In one of my previous posts entitled “Raising Peaceful Children” found here http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/17/raising-peaceful-children/, I put forth my theory that too many women are just doing too much by themselves. They are wearing more hats than any one person can possibly wear, and the result is a stressed-out mommy and then, accordingly, anxious children.
This, of course, behooves the question: Well, how do I get rid of some of these hats?
This is such an individual thing, difficult to discuss in a blog forum for sure, but here are some general suggestions where you can take what resonates with you:
Sit down WITHOUT your children running around, with paper and pencil in hand and write down your top three goals for your family. (If you have a family mission statement, that really does help. See this post about The Family Mission statement here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/08/creating-a-family-mission-statement/).
Write down all the activities that you are doing inside and outside your home. Could you narrow your activities so they support your top three goals for your family? Can you and your spouse dialogue about this?
If you feel you are wearing too many hats due to the economic crisis and financial strain, is there any way to lessen that? It could mean painful choices in order to reach your top three priorities. I know families where one of the top three priorities is for the mother to be able to stay home and homeschool, so they sold their homes and moved into a rental unit. They sold off many things. And mom could stay home! I know families who sold one car, so the family has only one car that the mother takes one day a week. This means the children only “get out” one day a week. I know families who moved so they could walk to things instead of being in a car.
If your strain is due to having too many very worthwhile and positive activities, one piece of advice a friend gave me is to contact all these organizations and tell them you are taking a break for 18 months at which point a re-evaluation will take place. Many times no one will step up to volunteer until someone has stepped down. The other issue as well is that if whatever thing you are doing falls apart because you are no longer doing it, perhaps that means that it is not the right time in the right place within your community for this activity to happen.
What would happen if you took out a period of three to four months with no outside activities and mainly stayed home? What would life look like then?
These are just general suggestions, but hopefully enough to spark some thoughts in you. If you have gotten off the hamster wheel of too many commitments, too many hats and would like to share, please do post in the comments section – many harried mothers would welcome the input!