Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Steering Clear of the Brink…

by heather

The other day I was talking with my husband. He was telling me about one of his students who has a tough situation at home and can’t wait to graduate and get away. The biggest reason is that his mom is crazy, unreasonable and really makes his life miserable. (And we all know moms like her, or at least we know children like her son.) I thought ‘How very sad’. It also made me think, ‘how does this happen?’ I’m assuming that at one point, perhaps a long time ago, she was a caring mother who her children enjoyed being around. She was the one that they went to when they needed comfort.  What happened things so her children can’t stand to be around her? That’s hard to say. I don’t even know this woman. And as Tolstoy said “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” There are great many things that can drive a person to unhappiness. (Perhaps I’m assuming wrong, perhaps she was always crazy.) But my guess is that it was stress in some form or another. Stress can drive you crazy, weaken your immune system and make you unhappy if you let it. But then you hear stories of people who go through horrifying experiences and come out even stronger. I think the key is learning to cope. One way of coping may work for one person and not another. Find what works best for you. Here are some of the things that I do to cope with stress.

  1. Deep clean the kitchen. Sometimes things are beyond my control. So I take my frustration out in a productive way with a scrubbing pad. By the time my kitchen is spotless I usually am too tired to be angry.
  2. Exercise Yeah, don’t do that one nearly as much as I used to or as I should, but it does work.
  3. Think of the things that I’m grateful for.
  4. Play with the kids. Their laughter and smiles are infectious.
  5. Talk with someone.
  6. Get away. Take a walk. Take a vacation.
  7. Pray.
  8. Read a good book.
  9. Go shopping. This one can be dangerous.
  10. Listen to good music. Tchaikovsky always makes me feel more relaxed.
  11. Get more sleep.  Drink some tea or take a sleeping pill if you absolutely have to. Being sleep deprived can intensify all stress.
  12. Do something creative. Play some music. Paint. Bake. Whatever does it for you.
  13. Choose to be happy. Choose to see the positive.

Hopefully by the time my kids are teenagers I won’t be crazy and can still be a positive influence in their lives.

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