There's no denying that times are tough right now. Whilst we have always had the usual stresses and strains of family life to cope with, now there's added pressure.
How can I pay the bills, when they go up every month but my salary does not? Will I even have a job next month? What happens if the breadwinner gets made redundant?
Mothers are often the first to make sacrifices when they need to be made. So we cancel that haircut so the kids can have new shoes or go on a school trip.
But a new survey claims that the current economic situation is driving mothers into self destructive behaviour which they may have difficulty climbing out of.
The recent survey by MomLogic found that 64 of mothers aged 25 to 34 saying that while they want more children, they are holding off because of the economy.
In families where a partner has lost a job, the news is even worse. 80% admit to feeling overwhelmed and half say they spend more time fighting than having sex.
Shockingly, the survey also found that one in three mothers admit to turning to alcohol, over-eating, drugs and/or gambling to help them cope. The difficulty here is that these short term fixes will do untold damage in the long run.
As a life and career coach, I hear many of my clients voicing the stress and uncertainty they feel about the current economic situation. Some feel paralysed about moving on in life because they're terrified of it things getting worse.
I would say:
- Don't panic
You've survived worse than this. All bad times pass eventually
- Put down the wine bottle and avoid those things that you know won't help
Remind yourself that you are not alone and that there are thousands of mums going through the same thing right now. Make a list of what is right and good in your life to help balance out what may be currently less than perfect.
- Keep up the physical activity
Regular exercise is one of the best stress relievers you can get. Cancelling your gym membership may be a false economy.
- Talk to others
Don't feel like you have to suffer the squeeze alone. Ask for help from your partner, your friends, your parents. That's what they are there for. And if you still feel like you are about to go over the edge, don't be afraid to seek help from your GP.
What are your strategies for managing the stress of these tough times? What are you cutting back on?