Every single mom needs some “me-time” to wind down from a stressful day… trust me, I know. But apparently, a study from Kansas State University found that playtime and quality time with kids is actually an effective stress reliever and has long-term benefits for moms. In the study, “Berryhill and her colleagues based their findings on national data related to single mothers. They also surveyed 2,370 single mothers, studied parental stress and engagement and child temperament at ages one, three and five” (FoxNews). The findings showed that moms who engaged with their kids when they were one year old were more likely to engage with their kids when they were five years old– implying that if moms engaged with their kids early on, the kids would be less temperamental in later years, which then made mothers more likely to engage, showing mutual benefit in that respect.
However, one of the researches added, “‘Being a single mother and being a parent in general is very exhausting, but if a mother is willing to spend time with her children, it can reduce her parental stress because she will feel that in her role as a mom, she is doing an adequate job'”. While it might seem obvious that if you love your kids, then you should benefit from spending quality time with them. But, getting honest here, there are plenty of times when we just want to run away screaming, don’t we? I think if we’re talking real stress relief here, balance is key. I think that taking that special “me-time” is just as important as bonding with your kids when it comes to finding a good way to relax and wind down from stress. At the same time, I am glad that this has been pointed out as an effective, mutually beneficial activity for both mother and child.
I think it’s important that even though our lives might be hectic, and your kids might seem like the very cause of the chaos at times, that we realize that our kids are not a chore– they’re our family, and they can be a source of comfort just as much as they can be a source of stress. So what if we give them more opportunities to be that source of comfort? I know it’s hard… as a single mom, you feel that the world rests on your shoulders and there’s no time for play. But your kids are why you’re working so hard, and they need love and attention just as much as they need food and shelter. So, the next time you’ve had a stressful day at work, instead of getting resentful (which is human, by the way), why not kick back and play or talk with your kids? Let them surprise you!
Lots of love!