Welcome to Wordy Wednesday!
Today's subject is:
Now I know I said I was going to focus on words and subjects that are new or unfamiliar. And I know that stress is unfortunately way too familiar to most of us. So that is exactly why I choose it for this week. Because knowledge is power and strength lies in numbers. I'll explain.
The simple definition of stress is: physical or mental pressure.
Well that doesn't sound very threatening, right? Right. Stress can be a positive force. It's what motivates us to make split second decisions that can mean life or death, success or failure. So it's actually an essential function. But it can also be very, truly, threatening.
When I looked up stress on my Dictionary.com Thesaurus, it has fifty synonyms. FIFTY! Including the relatively mild: alarm, crunch, ferment, hassle, pull, tightness and worry. At the other end, though, were words such as: agony, dread, mistrust, overextension, strain, trauma, and trial. So many individuals I know and love feel too many of these!
The words that were not listed were PARENTING and MOTHER. As rich and rewarding as these roles are, they are indeed synonymous with stress!
This type of stress isn't limited to our kids alone. Almost every mother I know feels the pains of so many children, regardless of who birthed them. It also isn't limited to children. Mothers care for whoever needs caring for.
Lastly, it is not alleviated when our children are grown. Every mother I know whose children are grown still worry about and stress over those children. Not because they believe them to be incapable, but because we seem to be hardwired that way.
Knowledge is Power (but not always easy to execute)
We all for the most part know the recommended medical nuggets for alleviating stress.
- Exercise (insert eye roll here ________)
- Eat a varied and healthful diet (insert spoonful of leftover mac-n-cheese)
- Get enough rest, 7-8 hours a night (hysterical laughter!)
- Keep stressors to a minimum (change clothes, just peed pants laughing!)
- Have a good laugh everyday (well, at least we have that one covered)
Know any mothers (many of which also are employed outside the home!) who can achieve all these stress relievers? Most of the moms I know start to get really good at just a few and then they or a kid gets sick, or hurt, or someone looses a job, or your father-in-law moves in. Stress skyrockets, relief remains elusive.
And here is the insult upon injury. Due to our desire to not burden anyone else, or add stress to someone else, or sometimes just to not appear insane or like we're complaining, we withdraw into ourselves and suffer alone. Angry. Resentful. LONLEY!
Strength in Numbers
But we are NOT alone! Not even close! We are all in this together! And a very attainable way to relieve our stress is to pour it all out to one another.
We all want to support each other. We want the women, the mothers in our lives to feel loved and built-up. But we are afraid to ask, and afraid to invade. Even though the vast majority of us sympathize so closely with each other.
So, maybe today we can get the great big therapy ball rolling!
I know we don't want to inconvenience each other, but truly, how many of us are ever upset when a friend sends us a text or email that tells us what they are feeling, or dealing with? Don't we usually burst forth with love and empathy? Even if it's just over cereal on the floor and not having any clean towels. We feel for each other, because we all feel it ourselves. Often.
What we do is beyond a career. We are sustaining life, nourishing it, shaping whole people. What we do is priceless, it's important to remember that we are too. Even on our worst days.
So, if you text, text. If you email, email. If you like to hear a voice on the other end, then call. However you can, reach out to these precious women who are experiencing the same stresses.
Sometimes I feel like I must really be dysfunctional. Seriously failing as a mom, wife, homemaker, person. But then I'll get an email, or phone call from a friend or sister, or even my mom, and they'll tell me the things they are stressed about, how frustrated they are, and it's as if they were reading my mind.
Maybe we are all a little dysfunctional. But we will not fail. Not as long as we remember that we all have cereal on the floor and no clean towels sometimes.
Stress isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Humph! But we can beat it back just a bit. Friendship is the best antidote that I've ever found.