News Release

April 27, 2004

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Avoiding the Stresses of Many Mothers' Day

UConn Health Center Psychologist Offers Balancing Tips

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Sisters, aunts, grandmothers, friends, step-mothers, mothers-in law and mothers are celebrating Mother’s Day. For mothers with an extended family of mothers, it can be a day of stress. Balancing time, expectations and emotions can make the day special, as intended.

“It's more complicated to manage the demands of such a holiday when we are part of blended families, or have in-laws, grown children who have moved away, and grandchildren,” she Karen Steinberg, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry at UConn Health Center. “Try to find a balance and maintain perspective. If something doesn’t go your way, don’t blow it out-of-proportion – not everything is an indication of our worth or importance to others,” she said. ”It can be very stressful to respond to multiple demands from different family members and to deal with complex emotions that may rise up from past unmet expectations, past experiences or recent losses,” she said.

Communication can save the day. Don’t expect your husband and children to read your mind, said Steinberg. Tell them how you’d like to spend the day, and tell them about plans you may have that include others, such as an invitation or visit to your and your spouse’s mothers.

The more complex and extensive the family structure, the more confusing and demanding the day can seem. “All you really need to do is recognize and thank the women in your life who have influenced you. A simple card or phone call will do the trick,” said Dr. Steinberg. “You will both be the recipients of good feelings.”

“Mother’s Day should be yours. Be sure to do something for yourself and tell the members of your immediate family how you’d like to spend the day,” said Dr. Steinberg. “It’s an occasion for celebration – have fun, express affection toward those you love, take care of yourself, and for a change, ask for things from others.”

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