Avoiding the 24/7 Motherhood Struggle Through Journaling

This eBook explores the 24/7 motherhood struggle, identifies some of the common issues associated with it, and discusses ways to overcome those issues.

INTRODUCTION

mon-journalingThere is no question that motherhood can be a significant challenge for any woman. Yes, it may be easier for some and more difficult for others, but virtually every mother, in some way, faces some kind of obstacle in her quest to master motherhood throughout her life.

For some, it may be a rite of passage, transitioning from the carefree days of long, romantic getaway weekends to pediatrician visits, playdates, and teenager angst. For others it may be something more serious, such as postpartum depression. Whatever it is for you, the good news is that therapeutic journaling can provide the kind of personal, tailored therapy that can help you more effectively deal with whatever is troubling you.

In this eBook, we’ll explore the 24/7 motherhood struggle, identify some of the common issues associated with it, and discuss ways to overcome those issues. We’ll look at how therapeutic journaling can reveal effective solutions for tackling a wide range of concerns, from the most mundane to the more serious.

Avoiding the 24/7 Motherhood Struggle Through Journaling

motherhood struggleThis eBook explores the 24/7 motherhood struggle, identifies some of the common issues associated with it, and discusses ways to overcome those issues.

We’ll look at how therapeutic journaling can reveal effective solutions for tackling a wide range of concerns, from the most mundane to the more serious.

Download Your Copy Now!

mom hugging a child

Chapter 1 | Identifying the Challenge

Along the road of motherhood, any number of dangers lurk that can throw you for a loop and snare you in a cycle of despair. As you progress along the path of parenthood, these dangers can change so that it seems like you’re engaged in a constant struggle.

Some of the common challenges mothers face throughout their journey include:

  • Postpartum depression

  • Weight gain

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Sensitive issues such as incontinence after giving birth

  • Loss of self-identity

  • Inability to reconnect with spouse

  • Work-life balance

  • Meal planning that enables you to eat healthy

  • Lack of time for fitness and health

  • Stress management

  • Dealing with “mother’s guilt”

  • Lack of alone time

mom with headache

Any one of these issues can pose a threat to even the most self-confident and together mother. Sleep deprivation and stress can wear down even the strongest woman after a while. The inability – or lack of interest – in fitness and eating well can sap your energy and threaten your health. An off-kilter work-/life equilibrium can damage your relationships, affect your sex life, and deprive your significant other of a fully-engaged partner.

If you’re experiencing any, some, or even all of these challenges, it’s important to recognize them, compartmentalize them, and tackle them in a manner that does not overwhelm or discourage you. Viewed collectively, they can seem insurmountable. Facing them one at a time can diminish their threat and power over you. Dividing and conquering your problems will help you go from “I just can’t handle all of this,” to “maybe this isn’t so bad after all.”

mom-two-children

Chapter 2 | Considering the Options

There is broad consensus among the public that it is harder to be a parent today – especially a mother – than it was in the 1970s or 1980s. According to research by the Pew Research Center, fully 70 percent of the public says it’s more difficult to be a mother today than it was 20 or 30 years ago, while somewhat fewer (60 percent) say the same about being a father.

The transition to being a mother is an experience no woman is completely prepared for, either emotionally or mentally. Trying to figure out who the new you is -- aside from being “Mom” -- is a process of self-discovery. Becoming a mother takes you on a journey to someone new and you’ve been given a blank-slate to create a new you. How you choose to do that and evolve as a mother over the years is, in itself, a challenge. It’s no wonder you often feel so exhausted.

This 24/7 struggle with motherhood is not reserved for newly-minted moms alone. It’s common for women to question their role and performance as a parent, wife, and person as they age and face the ever-changing issues and challenges of maturing children and aging parents and spouses. The role of Mom is one mountain after another that we must climb. It’s easy to lose ourselves when motherhood consumes us.

solve-motherhood-struggle-with-journaling

There is, of course, a lot you can do on your own to minimize the stress and strain of trying to address everyone’s needs day in and day out. If nothing else, you should carve out a few minutes of “me time” at the end of the day to quietly collect your wits about you, take a deep breath, and mentally sort things out.

For problems that are more complicated, serious, or far-ranging, there is a variety of professional help available -- from support groups, your personal physician, or a trusted clergy member to a psychiatrist or other mental health specialist.

Regardless of what path you choose, the important thing is to do something. Doing nothing exposes you to greater mental and physical health risks. Inaction can trigger depression, addiction, and even disease as your strength and ability to fight off illness diminish.

Inaction can also encourage abuse of all kinds from external sources, including non-supportive spouses, co-workers, and toxic people in general. There is no shortage of individuals willing to take advantage of someone they perceive to be weak and vulnerable.

The easiest place to start is with yourself. Take stock of where you are in your life and your relationships and who you think you are at this point in time. Therapeutic journaling is a great tool for beginning the process of organizing your issues, tackling them one at a time, and developing effective short-term and long-term solutions.

mom-journaling-outside

Chapter 3 | Going Easy on Yourself: The Therapeutic Journaling Approach

If there is one common trait to be found in all mothers, it’s a tendency to be hard on themselves: “I should have made all of that myself”…”I really could have done a better job with that”…”If I was a better mother, my kids would (fill in the blank).”

It’s easy to blame yourself for not being able to solve a problem on your first try. Give yourself a break from self-criticism by making time to overcome challenges and setbacks. Being impatient and playing the blame game will only make problems harder and take longer to overcome.

Here’s where therapeutic journaling comes in. When you find yourself acting as your harshest critic, set aside some time – even just ten or fifteen minutes a day – to write about the things you blame yourself for. Don’t worry about structuring your writing, just get the issues down on paper. Challenge your current way of thinking and figure out where that thought process came from. If you don’t address the issue, you run the risk of getting stuck in a self-blame-game with no winners and no way out.

girl journaling

Here are five tips for cutting yourself some slack:

1. Give yourself some time and space

The next time you’re faced with a problem you just can’t fix, take a break by listening to a few of your favorite songs, doing some yoga, or brewing yourself a cup of tea. Break out your journal and write a bit about the specific problem that’s troubling you. Giving yourself a little time to fix it is often all you need.

2. Get a different perspective

Sometimes our brains will keep using the same path to solving a problem, which can be a dead-end. When we’re too close or emotionally invested in a problem it’s hard to think clearly. Instead, try to think like an outsider looking at your problem. Use journaling to ask yourself the kinds of questions an outsider would to help you achieve a new, fresher perspective on your problem. An objective third party would be more likely to ask non-judgmental questions that can get to the heart of your problem and provide more effective solutions.

3. Be persistent

 If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Sound familiar?  

When dealing with new problems your first solution is often the one that doesn’t work. To overcome that stumbling block, you’ll need look at your problem again to understand why your solution didn’t work. Write your answer down. Then try another one. And another one. Until you find the one that really works.

4. Look for the silver lining

When you’re struggling with kids, work, home life, and your spouse, it’s tough to see the bright side of life. But all doom-and-gloom is no way to tackle problems. It’s important to find the good, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s a journaling tip: write down every negative thing that seems to get in your way and then find something positive to say about it to balance the equation. Fostering the right attitude is half the battle.

5. It’s always something

Isn’t that the truth? There’s always something we don’t want to do and challenges we don’t always want to face. But if we try to avoid or resist them, it only makes matters worse. Then when things finally come to a head, you no longer have the time to calmly explore different solutions. The answer? Find the time to journal about it, toss around a variety of solutions on paper, and give yourself the time to select the right course of action.

The one underlying message in all of this is stop being so hard on yourself. Breathe. You’re not the worst mother in the world. Far from it. Cut yourself some slack, give yourself some space, and begin tackling the issues confronting you one at a time.

girl journaling in a park

Chapter 4 | Finding a Way Forward with Therapeutic Journaling

Journaling can be a remarkably powerful tool for addressing the struggles of motherhood. Many women (and men, for that matter) think of their journals as non-judgmental friends that can help them explore the challenges they face and the variety of solutions that might work to address them. Best of all this kind of therapy comes at no charge and can happen at the time and place of your choosing.

Therapeutic journaling provides you with opportunities to learn new ways of managing your health and wellness as you try to keep pace with your family as it grows older and perhaps expands to include more children, their spouses, and even grandchildren.

When specific issues pop up that need attention, use your journaling to compartmentalize and examine the different elements of the situation at hand. Break down the financial, physical, mental, and emotional aspects and write down various ways to address each one.

guy journaling with coffeeIf you find yourself facing medical issues for yourself or your family, be sure to journal about them. Before visiting a medical professional, prepare for it as you might for a business meeting or a volunteer project. Write down what’s involved and what outcome you’d like as well as what outcomes you need to anticipate. By journaling about potentially stressful situations such as a medical procedure for a child, parent, or spouse, you can mentally prepare yourself for it. This will help minimize the stress and potentially emotional response to the results or additional actions that might need to be taken.

Worried about what you and your family eat? Use journaling to keep track of what you eat, what you do, and what was going on emotionally when you were doing it. This will help you uncover bad habits and your response to them so that you can develop a more healthy relationship with yourself and eating that will also benefit your family.

Reclaim your identity – and your sanity.

Journaling is an ideal way to rediscover and reclaim yourself and reestablish your relationship with your spouse or significant other. The old you is still there, it might just have been pushed aside to make room for the new you. Journaling enables you to look back, find yourself again, and find a new way forward.

Your identity as a mother may be based on other people’s perceptions of what a good mother should be. That may be theirs, but it doesn’t have to be yours. Use journaling to review your perception of what a good mother is to you and then build your behavior, actions, and attitude around that. Remember that a good mother includes her spouse and children in activities, so share the load of family and household responsibilities with them to reduce your stress and struggles.

Much of how we identify ourselves is the result of internal criticisms. We are our own worst critics and most of us have those inner voices that, at some point in our lives, tell us we can’t do something or be somebody. Journaling gives you the opportunity to identify and analyze those inner criticisms, why they’re there, and how they got there. The answers that your journal writing will provide will enable you to silence those inner critics once and for all.

Don’t worry, there’s help available.

Before you say, “journaling isn’t for me – I can’t write to save my life,” it’s important to realize that we’re not talking about publishing a novel. We’re talking about jotting down your thoughts, ideas, responses, and perceptions in free form. You won’t be graded and you won’t be turned down by a publisher.

Best of all, you don’t need a lot of time to journal. As little as ten or fifteen minutes a day will go a long way in working through problems and finding effective solutions. And we’re ready to help you here at CreateWriteNow.

mari-tallFounder and Chief Inspiration Officer Mari L. McCarthy is an award-winning, international best-selling self-help author and therapeutic journaling mentor. In fact, Mari’s first-hand experience with therapeutic journaling has helped her recover from multiple sclerosis and led her to establish her journal therapy mentoring practice.

What sets CreateWriteNow apart from other therapeutic journaling practices is its focus on the individual, not the mechanics of writing. Gaining a deeper understanding of clients, who they are, the challenges they’re facing, and where they’d like to be with their lives enables Mari to be highly effective in helping them reach their goals.

CreateWriteNow offers personal, one-on-one therapeutic journal mentoring and over 20 self-paced journaling courses to help clients address specific issues and challenges.

Isn’t it time you reclaimed the joys of motherhood? If every day seems like a struggle with kids, work, spouse, and personal commitments, it’s time to start journaling and begin the journey to the better, more fulfilling life you –and your family – deserve.

Avoiding the 24/7 Motherhood Struggle Through Journaling

motherhood struggleThis eBook explores the 24/7 motherhood struggle, identifies some of the common issues associated with it, and discusses ways to overcome those issues.

We’ll look at how therapeutic journaling can reveal effective solutions for tackling a wide range of concerns, from the most mundane to the more serious.

Download Your Copy Now!