Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Help Is Here for Overwhelmed Moms

(MS) - When a woman becomes pregnant, she will soon share in a miraculous event - bringing into the world a loving child to care for and adore. There are many things she gains upon becoming a mother, including the devotion of her child. But during the journey of motherhood a woman may actually lose something inadvertently: her self-identity.

Through the years a woman shapes who she is and her identity evolves. Even after she begins dating or gets married her identity remains virtually intact - she is still known as Susan, Beth, or Maria. However, once baby arrives, she is known as "Mom" and sometimes pieces of the woman she used to be get pushed aside in order to fulfill a role as mother. Even the strongest of women stress over living up to the ideals placed on a mom, balancing the mundane chores of life, and trying to eke out some "me" time in the mix.

"The Book of Mom," by Taylor G. Wilshire addresses just these issues, posing the question, "is there room for Me in Mommy? With humor and raw honesty, Wilshire uses the experiences of her main character Tate, a stay-at-home-mom, to search for the answer to this question in a story that is both entertaining and enlightening. Women everywhere can use strategies explored in the book to turn around their lives and work through feelings in a productive way. Here are some examples:

· Put yourself first: As a mother, aren't you supposed to step aside and make your child the top priority in life now? Not necessarily, especially when doing just that can do more harm than good. But by caring for yourself first, and ensuring you're in a healthy frame of mind, you'll be a much better parent to your child. If you are stressed out every minute of the day because you don't have any time for yourself, how will this affect your child? Take a cue from Tate; set aside a special place just for you or schedule time where you can be alone and simply do the things you enjoy, such as curling up with a good book - and don't feel guilty about it, either.

· Hire a support staff: Not in the literal sense, of course, unless hiring outside child care fits with your lifestyle and budget. We're talking about leaning on those people whom you trust, such as friends and family. Don't be afraid to ask for help and seek out advice, especially from mothers who have been there, done that. Or, you can turn to a professional therapist to help you work through some of the more troublesome issues. Asking for help will not make you less of a woman or mother. In the book, Tate turns frequently to her best friend who helps put out emotional fires and set Tate back on course. She also speaks with a therapist who helps find strategies for her marriage, her children and herself, so she can find balance, quiet and so much more.

· Learn to say no: There comes a time when you have to set limits. You simply cannot be Superwoman, Supermom, or Superwife 24/7. Pick your battles and set priorities that will provide the most benefit to your family - and most importantly, yourself.

· Listen to your intuition: There are plenty of guides out there telling you how to raise your child, what milestones the family should be meeting and other such "helpful" information that can actually have a reverse effect on you, making you feel more overwhelmed than ever. Trust your gut in most situations, it tends to steer you in the right direction. Don't let well-meaning family members or friends tell you how things "have" to be done. And don't feel compelled to compare your situation or your child's development to others. Things have a way of all evening out and working out in the end.

Explore the many other self-help tools available in the entertaining story of Tate "The Book of Mom."Look for it at your favorite online book seller. Learn more about the book and author at www.bookofmom.net.


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