Article contributed by Lizzie O'Halloran from 'Help For Mums'
Stress is a part of modern life, but never more so than in motherhood. Modern motherhood usually involves raising a family, whilst working, supporting external families, managing financial demands and ensuring children are healthy, happy, safe and secure. Social media and the increasing research on ‘perfect parenting’ leave many mothers feeling social pressure and judgment to be perfect. Add to this the higher cost of living and expectation that mothers should be able to ‘do it all’ whilst looking as fit, healthy and relaxed as the famous mums posting on social media, it’s no wonder mums are highly stressed.
In addition to being highly stressed, a recent study by Bellamy’s found that 9 out of 10 women neglect their own health and nutrition in order to be a good mum, but then feel judged for not looking or feeling their best. Many mothers would really love to ask for more help but are either too embarrassed to admit they are not coping well, do not want to burden others, or believe it is too expensive. They put their needs last and often feel guilty for even thinking about taking time away from their children to look after their own needs.
A Village to Raise a Child
In the 1950s many mothers stayed at home to raise their children. They relied on a support network of mothers in their community to help raise their children. In South American culture is in not uncommon for communities to support each other and to see families supporting the more underprivileged, by providing them with a home, in exchange for assistance around the home. As a child growing up in Uruguay, I recall living with a mother and daughter who would help my mother with the cooking and cleaning. I played with the little girl like she was my sister and I felt proud that we could help them in their time of need. With modern life being so busy and many mothers have to return to work, the village is no longer the norm. So many mums feel isolated, lonely and judged by others if they are not coping well.
The Cost of Hiring Help
A recent study conducted by care.com highlighted that over 73% of working mums surveyed were reluctant to hire help because they believed it was too expensive. Further, this study revealed 29% of mums felt too guilty paying for help. The stress of adding another expense and the guilt of admitting a mother needs help, makes hiring help an unattractive option for many parents. So what can these mothers do to start to reduce the stress of modern motherhood?
Enter The Room Xchange - The Answer to Reducing Family Stress
The Room Xchange is the perfect alternative for so many families. The Room Xchange is an organisation that connects busy households with a spare room in their house with guests who are willing to provide a couple of hours of help around the house each day in exchange for food and accommodation. The best part of this service is that it is highly secure, it’s very cheap, short or long term accommodation periods are available and mothers can choose the type of assistance required around the home.
It’s a Win-Win
What I really love about The Room Xchange is that it provides mothers with the help of their choice when they need it most. It also provides an opportunity to really help someone in need. As this guest is living with mums, they now have someone in the home they trust, the children trust and who can provide support around the home when it is most convenient. This reduces any feelings of guilt because mothers are gaining help, whilst helping someone else in need. So it’s a win-win for everyone.
Relieving Pressure in Relationships
When parents have someone in their home they can trust, it can really help to reduce tension in the home. Often couples argue about finances, who should be responsible for household duties and childcare. By having a live in support person, tension in relationships can be significantly reduced. Engaging in The Room Xchange allows mothers to gain the help they really need without the high cost associated with hiring help and reducing the guilt associated with asking for help. In addition, having someone at home to rely on can significantly reduce the loneliness and isolation many women report feeling after becoming first time mums.
Giving Mums Back Their Time
The Room Xchange also gives families back precious time. A recent study by TVBed.com found that on average mothers get 17 minutes of ‘me time’ per day. The study also found 51 percent regularly go whole weeks without even a single minute relaxing on their own. Most of the 2000 mothers surveyed felt the household chores were not divided equally and resented their partners for having more relaxation time than them. Most telling though was the finding that most mums surveyed felt they couldn’t really relax if they felt they had jobs outstanding. This is where I believe The Room Xchange would provide mums with significant support. Allowing mothers to take time off, or just relax around the home with peace of mind knowing someone else is there to help get those jobs done.
This article was contributed by: Lizzie O'Halloran BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac
Marriage Counsellor & Life Coach for Mothers
HELP FOR MUMS