Motherhood is still the full time occupation that it always was, but with many Irish women now in employment outside the home, more women than ever before are juggling motherhood and a career. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, when we take the time to recognise and appreciate society’s most demanding, important and incredible role.
There may be excellent childcare facilities available while a woman goes out to work, but what about the rest of the day? Children still need food on the table and clean clothes to wear, to have help with homework, and to spend time with their parents. Children still get sick and give their parents their fair share of sleepless nights. For a working mother, the pressure is on to deal with all of this and still arrive at work in the morning, looking smart, and in a calm and capable frame of mind. For mothers of young children in particular, there is often an unspoken requirement to prove that it really is possible to be a reliable member of the workforce despite the demands of motherhood.
Somewhere in between juggling these two full-time occupations, the working mother still frequently shoulders the primary responsibility for managing the home, and she often has to deal with fluctuating hormone levels as well, making life even more difficult. Having it all may be something to celebrate, but it is also extremely important that women take some time to look after themselves. So to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, here are a few ways for women to deal with the stresses and strains of modern life, and to focus a little care and attention on themselves.
As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat”, and maintaining a good, nutritious diet is indeed one of the most important ways of staying healthy and combating the stresses and strains of dealing with a busy lifestyle. Professional advice about nutrition can help you to plan what type of diet would best suit your health and your lifestyle, and to discover which of the many supplements that are available would be of real benefit to you.
In addition to good nutrition, exercise is another extremely important facet to maintaining good health and well-being. Many women feel they are just too busy or too tired to exercise, but women who do stay active tend to be more focused and energetic. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy, such as dancing or yoga. A brisk daily walk also gives an opportunity to take a break from the demands of family life and clear the mind.
Where health problems do arise, herbal medicine is a natural and effective way of restoring good health. Many women feel they are slaves to their hormones, which can cause an astonishing variety of problems including fatigue, migraines, fluid retention, bloating, breast tenderness, abdominal cramps, constipation, and recurrent vaginal thrush. For younger women, pre-menstrual mood changes can seriously interfere with quality of life, while in the case of more mature women, dealing with hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms can be equally distressing. In these situations, herbal medicine can help to balance fluctuating hormone levels and put you back in control.
Counselling and Art Therapy
Since women often take on the primary responsibility for caring for other members of the family, it is very important that they too feel supported cared for. Many women find it difficult to talk about difficulties they are experiencing because they are worried about burdening loved ones with their problems. Counsellors are caring professionals who are trained to listen, to help people to understand their problems, and to find their own solutions. People are able to express difficult emotions in a supportive environment, and in complete confidence, without being criticized or judged. This can help the individual to discover the reasons for negative feelings, and to develop better ways of coping. For women who find it difficult to find the words to express how they are feeling, creating art and reflecting on the artwork with the support of a professional Art Therapist, can help to exploring feelings and work through emotional difficulties.