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Have a Happy Mother’s Day!

May 8, 2011
By CATHY BROWNFIELD - Family Recovery Center , Salem News

Happy Mother's Day!

It isn't always easy being Mom. She often comes last on the list, frequently putting herself there. If money is tight, she's the last one to get the new clothes; wears her old shoes another season because they're still in OK condition. She's the one who says, "I'm not hungry. I'll eat later." She wants to ensure that the children and her husband get enough to eat. Mom is the one we call when we are at the end of the proverbial rope, when we don't know if our sick child should see a doctor, or when we need someone to help us feel our true worth. Perhaps we don't fully appreciate the women who raised us until we are parents ourselves, particularly mothersat that place where the rubber meets the road.

Everyone has said or heard said that mothers are the nurturers. They have to be more organized than anyone else in the household. They have to get themselves and their children ready to meet the day and whatever it holds. They schedule appointments for everyone, get everyone to the appointments and are criticized if they miss work or have to leave work for any amount of time. They generally do the family shopping, prepare the meals, supervise homework. Anyone tired yet? They get the kids to soccer, baseball, football practice, dance lessons, art class at the local museum. They plan birthday parties, luncheons for the organizations with which they are associated. They bake cookies for bake sales, school parties, funeral dinners, and church events. Graduation parties really demand time, skill and stamina. Oh, and as Dad rushes out the door to work, she reminds him of his appointment at the doctor's or Johnny's track meet after school. Do you need to stop and catch your breath yet? And there are still people who think she's "slow."

Mom is so busy taking care of everyone else she doesn't have time to think of herself, and the things she needs. Someone else should watch over her to see that her health and well being are a priority because if Mama isn't well, if something happens to her because her well being was neglected, she won't be there to take care of everyone in her world.

When Mom lets go with an angry outburst, is it correctly interpreted? Do you fight with her because you know you aggravated her? When Mom's tears don't escape attention, do you have any idea why she is crying? Do you ever ask yourself if Mom has cried when nobody knew because she didn't want anyone to see her during a "weak" moment? And do you understand that she's not weak, that tears are not a sign of weakness? Instead the tears are cleansing and when they are done, there's renewed strength? Can you distinguish between her tears of joy and her tears of grief? Do you have any idea how to comfort her?

Mom is a very important person in every family. Unfortunately there are moms who don't have very good mothering skills. Everyone needs good mentors, role models who teach how we should be. Moms need to be able to do their jobs with a strong support system, a team effort. "Family" is not a team of one.

Be aware of Mom. Is she eating right, sleeping comfortably, getting enough rest? Does she seem to be struggling with something? Is she depressed? Do you know the signs of depression?

There are 19 million Americans (not just moms) who struggle with major depression annually. Major depression "is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration interfere with everyday life for a long period of time," according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Depression may be associated with alcohol or drug abuse, life events or situations, sleeping problems or medical conditions such as underactive thyroid, sedatives or medications for blood pressure, cancer or another major illness, or prolonged pain.

Heart attacks are "the silent killer." Women's symptoms are different than men's. Women account for nearly half of heart attack deaths each year, says the National Institutes of Health.

"Women are less likely to believe they are having a heart attack and more likely to delay in seeking emergency treatment.

"Further, women tend to be about 10 years older than men when they have a heart attack. They are more likely to have other conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure-making it all them more vital that they get proper treatment fast."

Your mom may not be a complainer, but she may still be struggling with something you are not aware ofalone because she doesn't want to worry anyone. Yet she worries about everyone around her.

It's Mother's Day 2011, a new day, a clean slate. Have a wonderful day with your mother!

Family Recovery Center promotes the well-being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs to help.

Contact FRC at 964N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or email, FRC is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.



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