Economy Driving Moms to Drink

Filed under: Work Life

Is this your economic survival strategy? Image: sxc.hu

Times are tough all over. For so many of us, incomes have decreased while expenses have not. Where bill-paying used to involve sitting down to write some checks, it can now resemble a workout involving juggling, stretching and rearranging priorities.

Making ends meet can be a tough job, and in many families, it is one that falls squarely on Mom's shoulders. Whether she works outside the home or not, she makes most of the family's purchasing decisions and is often the first to make sacrifices when things get tight.

But in these unusual times, even the toughest mom can find herself overwhelmed by the stress of trying to keep it together for the sake of the family. A recent survey by MomLogic found that 64% of moms say they feel intensely negative emotions these days and half are less satisfied with their lives now than before the economic downturn. And the recession has impacted family planning as well with 27% of moms aged 25 to 34 saying that while they want more children, they are holding off because of the economy.

In families where a partner has lost a job, the news is even worse. 80% admit to feeling overwhelmed and half say they spend more time fighting than having sex.

As bad as all that sounds, it gets worse. The survey found that one in three moms admit to turning to alcohol, food, drugs and/or gambling to help them cope. This is not good. Long after the economy recovers, moms who turn to such vices may find themselves with even bigger problems -- ones that cannot be fixed with a lower interest rate or a pay raise.

Psychologist and mother Jill Spivack has some advice to help prevent a post-recession world of strung out, overweight and addicted moms. Her tips may seem obvious but they also may be just what a stressed-out mom needs to hear.

First and foremost, put down the bottle and the bag of chips. Delete your online gambling account and don't even think about doing drugs. Remind yourself that you are not alone and that there are thousands of moms going through the same thing. Make a list of what is right and good in your life to help balance out what may be less than perfect at this moment.

As long as you are juggling those bills and stretching those dollars, go ahead and make it part of your exercise routine. Physical activity, whether it be exercising, playing sports or doing yoga, has been proven to relieve stress.

And most importantly, don't feel like you have to take it on all by yourself. Ask for help from your partner, your friends, your parents. That's what they are there for. And if you still feel like you are about to go over the edge, don't be afraid to seek help from a professional.

What are your strategies for managing the stress of the current economy? Take our poll, and share with us in the comments.

How are you coping with the bad economy?
I'm praying.691 (25.0%)
I'm drinking.382 (13.8%)
I'm overeating.353 (12.8%)
I'm just living my life like I was before.1333 (48.3%)

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.