Jan 4, 2010

Moms in America are lonelier than ever

Abbey, from the Living My Moment Blog needs some time off! She's on maternity leave and I volunteered to be a guest blogger while she's busy giving birth and taking care of baby #2.

As I was sitting down to write for Abbey's Blog, I couldn't help but remember a headline that caught my attention a few weeks ago. The news reported that modern American women are feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever, despite having lots of people around them.
This got me thinking why is that? So, I went digging for more info on this "phenomenon".

Many modern moms are constantly on the go and establishing meaningful long term relationships with new people is becoming harder and harder. Moms are so consumed by work, children and household work that they hardly have any time left for themselves, much less to nurture friendships with others.

Well educated and well prepared women who start a family must wear many hats at all times. As women, we put so many expectations on ourselves. We have to be the best moms to our kids, the best wives to our husbands, the best at work, etc. But things are not always perfect (as we all know) and women can feel disappointed and lonely when things don't go as planned. But we must be careful with these feelings of loneliness, because according to a recent study, a lonely heart can lead to actual heart failure in women. The study's lead author, Rebecca C. Thurston, an assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, says that women are more vulnerable to developing these feelings of loneliness because they tend to be more concerned about relationship quality than men. Women also tend to be more distressed when relationships with spouses and friends aren’t as close as they hope.

But why is this loneliness and isolation affecting women in America?
In some countries new moms are surrounded by family members who are in close proximity and who can be readily available to help out. In other cultures mothers, sisters, cousins, and aunts may even take turns caring for each other's children and this offers a familiar support system and a form of relief to women who may become overwhelmed by their new lives as a moms. As the baby grows up, the familiar support system, the bonds, and the closeness remains in place. Millions of women in America do not have these familiar support systems because families in America often do not live in the same town as their relatives.

So what can women in the U.S. do to combat those feelings of loneliness and isolation? what can we do to protect our hearts?

For now, I am glad I can lend a hand to Abbey.
She needs a support system as her new baby enters the world and as she must be the best mom she can be to that little angel...

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