Mothers Have Needs Too!

Allison Gilbert, LMFT, Santa Cruz Counselor Lic: MFC 24087

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Mothering Alone
Never before in the evolution of the human race have mothers been required to care for children all by themselves.  Even in the recent past, multiple generations lived together in the same house.  Today, we may live miles away from the nearest extended family.  This makes the job of caring for children, a 24/7 job that's performed without any co-workers or help of any kind.

You may be the type of mother who understands how important it is to parent her own children full-time despite the challenge of having to do it alone.  But is it best to be parenting all alone?  How does a mother keep from getting to the end of her rope when there are no breaks in sight?

Catching a Break
One way to catch a break is to look at your job with a critical eye.  Write down all the tasks you perform on a daily basis.  Check off the ones that you just can't stand doing.  Ask yourself if there is anyone else who can do those tasks instead of you.

Maybe your husband can take on the baths at night, every night or even for a few nights a week.  Maybe your mother-in-law can babysit for an hour a week while you do something fun for yourself.  Maybe you can get someone to clean your bathrooms and floors for $20 or so every 2 weeks.  Maybe you can give the neighborhood 10 year old $3 to come and play with your little ones for a couple of hours after school from 4-6pm while you make dinner and clean up.  Maybe you can develop a cooking or cleaning or babysitting co-op so that one or two moms per week do one of those things for the other moms...

Help Helps
We're into new territory here.  Mothers have never had to do this much work all alone.  We need to get creative and think outside the box to survive.  Start thinking about how you can get help.  It can make a difference in your whole outlook.

2007 Allison Gilbert, M.A., L.M.F.T.; Free Tips

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