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Stress Management Tips for the Working Mom

Aug 17, 2007
Making a choice between staying home and working full-time poses a major dilemma for mothers, but experts now say it shouldn't. Studies have shown have working moms and their stay-home counterparts each bring unique contributions to children's character formation.

In the past, being a working mom was almost always equated with a stressful life. Who wouldn't say so, anyway? You wake up earlier than the rest of the family to prepare the kids' meals and get them ready for school, after which you ready yourself for a day of stress at work, only to end the day with another kind of challenge, that is, picking your usually cranky kids from school, making their dinners, ensuring that they've done their homework and putting them to bed.

And that's just the motherly duties. We still haven't mentioned the wifely and the homemaker parts. It seems like a life of eternal work, work, work. However, it really isn't.

Motherhood is a role that entails a good balance between care giving and self-fulfillment. A mother's positive self-image, whether it be brought about by exposure to the workplace or fulfillment from manning the home front, results in positive interaction with well-adjusted children. Children of working mothers do as well as those of stay at home mothers.

Child development: The good

- Positive attitude about work

As primary models to young learners, parents pass on their outlook about work and responsibility to their children, whether they intend to or not. Children see the value of contributing to society, and will then strive to apply themselves in the same way.

- Absorb the value of responsibility and independence

When parents share with their children what is enjoyable about their jobs, as well as the difficulties often encountered, they help their kids form their own notion of work, plus the responsibility that work entails.

- Share equal relationship with both parents

The amount of time spent by both parents with the children is almost the same. Both are working, and both will want to spend time with the kids. Mom will cease to be labeled as the only nurturer whom kids bond with emotionally. Dad may take his share of emotional bonding, as mom does her share of providing financially. The positive effects of working moms are multiplied when fathers partake in child care and in household matters.

The bad

- May feel apprehensive

Tension at work plus the pressure to keep the household and the kids at their best increases stress. Kids can sense this tension and become reluctant toward their own moms, which may lead to a less open line of communication between the two.

The level of stress a mother feels as a result of physical or emotional exhaustion, dissatisfaction, or discontent (either at home or in the office) is unknowingly passed on to her child. This stress is eventually translated to children's poor physical and psychological health.

- May become detached

You emotional bond with your child is shaped during the first year of your child's life. Early attachment or detachment from parents, especially mothers, has a lasting emotional effect on children. Whoever answers to children's needs and takes on major part in their care during the early years of their life makes a deep impression.

If a mother's work takes her away from the child physically, chances are that the child will see the mom as a stranger or a "guest" who visits every so often. Toddlers may even become fearful of their own mothers simply because they don't recognize them.

- May become too demanding

Whether they feel guilty for not being there most of the time, or because of eagerness to hold their kids, many working moms feel disposed to showering their kids with presents. Having worked so hard, the working mom tends to give little care to money spent. The danger is, when a child finds that his or her parents are appeasers, it doesn't satisfy him or her and it makes the child greedy.

While showing affection and affability may come naturally to moms, children must understand that moms are also capable of irritability due to exhaustion. Moms don't have to shower their kids with gifts to compensate for lost time. Setting the right time balance allotted for the kids often works wonders already. Set a special time for bonding, or communicate frequently. Also, guilt should never precede better parenting judgments.
About the Author
Abbas Abedi--Attain immediate stress relief and permanent stress management skills.Download my FREE stress management system, consisting of a 77 page ebook and 7 mp3s.Visit:Stress Management
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