5 tips to relieve stress at home
Whether it’s caring for the elderly, adult children returning to the nest, divorce, remarriage, or both parents working, today’s family inevitably faces a myriad of changes that can cause stress at home.
My husband and I enjoy our alone time after our children are grown and gone. Although he was still working, we had a lot of free time to enjoy our home and little trips. Our children and their families seemed fine; our only living mother, my mother, lived alone a few hours away. We could not foresee big changes in our lives.
Without warning, Mother became ill during a visit to our home and was admitted to the hospital. Her situation became critical for several weeks; we weren’t sure she could come home. After that, the only recourse was for her to live with us. At first, mom’s care was minimal and we continued with our daily routines. Soon our relationship suffered as I gradually had to take on more responsibilities. Her dietary needs were different; her ability to care for herself was limited; and she seemed to have endless medical needs.
Yes, there were times when I wanted to throw up my hands and say, “I quit.” I loved my mother and my family and found it difficult to juggle all the responsibility. I hope you find the following tips helpful as you face challenges in your life; they helped me keep things in perspective on those difficult days.
1. Recognize your responsibilities. It is your responsibility to maintain a clean and healthy environment. You are not responsible for how each person adapts to changing situations. You will never be Wonder Woman making everyone happy all the time!
2. Get rid of the guilt. For example, if you have insisted that one of his parents leave home, it is not his fault that he cannot take care of himself. While they may accuse you of taking their home, you should continue to show love and respect, confident that you did the best you could. Keep in mind: You are not perfect and neither is the rest of the family. You will make mistakes and so will they.
3. Communicate with the whole family. After several years in my mother’s care, I realized that my husband needed to be more informed about what was involved in caring for her. As I became more open with his needs, he began to see little ways that he could help. It felt good to be a part of caring for him. Even if his family members can’t help, he should let them know what’s going on.
4. Accept things as they are. We cannot go back and change events. I wanted my mom to hug me and tell me that everything was okay. She, at that moment, did not recognize me as her daughter. I had to love her and take care of her regardless of whether or not she knew who I was.
5. Find support. This is very important. The amazing truth is that no matter what your situation is, someone else has been there.
I continue to be amazed at the influence a mother has on home environments. There is some truth to the saying, “If mommy ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” You have a responsibility to take care of yourself as you take care of others.