From what I have gathered, moms say that mothering is incredibly stressful, and I agree. Now add school to the equation. We as mothers already tackle our lives outside of school, so why would we add school to our already stressful lives. Well, I went back to school not only to better myself but to better the lives of my children. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a walk in the park, but it has been more stressful, to say the least. From what I have learned since school has begun, is how to manage my time as a mother and a student. I, as the writer, hope to give some insight on how to ease the stress of motherhood and how to deal with the stresses of college. When looking at stress, you don’t see what it is physically doing to your body. So, when learning what all stress can do physically and emotionally, I hope that it will give some insight on how to manage stress in your life.
Easing stress of motherhood can be very difficult at times. So here are some steps on how to ease the stress. First, prioritize your schedule. We as mothers know that there is so much that goes into motherhood. Put together everything that you can possibly think of, that you know you can do in a day. Since we are in school as well, it would be a good idea to make a list of all your coursework that is coming up. Identify what is more important on the schedule. It is ok if you do not get everything done in one day. Second, Acknowledge your feelings. Once you acknowledge how you feel, it will be like a weight has lifted off your shoulders. The stress of motherhood and school will continue to eat away at you until you hit it head-on. Last, Have more fun. When you are starting to stress at school, look to your friends to help you realize that you can make school fun. Its ok to not be serious at times. With motherhood, jump on the trampoline with your children. Laugh and play with them. When we stress about things, your children will sense something is wrong. So, ease the stress you might have at home and have more fun with your children. It is perfectly fine to prioritize your schedule and to make that necessary time.
Stress in college comes in many forms, but when you’re a mother in college you start to stress more on work schedules, finances and coursework. Now that you are in college you have went from a full-time mom and employee; to a full-time mom, student, and part time employee. I’m sure you wonder how on earth you will be able to make it between work and school. Now that we are in school we stress about our employer working with our school schedule. We know that If we cannot work, then we will not be able to afford our financial responsibilities. Which now brings me to finances. When we look at our children and all the financial responsibility that comes with raising a child, we tend to stress a little. Now when we add the finances of school into the mix, we know that financially our lives got a little harder. When we learn to cope with our financial problems, our stress level start to dwindle. We start to learn how to deal with debt and how to live on less. Coursework in school, I know has been somewhat difficult for me. Trying to find the time to do my homework is hard, especially with 2 small children. So far, since starting school I have dealt with each one of the financial problems and trying to find the time to get my coursework done. It is not easy, but I know once I get the stresses under control and breathe, I get it all done.
Now that I have covered more of the stresses that we as student mothers face, I want to talk about some symptoms that can occur from stress. Having stress in our lives can have physical, emotional and behavioral damage. When we start to stress physically, we sweat more, start having headaches and become more fatigued. Myself in general have experienced headaches and fatigue more now since I have started attending school. I know health wise we as mothers must keep our stress levels low for our children. When we start to stress emotionally, we become hostel toward our loved ones. It feels like we become helpless in a world that only certain ones understand where we come from. But let me tell you, when we all stand together we can over come stress. Last, is behavioral. Behavioral stress can include binge or reduced eating, drug or alcohol abuse and erratic sleep habits. When a bad day at school or at home happens, we as humans tend to turn more to food. Why? It’s because when we are facing stressful times, our body makes more of a hormone called cortisol, which increases hunger. Health wise this is not good, it makes us feel worse then we did before. Another behavioral habit is erratic sleeping. Erratic sleep habits are where you are having a hard time falling asleep, once asleep you might me on and off throughout the night. Stress can do quit a bit of harm to one’s body if we do not get it under control.
How can we go about managing stress? Well we can manage stress by taking a break, life is to short to stay stressed. We as mothers need to be an example for our children. If we stay stressed our children will start to pick up on the changes that we are going through. Stress is not healthy, especially for our children. We as parents want the best for our kids, so its ok to take a break when needed. Let’s take time to laugh. Laughing is the best kind of medicine there is. It increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Once you activate laughter it will help relieve your stress response. Another good way to help manage stress is by finding a support group. Whether that be a family member, friend or a full support group. A support group provides an opportunity for people to share personal experiences and feelings and help with different coping strategies.
From what I have learned since school has begun, is how to manage my time as a mother and a student. So, when learning what all stress can do physically and emotionally, I hope that I have gave some insight on how to manage stress that accrue in your life. Keep everything prioritized and acknowledge the way you feel. Even though we all have stress, try to make your life fun and work around it. Tell your children how much you love them and let them know that you are going through all of this to better their lives. I can promise you that over time it will get easier.