Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is how a mother’s satisfaction with her life relates to her ability to raise stress hardy and resilient children and how this dynamic affects society.
Despite many changes to family structures over the last 50 years, I believe moms are still the primary caregivers in most children’s lives, at least for the first 10-15 years of life, and to this end, it seems of paramount importance that moms have lives that are as fulfilling and stress-free as possible.
Happy, Healthy, Self-Motivated, Successful (on her terms): Prerequisites for the Job
I think it’s fair to say that unhappy, depressed moms may lack adequate motivation to be able to raise children to thrive as adults. For those families where dad or a surrogate is the main caregiver, of course, these ideas also apply.
It makes sense that to raise a child who grows up to be healthy, happy, self-motivated and successful (stress hardy and resilient), it would take a person who is somewhat healthy, happy, self-motivated and successful themselves as these are some of the main keys to effective mentorship.
Nature of Stress
It’s just the nature of stress and it’s no secret; if mom’s body is coursing with the toxic stress hormone, Cortisol, for multiple hours everyday, the average mom is going to feel lousy most of the time and these bad feelings will easily rub off on children causing their stress response systems to stay activated a lot of the time as well. It’s a slippery slope.
Of course, everyone can have a bad day, week or even month, so in this blog, I am only talking about long-term or chronic stress that results from extended periods of disappointment, boredom, lack of fulfillment, physical and mental illness and general unhappiness.
No matter what moms must do to make ends meet (stay-at home-moms, work-away-from home-moms, work-at-home-moms or home-based business moms), if mom does not have positive feelings about her life most of the time, then she won’t be able to get the results needed to help kids flourish and to help kids conquer stress for life.
She’s Not a Bad Mom – Not a Member of the “Weaker” Sex
And it’s not because she’s a bad mom and it’s not because she is a member of the weaker sex; rather, it’s because she is human and she is controlled by a very human, very powerful stress response system that doesn’t always like to cooperate and is sometimes not that smart.
Every human being on the planet, regardless or age, gender identity, race, creed or political persuasion has the exact same problem as mom and left unchecked, this biological reality can wreak havoc across the board.
That’s why I feel that moms (and dads) if they are responsible for the direct care of young children, must work to become stress management masters and society must support them in this important endeavour. They must work hard to change their stress index (ratio of good stress hormones to bad stress hormones) from negative to positive.
Moms AND Society Need to Step Up Their Game
That’s also why I feel society must step up its game to help ALL moms feel fulfilled and passionate about life so they can begin leading tranquil, harmonic, serene, serendipitous, peaceful lives—you know… happiness!
Of course, moms themselves must stop creating barriers to their own happiness and fulfillment and they must reach out for solutions to this problem; moms must be held to account for creating the best outcomes possible for sure; however, society also must stop creating ridiculous barriers to moms’ access to happiness and fulfillment.
Moms are the Lynch Pins
Moms are the lynchpins of society after all. Essentially, if mom is miserable, then the kids will be miserable and if kids are miserable, then society will more than pay the price later for allowing this dynamic to exist.
And the price will be paid by society in so many ways. The obvious ways are when kids get lost in the system and end up on the wrong side of the tracks; however, I think an even worse outcome comes from the idea of lost opportunity cost.
When society creates systems, or allows systems to exist that lead to moms feeling downtrodden and worthless, then children will end up being raised in a way where they just get by or survive or make ends meet and they have “good enough” lives.
When this happens, we all lose out on all the potential that those children could bring to the world if their moms (their primary caregivers) are given the right support systems and the right tools to feel fulfilled as human beings.
But, the first step is for society to prioritize moms. Once this happens, families will start to prioritize moms and finally, moms will start to prioritize themselves. It all happens exactly as it’s laid out on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
If moms get help with the first three levels, then they will begin to focus on the fourth and fifth levels, which are self-esteem and self-actualization, and if that happens, then moms can and will do an amazing job of helping kids also move up the levels and society will be the lucky beneficiaries of thousands and millions of stress-hardy and resilient children all contributing to our struggling world to create lasting change. However, it all starts with MOM.
What To Do Next
If you want some amazing tools for parenting children to be GREAT at stress management, sign up to receive my four FREE slideshows about kids and stress as well as a whole bunch of FREE tools from my #MomsEndStress Program and my Stress Optimization Project designed just for moms. One of the tools is a Bullying Prevention Kit for families. All together you get 4 slideshows, 4 videos and about 10 other optimization tools.