfort. A story such as Ashley's would be awesome in a book--hearing how she is able to slow down and consider her children as her sanity would be inspiring for me. If she is one of those parents who thrives on parenthood, I, as one who struggles, truly needs to hear about that, as long as it is done with a positive and non-judgemental tone! Stories like Ashley's remind me to be grateful and to take those moments. I need to hear more from the Ashley's of the world!

I thrive on the company of other women and I have never heard another woman whine. I have heard them worry, heard them second-guess themselves, heard them praise their children, boast of their accomplishments, fret about keeping the house clean, but whine? I would never be so self-righteous as to accuse my fellow mothers as whiners.

As mothers we are as hard on each other as we are on ourselves--we look around, often judge, and find others wanting, often to boost our own fragile confidence in doing the most important job on earth. Mothering. A job that society pays lip-service to, but really does not respect.

I love to hear what other mother's say. I do not presume to know it all, and I take inspiration in hearing how other's manage the toughest job on earth.

So back to your main question? How do I nurture myself? I exercise. Soon after my daughter was born, I was diagnosed with severe post-partum depression (does that qualify as whining?). One of my coping mechanisms was to walk with my daughter in a carriage for an hour a day. After my second child was born four years later, I needed to finish my walks more quickly, so I started to run. My husband travelled a lot, so often I would hire babysitters so I could run for a half-hour. 10 years later I am still running and am medication free. I run with my friends, coach others who are learning to run, and find it gives me energy and boosts my self-esteem. And, no, I never did any sports or exercise in high school. My kids love to tell their friends that their Mom runs one half-marathon every year. They are so proud of me, and are starting to be runners themselves. So me taking time for myself has actually inspired my children. Fancy that!

I hope this helps Alison. Good luck. Let me know if you want me to write something longer.

Sue T.

Ashley - posted on 07/13/2009

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I find it funny how in society today,the focus is "me". I was raised by my mom,Grandmother and Great Aunts. I never once remember hearing them say "run and play I need 'me' time, or I'm going to go take a bubble bath or go to the gym". They took care of the house and chased us kids around, they didn't hire housekeepers,that was their exercise and we helped. When dishes were done after dinner we helped too,every night so they weren't "overwhelmed" or "stressed". Stress is something none of our generation really knows anything about. The word is overused and watered down. My mother said to me one day, "I did better than my mother,who did better than hers,and you will do better than me" How to take care of your children? How to stay sane?! Be a mother! You have instincts that when all else fails will guide you. Take the focus off you and when you allow the joys of motherhhood to sweep you off your feet,they will. My children are my sanity. They are what have made me slow down and pay attention. This is your chance to experience a life full of 'firsts' al over again. The first time they see a sunrise, touch snow, step into the ocean, see a falling star, make homemade ice cream. They are little miracles. They are little pieces of you that you get to watch walk about outside your body. You have been chosen to assist our Heavenly Father in the miracle of creating/raising a child. Now if that doesn't put you in your seat I don't know what will. What we so often forget is that this life is not about "me". It's about doing our Fathers work here. As mother's, our 'job' is precious. Read Proverbs 31:10-31. Before you write this book, ask yourself is it going to help mothers to do better? Will it serve the Lord? Or will it be a compilation of whiney stories by "stressed out" mothers who found moments here and there for their children and "embraced" it? The world is not fast paced. We are. Slow down.

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