Home Health Physical Challenges Faced by Stay-at-Home Parents

Physical Challenges Faced by Stay-at-Home Parents

by Ethan more
Physical Challenges

On-call parents have never-ending responsibilities. Feeding and nurturing their children takes precedence before everyone else’s needs and desires. But full-time parents must take care of their bodies and minds in order to provide the best care for their kids. Parents who practice healthy habits also set good examples for youngsters to emulate.

Lifting Children Safely

Stay-at-home parenting requires a fair amount of lifting. Groceries, household chores and carrying children all create physical challenges for parents. Improper lifting techniques can cause backaches, wrist and knee injuries and other painful ailments. Remember the acronym BACK, provided by Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, Inc., while engaging in child-handling activities:

  • Back straight
  • Avoid twisting
  • Close to body
  • Keep smooth

Wrist pain plagues caregivers of babies and small children. Often confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervain’s tendonitis is similar to other types of tendonitis caused by overuse. Commonly known as mother’s thumb, this painful form of tendonitis affects the thumb tendon. Look for these symptoms and seek medical care:

  • Pain and/or swelling near the thumb or back of the wrist.
  • Intense pain while forming a fist, turning the wrist or grasping objects.
  • Catching or snapping feeling while moving the thumb.

How Can Stay-at-Home Parents Exercise With Their Children?

Kids have the right idea when it comes to exercise: Keep moving. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean gym memberships and lifting weights. Burn calories with the kids every day. Stroller rides to the grocery store or a brisk walk around the block provide fresh air and enjoyment for everyone. Even when the weather’s bad outside, kids can burn off energy indoors with parents. Here are some ideas:

  • Turn up the music and dance.
  • “Duck Duck Goose,” “Ring-Around-the-Rosie” and “London Bridge is Falling Down.”
  • Floor exercises such as push-ups, crunches, squats and jumping jacks
  • Hula hoop and jump rope.
  • Tag.
  • Physical chores such as dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping.

Parents Need to Eat Right and Sleep Well

Sleep plays a profound role in one’s mood and energy levels. Parents who don’t get enough sleep tend to have less patience – something every stay-at-home mom and dad needs. While the amount of sleep required varies by individuals, the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults and children follow these basic sleep tips:

  • Create consistent sleep schedules, even on weekends.
  • Develop a regular, relaxing routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music about an hour before expecting to fall asleep.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment that’s dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
  • Rest on a comfy mattress and pillow.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleep. Avoid watching TV, playing, using a computer or reading in bed.
  • Stop eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol near bedtime.

Stay-at-home parents work in an environment with constant access to food that tempts 24/7 caregivers to overeat. Sharing too many snacks with the kids can create unwanted pounds in a hurry. Obviously, eating right and exercising play a crucial role in maintaining healthy weight; however, the National Sleep Foundation also suggests that increased appetites are often caused by hormones produced during sleep deprivation.

Lack of sleep creates a vicious circle. It can lead to weight gain and other serious health problems such as sleep apnea, hypertension, heart attack, diabetes and stroke. But what about crying babies and children who pay no mind to sleep schedules? Stay-at-home parents who can’t get enough sleep at night should resort to daily naps with the kids in order to get enough shut-eye.

Healthy Tips for Parents of Small Children

Stay-at-home parents need to protect themselves from looming occupational hazards within their homes. Proper nutrition and adequate sleep and exercise serve as indispensable tools for moms and dads. Practicing proper lifting techniques prevents painful injuries that can wreak havoc in the daily lives of around-the-clock parents.

Depression Help for Stay-at-Home Moms

The choice to be a stay-at-home mom can lead to unanticipated feelings of depression, isolation, and dissatisfaction for some mothers. 

Here’s what one stay-at-home mom says: “I have no satisfaction that is directly for me – everything is for [my child], my husband, and the household. I have nothing to show for it otherwise, no paycheck, no recognition. It puts me in an old-fashioned type of category, where I’m out of touch with the modern world. It’s very isolating.”

Some stay-at-home moms miss the external rewards and accomplishments that a career can bring. Some mothers struggle with the daily routine and feeling “left out” of the modern world. And still other stay-at-home moms feel that they sacrificed everything for their children, only to be left when the kids go off to college or begin their lives away from home.

Signs of Depression in Stay-at-Home Mothers

A lack of respect from society (or certain segments of society), dissatisfaction with the daily routine, and the feelings of isolation and emptiness can also lead to depression for some stay-at-home moms.

Help for a Stay-at-Home Mom’s Depressed Feelings

One of the first steps to overcoming depression for stay-at-home moms is to focus on the cause.

It’s best to be as specific as possible when exploring the cause of a stay-at-home mom’s depressed feelings: is it the daily routine, lack of appreciation, societal stigma, comments from family or friends, or lack of challenge?

Different mothers struggle with different things when raising kids full-time – and, of course, some moms absolutely love it!

Specific Ways to Stop Feeling Depressed

There are several ways that a stay-at-home mom can combat depression.

  • Build a support system. Confiding in friends, family, peers, or anyone who understands depression can help alleviate feelings of isolation, loneliness, and emptiness.
  • Find activities that energize and feed the spirit like look for top casino online and play just for fun. Overcoming depression can involve simple activities, such as attending a dance class, brainstorming ways to turn a hobby into a home-based business, or taking an hour or two a week at a favorite coffee shop to read a good book or write in a journal. Some stay-at-home moms neglect themselves – they don’t take time out to do what they love.
  • Make treating depression a priority. Overcoming feelings of isolation and emptiness has to involve making room in life for certain priorities and mental and emotional health is a top priority.
  • Remember that overcoming depression takes time. Feeling better doesn’t happen overnight! It takes time to untangle the possible causes of depressed feelings, rearrange daily routines, and experiment with different solutions.

If the feelings of emptiness, isolation, sadness, exhaustion, or depression are serious — affecting day to day functioning — call a family doctor, counselor, or depression help line today. Don’t wait until major depression hits before getting help!

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