Here’s some hope and help for moms. We are hearing more and more about alcohol abuse and women. There seems to be a growing trend in the 30 to 40-something year old moms that fall into one of two categories:
1) Alcohol abusers that are dealing with the stress of trying to maintain a career AND take care of a family OR
2) Stay at home moms that have become burned out by being the 24/7 housekeeper and nanny without any sense of personal accomplishment other than being the best possible role model they can for their children, and therefore, struggling to hide and control their drinking problem.
What is it about moms that make us think that in order for us to be “good enough,” we have to bust our derrieres making sure that everyone else is happy? I don’t know. Maybe it comes from wanting it “all.” Or maybe it comes from our own innate low sense of self-worth that over time has decreased even more because of our shame from alcoholic drinking. Maybe it’s because a huge part of society tells us our place is at home with the family, but yet we still want & need something that is our own. There is always more laundry to fold, more dishes to wash, more groceries to buy. Where’s the sense of accomplishment in that? I’m not sure, but as the number of soccer-mom DUI arrests increases, I become more and more aware that this generation of moms needs to make some changes!
Many of us were driven as young women to excel in school or a sport, cheerleading, art, etc. For many of us, our identity was dependent on our level of performance. And then we went to college or specialty school and developed our education or craft even further. We dreamt of how successful we would be. Then we graduated from school or college and began to move into our careers or areas of interest. We began “climbing the ladder”, succeeding in our fields or specialties, and then Mother Nature said “Hey! You’re getting older! Don’t you think you should get married?” So some of us married our high school or college sweethearts, some of us married someone because the time was right and we just didn’t want to date anymore, and some of us married because we really thought we were in love and it was the thing to do then. Even though we were married, we still maintained our own identity for the most part, and then Mother Nature called again, “Hey, if you’re going to have children, you better do it now!” And so we had one or more beautiful children and a whole new meaning to the word “love” emerged! (Is there any feeling in this world more overwhelming than the love you feel for your children?!) And the internal tug of war began. Somehow, you, your wants, dreams, needs and desires got lost.
How do you become all things to all the people in your life? Your husband, your boss, your children, your customers – they all have demands and expectations of you. But do you know the demands and expectations that are the most difficult to deal with? The demands and expectations that you put on yourself!
It’s time to lighten up! Give yourself a break and give yourself permission to enjoy life (and I mean REALLY experience it – not just go through the motions in some kind of alcohol or Twinkie® – induced coma)! As you look for ways to stop drinking, or at least strive for controlled drinking, begin to get back in touch with your needs, wants and dreams, and try some of these helpful tools:
1) Get off your case – stop trying to be Super Mom and be nice to yourself!
2) Stop the negative self talk! – Would you call someone you love “fat, old, stupid, ugly, etc.?” Of course not – so don’t call yourself those things.
3) Re-energize yourself! – Basically you need to do peaceful, loving things for yourself in order to have the love that you give out to everyone else every day.
4) Start identifying the fun things you like to do – Discover, or re-discover, hobbies, activities, events, etc. that give you “healthy pleasure,” instead of drinking, overeating, etc.
5) Schedule some time in your days / weeks to DO those things that you think are fun!
6) Nurture or pamper yourself – get a spa pedicure or massage – if money is an issue, ask your children or your husband to brush your hair or give you a hand massage.
7) Stress-relief – Use dietary supplements (such as MODER8® with GABA, 5-HTP and Theanine), exercise or meditation to relieve stress.
8) Form a Mom’s Group – women need to talk about their lives and their feelings (men do too; they just don’t usually admit it). Schedule a regular coffee or lunch session with some of your friends and vent, cry, hug and support each other.
9) Identify new goals and dreams-Have you lost sight of your dreams and passions? Go online or find some self-help books to help you with your self-discovery. Get in touch with new goals and dreams, and even rekindle some old ones.
These are just a few ideas. No doubt you’ve heard most of these before, but you have to actually do them! I am in no way implying that you should neglect your other relationships or responsibilities. I simply know you have to get a balance in life and it starts with taking care of you, too!