Stress Aversion: 10 Commandments of Stress Avoidance for Working Moms

IMG_2738I have diagnosed myself with a stress aversion. It is an under-recognized medical disorder affecting nearly every 1 out of 2 people, with a slight male predilection. The symptoms are pretty simple : avoiding situations that induce a stress-response under any condition. These can range from common household tasks such as dish washing, to addressing deeply-rooted feelings of resentment towards someone in your life. (Not anyone in my life…just sayin’, for example) The weird thing about this stress avoidance disorder is I feel better with it, then without it. For those of you who also want to go on a ride on my crazy train, here are the Ten Commandments of Stress Aversion:

  1. Avoid any housework that does not immediately endanger your family. For example, if there is a broken glass in a high traffic area, it needs to be attended to. If there is a broken glass in the basement, lock the basement.  Leave the other stuff for the cleaning people, if you’re lucky, or for later.
  2. Avoid making dishes that involve mixing exact ingredients in exact proportions. For example, the corn casserole I make can survive without the butter, sour cream, extra egg, or flour it requires. As in, it has been made with 4 out of 10 ingredients and still rocks. I have substituted corn for creamed corn, FYI.
  3. Make sure you grocery shop only once per week so you limit finding parking, interacting with other humans, and buying junk food you will eat that will make you feel guilty, thereby increasing stress.
  4. ? Can’t remember. Too relaxed.
  5. Avoid any social situations that increase stress. This includes confrontations with neighbors about shared driveway maintenance costs or calling the Department of Motor Vehicles for any reason, ever.
  6. Avoid having child-to-adult ratios greater then 1 child per 2 adults.  I realize it is too late for me in this department. For others, save yourselves.
  7. Never run out of wine, beer, hot chocolate, coffee, ear plugs, or gasoline.
  8. Learn to say, “NO!” at work.  The energy you spend pretending you are working on a project but then never have anything to show for it is just too much. (I don’t do this, Scott. It is just a recommendation for those who might). This also applies any member of the PTA that approaches you for any reason, ever.
  9. Nurture your hobbies and the important people in your life. I, for one, have embraced my love affair with Netflix (since we got rid of cable on our spending freeze), by watching it incessantly with my husband and children all packed into our bed. (This activity also saves lots of money on account of not going anywhere or doing anything, and saves money on heating costs due to natural body heat transmission).
  10. Lower your expectations. This is especially important for those of us that are type “A PLUS” personalities and nothing can ever be good enough. Well, I’m here to tell you : YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE IN YOUR HOUSE WHO CARES ABOUT PERFECT. So, be inspired by Frozen and “Let it go!!!” (This applies to parenting as well : if you never let your children fall and recoup, you are setting them up to never learn to recoup.) Repeat after me : Let it go, let it go, let it go.

Change the way you think and just stop stressing!!! Isn’t that the best? Ok, TRUE STORY! This really happened to me!  My husband occasionally works on the weekend.  In the past, I have found being with three minions under the age of 8 for 14 hours straight difficult. This made me sad. I don’t want to think spending time with my girls is stressful. After some reflection, it occurred to me that perhaps the experience could be a pleasant one, if I could consider being less rigid. For example, is it really that bad if they start out the day with a movie in bed and then spend the day trying on clothes at the mall, eating ice cream and bagels, never seeing a vegetable? The new me thingst not!  (Best. Day. Ever.) The old me was kinda like Hitler, I think.

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Are you a working mom who's totally stressed out? Try these principles of stress avoidance so you can enjoy life while working and having a family.

3 thoughts on “Stress Aversion: 10 Commandments of Stress Avoidance for Working Moms

  1. Love this. All of it! Thanks!

  2. It is 11 Commandments. I have been practicing it for the past 8 years. Highly recommend it. Works great.

  3. OMG, your commandments of stress aversion disorder are dead on. I need to find a way to contract this disorder IMMEDIATELY. Life would be so much more fun 🙂

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