Mothers today juggle more tasks, work longer hours, and sleep less than
their own mothers did. Yet the self-healing revolution has overlooked
the most significant issue in the lives of some twenty million women:
how to cope with the relentless, sometimes overwhelming, stresses of
raising young children in the twenty-first century.
Rick Hanson, Ph.D and Jan Hanson, L.Ac.
, have written many colums to help a mom take care of herself while she takes care of her family. Be sure to visit often as this area will be expanding to offer more than 100 colums that will be searchable by keyword for easy navigation.
Building Parental Teamwork:
Empathy:A Key Relationship Skill
My husband and I communicate well enough on the surface, but I feel we
are drifting apart deep down. I for one don't feel like he understands
me that much any more.
The Real Gift of Parenting
Last year, the holidays were crazy! I seemed to spend most of my time
standing in line or carrying bags. We spent a small fortune on assorted
complicated gizmos -- which got opened and then ignored as my daughter
and son spent most of the day playing with $2.99 worth of stickers. We
got stressed out in order to relax and suffered in order to have fun.
My husband and I stared at each other across the flotsam and jetsam of
wrapping paper and various pieces of who-knows-what, and you could see
the look in each of our eyes: Say what?!
Speaking from Your Heart
I feel like I have to walk around on eggshells with my husband and his
family: If I'm not VERY careful, they get upset and either blame
themselves or me or both. But the result is I have all this stuff
bottled up inside.
Len and I are doing OK; for one, we don't argue as much as we used to. But something is still missing, some spark that used to be there. We're pleasant with each other and still make love but that whole deep connection thing we had before kids has really faded.
- How to Be Good Partners in Parenting
Shortly after everyone had signed the Declaration of Independence, one of those present is believed to have said: "Gentlemen, we must hang together now. Or we will all hang separately!"
Much the same is true for parents. Once the baby arrives, there is is an urgent need for teamwork. There is just too much for one person to do alone, and each parent has a big stake in what the other one does with the child. Decisions have to be made now that could be postponed prior to children.
- Parents Are NegotiatorsThrough our professional experiences and personal lessons, we've found that a cooperative parental partnership has three key qualities: communication, negotiation, and effective problem-solving
Parenting from the Same Page
I feel that Angelina, our 5-year-old, should watch only an hour of TV per day. My husband mumbles "OK, honey,' but when I leave the house I come back to see her glued to the tube while he reads a book/pays bills/etc. And it's not just TV: I say no sweets, he says "just a couple." I say no spanking, he thinks a swat is OK. I say bed by 8,'but that means I've got to do it. I read books about parenting and he reads the sports pages. I'm afraid that we are confusing our daughter plus driving each other crazy.
Sharing the LoadThe amount of mental and physical work that comes with children is staggering. It ranges from figuring out what color to paint the new baby's bedroom while you're pregnant to -- eighteen years later -- helping him pack for college.
Past Columns Working on Teamwork:
Talking About Parental Values
Larry and I get along OK a lot of the time, but whenever we talk about
who's doing what or how we're spending money, the fights can get really
intense, sometimes even scary, and they never seem to settle anything.
Before we had children, I always thought Steve and I saw the world in
the same way. But now it sometimes seems we are miles apart in our basic
views of family life and how to raise our children. We need to talk
about them but where do we start?
Translating Mom-Speak and Dad-Speak
Sometimes it seems like Eric and I are speaking different languages. For example, when I think we're just talking about how we're each feeling about something, he thinks we're trying to identify some problem and solve it. I end up feeling like he's not really listening to me, and he ends up feeling frustrated that we're not getting anywhere.
Making Time for Your Relationship
With two kids and two jobs,
Doug and I never seem to have any time to be
together just the two of us. You're busier than ever, the days blur by,
and then you look up and there's your husband, and you realize that it's
been weeks, literally weeks, since you've done anything pleasant
together. When we do get some time, it's great and there's a little glow
in our relationship that lasts a couple days. We keep saying we have to
do that more often. But it's really hard.
Getting More Help From Your Partner
I did all the organizing for our son's second birthday, hoping that Bob
would help out during the party itself. But no, he spent the whole time
talking with his buddies while I raced around doing everything, except
for when he cut the cake and then looked at me like he deserved some
kind of reward! I want someone who doesn't need me to stamp my feet to
get some help, who takes initiative with the kids and the house, whose
mind is not elsewhere all the time. Somebody who does things because he
wants to do his share, not just to get me off his back. I need to really
feel like I have another half.
Issues with Relatives
I've got hassles with my extended family. My husband's parents were
pretty strict, so that's his inclination, but I'm trying to raise our
children in more of an attachment parenting kind of way. So I get a lot
of unwanted advice and comments about me "spoiling" our kids, etc.
What Mom Can Do for Dad
I've been thinking more about my husband's needs lately, and wondering what I might be able to do for him, even while swamped with kids, laundry, and all the rest. Any suggestions?
5 Keys to Settling Marital Conflict
I'm sick of fighting!
Enrico and I love each other, but wow do we argue, especially since
having children. Help!