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Women’s Emotional Health & The Ricki Lake Show

Posted on April 30, 2012    |    4 comment(s)

Drum roll, please…….

Not only is the Ricki Lake Show relaunching this fall (insert clapping!), but the Ricki Lake Magazine just launched online and yours truly is a going to be a contributing writer (insert cartwheel) and I’d love to represent your voices!  My first assignment focuses on Women’s Emotional Health: burning the wick at both ends.  Many of us are in the “sandwich generation” where we’re taking care of our kids, our parents and seldom ourselves.  We wear multiple hats for many reasons and it seems at times that it’s not the village who’s raising your child but you who’s caring for the entire village (sorry, I was having a moment…)  Some of us spin into a controlled chaos of sorts & justify doing it all ourselves because it’s just easier  than wasting precious time delegating and risking a redo later.   How did it get this way and when is it too much??   I’d like to know:

  1. What is it that makes you feel overwhelmed & does it affect your health?
  2. How does the stress impact how you engage w/your kids?
  3. What would you like to do differently to eliminate some of the stress triggers in your life?
  4. Do you find it easier to delegate certain things or just get them done yourself?
  5. If you’ve found balance, what’s tips can you share?
  6. Do you feel like household responsibilities are equally distributed in your home?


I’d love to hear your thoughts on some or all of these points!  And feel free to share this with your friends.  Many more polls to come as I write more articles.  This is your chance to be heard and YOUR voice could impact an upcoming Ricki Lake Show!

4 Comments »

  1. I used to be able to juggle 400 things at once! Not now! I have a 13 year old and a 5 year old and I quit my job a few years ago to stay home and it seems that over time I become less and less tolerable with my surroundings. For example, I have numerous very good friends but the problems with having good friends is that they all seem to think they are “my only friend” and even though I know people want to be around me and talk to me daily I get overwhelmed with the phone calls. I feel like my house has a revolving door already with teens and small children coming in and out of my house and on top of that I feel required daily to speak and have conversations with a handful of people. If I go even one day without picking up my phone or calling them I am baraged with “Where are you” “What’s wrong” “Is everything ok” “You didn’t answer my text” and even to the point of “I thought you were mad at me”! his
    I do many things with my friends. I help them with their children, I have helped take care of many older family members and have always been AVAILABLE to help others. I believe that the years of being available and doing for others has taken a toll on my mental health. I get frustrated when the phone rings and it’s a telemarketer. I think, “how dare you call me right now”. I wonder if taking a long vacation on a secluded Island somewhere would do me any good? It’s the little things in life that get to me and my sanity anymore. Is this normal?

    Comment by ddbillue — April 30, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  2. I think that we, as wives and mothers, engage in a delicate game of juggling. We have all of these balls up in the air and there is that omnipresent pressure not to drop any one of them. The constant stress is like a shadow and it really can take its toll on your relationships with spouse and/or children. When I start feeling overwhelmed, I try to step outside myself and take a deep breath. I will sit down and literally breathe. Then I quietly try to examine what really set me off. After five children (26, 20, 17, 12, and 11), I have gotten to be very strict about these breathing sessions. Both the kids and my spouse are aware of these cleansing breaths and will “back away from the mommy” until I am done with these time outs. It’s all about balance–I have learned the hard way that I unless I take care of “me,” I am no good to anyone else! Burnout is a very real condition and it is best to look for the signs before it causes very real problems to both one’s health and psyche. I don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t need everything “perfect,” retain my sense of humor and find joy in my journey through life! This attitude has worked wonders in my life.

    Comment by 47mjg56 — April 30, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  3. 1.What is it that makes you feel overwhelmed & does it affect your health?
    I am a single mother and work in a very male-dominated arena – IT. What makes me feel overwhelmed are the responsibilities of my job and managing a staff of over 20 people in a volatile environment, raising a little boy and having to share that responsibility with his father and new wife, and trying to carve out a life for myself so that when I retire I have something to show for it. I feel like I’m failing someone all of the time and everyone some of the time. My stress levels are so high that I don’t eat; I’ve been adversely affected by ulcers (I’ve had them for years, long before having a child) and suffer from constant muscle tension and headaches.

    2.How does the stress impact how you engage w/your kids? I try very, very hard to not let it, but my job takes up a lot of my time and attention. My son (he’s 4) is already all too familiar with a bluetooth headset and understands that when he sees it, mommy is on the phone and working. This makes me sad, but is a reality for us. I hate that he emulates me – he’ll sit at his desk and work on his letters, telling me he “has to do some work”.

    3.What would you like to do differently to eliminate some of the stress triggers in your life? I wish I enjoyed participating in activities with my son more. I find that when we do things that make him happy (going to the park, playing with his toy trucks or dinosaurs, even watching some of his movies) I get distracted and/or bored. I find myself thinking of all the other things I could be doing. I wish there was a way I could either let go of ‘what needs to get done’ or put clear boundaries in my head between ‘my time’ and ‘our time’.

    4.Do you find it easier to delegate certain things or just get them done yourself? Definitely the latter.

    5.If you’ve found balance, what’s tips can you share? HA! Not even close to being there, yet.

    6.Do you feel like household responsibilities are equally distributed in your home?
    This isn’t really applicable, as it’s just me and my son. He does do his chores, though. :)

    Comment by aseroter — May 2, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

  4. 1.What is it that makes you feel overwhelmed & does it affect your health?
    Definitely feeling the sandwich gen overwhelm. Both parents didn’t plan for retirement, mother lived with me for almost 10 years, father just had first heart attack (and is recovering thankfully) all while I had my first child at 37. There has definitely been a health/stress issue and I work to keep it in check by going back to natural basics with nutrition and vitamins as well as some sort of exercise plan and wine!

    2.How does the stress impact how you engage w/your kids?
    I am just getting the hang of all of this with a 12 week old, but already notice I’m distracted sometimes or think I need to be on the computer/working rather than with her. I try to keep that in check though but not sure how I will respond as she gets older.

    3.What would you like to do differently to eliminate some of the stress triggers in your life?
    That’s a tough call. I like helping my family to have a quality of life that is decent after being raised in poverty. I wish they would’ve planned better though. I sometimes wish I cared less or was less enabling I suppose. I know I didn’t end up here without contributing to it, and overall like things even if I feel stress. Doesn’t seem like I feel less stress when I try and pull back the responsibilities anyways. Maybe it’s just been so long with stress that I don’t know how to be unstressed and am always piling it on…

    4.Do you find it easier to delegate certain things or just get them done yourself?
    Depends on my mood. I am lucky to have a husband who wants to step up and will take my coaching on how to do things more efficiently (like multitask the bottle/changing to satisfy the baby in less time), but it’s tiring to keep after him about how to do things I consider minimum bar like bottle washing (just giving some examples to have context). Luckily one of main tenets to our relationship is communication and I can’t stress how much that has helped us both before and now after baby. I will count on it for years to come to help maintain the integrity of our relationship. Also, I notice I have more patience with children and delegating/teaching them than I do for hubby. Goes back to the minimum bar part I suppose, but I am actively learning how to give up control and that there is no perfect. Neither thing is always easier – just a choice on how I want to be in the moment. (and sometimes my bad mood gets the better of me)

    5.If you’ve found balance, what’s tips can you share?
    When I’m doing well with balance it’s usually because of communication and boundaries. I can’t stress these two enough in my life. Communication that involves taking feedback and sharing needs as well as figuring out my limits and putting boundaries on people who need more than I can give and being gentle on myself when I give too much and hurt over it.

    6.Do you feel like household responsibilities are equally distributed in your home?
    Yes and no – we’re working on it. More on the no side – i still do more, but he recognizes he doesn’t do well and pays for a cleaner a lot and that saves us arguing over most small things and is his contribution. I almost think a cleaner is worth their weight in gold and would add it to the list of marriage savers that also includes a double sink and the like. :) (we don’t have a double sink in the bathroom, but I’d take the cleaners any day!) He has learned to pick up slack once I got pregnant and I’m grateful he puts our daughter’s well being as a priority. I did have to do a lot of reminding that “I consider relationships a partnership and partnership means shared responsibilities and that we both need to be contributing and that I’m not seeing a contribution” early on. I hold a belief that in this age women do not *need* men/partner to have a home/family/child (but it sure makes it more fufilling and often easier and now that we have a daughter it’s hard to imagine being without him) and that if I have to work as hard as him AND clean AND cook AND take care of not just one but two (metaphorical) children (without help if he’s one of them!) that I just won’t do it- I can’t do it without burnout and relationship troubles. Luckily he tolerates these (at times seemingly harsh) boundaries and respects my communication, wants to step up, and works with me to actively keep our relationship alive and growing.

    Comment by juvju — May 4, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

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