REPORT: The 4 Most Disturbing Trends Facing All Mothers Today
The 4 Most Disturbing Trends Facing AllMothers TodayStartling information every mother needs to know in order to successfully navigate asa mom and thrive as a person.Researched and Produced by Sigrid Kjeldsen from The Joyful Mother
Trend 1:Women Are Less Happy Today Than TheyWere 35 Years Ago
We were happier in the 70s!• According to a new study by the research team Stevenson and Wolfers, professors at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” women report being a lot less happy then they used to be 35 years ago.• The study states that this trend cannot be attributed to one single social phenomenon, but it does attempt to explore some of the possibilities such as expanded opportunities for women, higher divorce rates, wage gaps and ﬁnancial challenges.• But the one that was only brieﬂy mentioned although seemed to have the most potential to explain this phenomenon is that of the modern moms almost constant state of busyness. Source: American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2009, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness
The Busy Mom• According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Research, 60.7% of women with children under 3 years old were in the labor force in 2010• During the time period between 2000 and 2002, 79.4% of women who worked during pregnancy had returned to the workforce within a year of their ﬁrst childbirth.• In addition to work, Arlie Hochschild’s and Anne Machung state in their book, The Second Shift (1989), that women have maintained the emotional responsibility for home and family.• According to recent statistics from the Working Mother Clean House Survey, only 20% of married working moms share housework equally with their spouses. Source: 2009 U.S. Census Bureau Research, Women Leaving & Re-entering the Work Force / American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2009, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness / Working Mother Working Mother Clean House Survey
Alarming ResultsKatrina Alcorn, journalist and blogger surveyed 600 working parents (96% of therespondents were women) in 2011 about stress and its effects on their health. Shegot some pretty alarming results:• 80% catch up on work nights and weekends• 81% worry they will burn out• 88% said they suffer from at least one stress-related health problem since becoming a working parent.• 59% have problems with anxiety• 43% struggle with depressionSource: Working Moms Break, Working parents: How are you doing survey
“It is incredibly easy to get caught upin an activity trap, in the busy-ness oflife, to work harder and harder atclimbing the ladder of success only todiscover its leaning against the wrongwall. It is possible to be busy — verybusy — without being very effectiveat building a life for yourself.”Stephen Covey, 1987, “Seven Habits of HighlyEffective People”
You Don’t Measure Up?• The following study showed that the personality trait of perfectionism is linked to poor physical health and an increased risk of death.• Dr. Prem Fry’s study found that those with high perfectionism scores, meaning they placed high expectations on themselves to be perfect, had a 51-percent increased risk of death compared to those with low scores.• The researchers suspect high levels of stress and anxiety, which are known to be linked with perfectionism, might contribute to the decrease in lifespan.• Another study found that at work, 38% of women did not feel they met the high standards they set themselves, compared with 24% of men.When it came to home and family life, 30% of women felt they were failing to meet the standards they wanted to compared with 17% of men. Source: Trinity Western Magazine, Death by Perfection / BBC News, Perfectionism Hits Working Women
“Ideals are like stars; you will notsucceed in touching them with yourhands. But like the seafaring man onthe desert of waters, you choosethem as your guides, and followingthem you will reach your destiny.” Carl Schurz, address, Faneuil Hall, Boston,1859
Trend 3:Women Get Sadder With Age; Men GetHappier
Love and Money• A study found that women are, on average, happier than men in early adulthood – but the glow wears off with time. Speciﬁcally, after the age of 48, mens overall happiness exceeds womens happiness.• These patterns of overall happiness correlate to patterns in two signiﬁcant aspects of life satisfaction: family and ﬁnances.• Early in adult life women are more likely than men to fulﬁll their material goods and family life aspirations and their satisfaction in these areas of life is higher than mens and so too is their overall happiness.• In later life it is "men [who] come closer to fulﬁlling their aspirations, are more satisﬁed with their family lives and ﬁnancial situations, and are the happier of the two."• Some age milestones: 41: Age at which mens ﬁnancial satisfaction exceeds womens ﬁnancial satisfaction 48: Age at which mens overall happiness exceeds womens overall happiness 64: Age at which mens satisfaction with family life exceeds womens. Source: Phys Org, Women End Up Less Happy Than Men
Are you cutting yourself some slack?• Another possible reason for the difference in happiness levels between men and women as we age is workload and depression.• In a recent study, Katrina Leupp from the University of Washington found that career women are less likely to show symptoms of stress compared to housewives. But when they these career moms don’t cut themselves any slack and put unrealistic expectations to balance career and home, they become more prone to depression.• Women who go into employment expecting it to be difﬁcult -- Im going to have to work full time and do the laundry at night, but who are accepting of that are less likely to be frustrated than women who expect things to be more equal with their partners. Source: US News and World Report, Trying to Be Supermom Can Raise Risk for Depression
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination” ― Ben Sweetland
Trend 4:Kids Don’t Make Us Happier, They MakeUs Less Happy!
Rather shop for groceries...• Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness has found that marital satisfaction decreases dramatically after the birth of the ﬁrst child—and increases only when the last child has left home. He also ascertains that parents are happier grocery shopping and even sleeping than spending time with their kids.• Dr. Gilbert’s premise in the book is that people have the inability to predict what will make them happy or sad.• In 2004, psychologist Daniel Kahneman, and his colleagues published a paper tracking the experience of 909 women going about their daily lives.• The women were asked to give a general happiness assessment of their previous day and to reconstruct a diary of their activities.They were then questioned in detail about each event.• “Intimate relations” brought women the most pleasure, followed by socializing. All the way down at number twelve of sixteen in the rankings was “taking care of my children.” Childcare was only slightly more pleasurable than “computer / internet / email.” Source: New York Times article, The Joy of Delusion / Babble article, Are you Happy, Are you Sure?
What are we focusing on?• Robin Simon, professor of sociology at Wake Forest University says that “No group of parents, whether married, single, step or empty nesters, reported signiﬁcantly greater emotional wellbeing than non-parents. Of the three major components of adult life — employment, friendship and parenthood — raising children is the only one that doesn’t promote wellbeing.”• Research that found a signiﬁcant increase in life satisfaction for both men and women one year before the birth of their child and during the birth year, but then noted a sharp drop within one year after the birth. Four years later, parents were no happier than they were at pre-child levels.• The research presumed that parents are more likely to focus on mundane duties such as the school run or mealtimes, rather than the less frequent but more happiness-inducing moments such as a ﬁrst smile, ﬁrst step, or even just a goodnight cuddle. Source: Psychologies article, Do Children Make Us Happier
If I had my child to raise all over again, Id build self-esteem ﬁrst, and the house later. Id ﬁnger-paint more, and point the ﬁnger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. Id take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. Id take more hikes and ﬂy more kites. Id stop playing serious, and seriously play.I would run through more ﬁelds and gaze at more stars. Id do more hugging and less tugging. -Diane Loomans, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"
Secret Sauce to HappinessWould more clothes make you happier? How about a bigger house, morestuff, more money, a better job, cooler friends?Yeah, maybe it would...for like a week or two, maybe a few months. Butthen what? More stuff, more friends, more money to ﬁll that craving?What about freedom, self-deﬁned freedom? Freedom to determine yourown actions, behavior and thoughts? What about the feeling of self-reliance, self-sufﬁciency? That YOU are in charge of your life. How wouldTHAT make you feel?The ability to deﬁne and direct who we are and what our life looks andfeels like is the root of all happiness...really, it is!
• Psychologists Ronald Fischer, PhD, and Diana Boer, PhD. state in their report in the The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the thing that makes us most happy, beyond money, perfection, success and popularity is "autonomy" - deﬁned as "the feeling that your life - its activities and habits -- are self-chosen and self-endorsed."• Researcher Angus Campbell emphatically endorses the perks of autonomy. "Having a strong sense of controlling ones life is a more dependable predictor of positive feelings of well-being than any of the objective conditions of life we have considered," says Campbell.• A University of Michigan nationwide survey also sings the praises of autonomy - reporting how the 15% of Americans who claimed they felt "in control of their lives" also raved about having "extraordinarily positive feelings of happiness." Source: American Psychological Association (APA) article, Money Can’t Buy Happiness / Psychology Today article, The No. 1 Contributor to Happiness
Learned Helplessness• The concept of autonomy or lack there of reminds me of the series of studies Seligman researched in the 60s, that looked at the concept of Learned Helplessness.• After research was done on dogs, Seilgman extended the theory of learned helpless to humans. He however, began to ﬁnd exceptions to the theory, people who did not get depressed, even after many bad life experiences. Seligman discovered that a depressed person thought about the bad event in more pessimistic ways than a non-depressed person. He called this thinking, "explanatory style” and said that there were two types - optimistic and pessimistic.• So what does that have to do with autonomy you may ask? Well, a person with a high level of autonomy tends to be naturally resilient and optimistic - anything but helpless. She will bounce back more easily from setbacks and will have clear beliefs in her capabilities to ﬁnd solutions and craft her life in a way that feels good. Source: www.noogenesis.com, Learned Helplessness
Source: www.eacademy.com, Empirical Research & Life Coaching
Life can feel amazing!• Looking back on our trends, life could look a tad dim on the happiness front. However, the life skill of autonomy and optimism can be learned.• Life Coaching has emerged on the scene in the last decade as a powerful and effective way for people to both achieve their goals and improve their quality of life.• A study done recently by Dr. Anthony Grant from Sydney University explored the impact of life coaching on goal attainment, metacognition and mental health.• His results indicate that life coaching increased goal attainment as well as signiﬁcantly reducing the participants reported levels of depression, anxiety and stress, with most reporting a signiﬁcantly enhanced quality of life. Source: www.eacademy.com, Empirical Research & Life Coaching
Source: International Coach Federation, Can Coaching Reduce the Incidence of Stress-Related Absenteeism?
• Sigrid Kjeldsen, Head Coach and Happiness Expert at The Joyful Mother, also reported in her study in 2005 (in collaboration with the University of Life Sciences in Oslo, Norway) of over 111 participants that coaching had a positive impact in reducing self- perceived stress levels. Source: International Coach Federation, Can Coaching Reduce the Incidence of Stress-Related Absenteeism?
• Sigrid Kjeldsen, Head Coach and Happiness Expert at The Joyful Mother, also reported in her study in 2005 (in collaboration with the University of Life Sciences in Oslo, Norway) of over 111 participants that coaching had a positive impact in reducing self- perceived stress levels.• Speciﬁcally, the project showed that coaching reduced stress an average of 18% after a short three-month period. Some of the participants experienced a reduction as high as 47%. Source: International Coach Federation, Can Coaching Reduce the Incidence of Stress-Related Absenteeism?
• Sigrid Kjeldsen, Head Coach and Happiness Expert at The Joyful Mother, also reported in her study in 2005 (in collaboration with the University of Life Sciences in Oslo, Norway) of over 111 participants that coaching had a positive impact in reducing self- perceived stress levels.• Speciﬁcally, the project showed that coaching reduced stress an average of 18% after a short three-month period. Some of the participants experienced a reduction as high as 47%.• The coaching process teaches and strengthens the autonomy muscle of each and every client. Through the coaching process, self-reﬂection and the powerful moment of insight (the a-ha moment) fuels the clients awareness of self and nurtures her ability to feel empowered over her own life! Source: International Coach Federation, Can Coaching Reduce the Incidence of Stress-Related Absenteeism?
Do something different!• “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein• All habits can be changed with practice and repetition. But it takes work. Recent research found that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to change a habit!• The way we think is habitual too...and can be changed! Source: PsychBlog, How Long to Form a Habit
• Remember Dr. Seligman, our learned helplessness guy? Well, he believes that our explanatory style, the way we think and make sense of the world, can be changed.• In a recent study of depressed patients he found that by using a technique that identiﬁes and corrects erroneous habits of thought*, he was able to change the styles of the patients from pessimistic to optimistic and that the change persisted one year after.• Dr. Edward E. Jones, a psychologist at Princeton University expands on this and says: “Our expectancies not only affect how we see reality but also affect reality itself.” Source: New York Times Research Afﬁrms Power of Positive Thinking *the technique was cognitive therapy, which is at the root of life coaching
InspirationEach week The Joyful Mother’s Facebook page gets around 100 new followersto add to the growing 15,600 plus Facebook community. The Joyful Motherblog is read by around 500 or more people a day. To be inspirational isimportant to Sigrid.Inspiration often means the creation of a new idea or thought. By activatingnew ideas through inspiration, Sigrid lights the ﬁre of empowerment, insight andlove in mother’s hearts through her popular online presence.
What people are saying...• “After completing the Mommy Meltdown Cure, I now feel that I have the keys to be the kind of mother and wife Ive admired for so long. Kind, patient, loving, funny, and most of all ... happy & joyful. Thank you so much, Sigrid. I am sharing my learnings with other Moms in my life who Im close to. You are changing the world, one Mommy at a time. - E.H• Working with Sigrid has opened a whole new world to me. She gave me the tools to change my constant negative thinking and asked the right questions to bring out new awarenesses in me. I am really grateful for contacting her. Meeting with Sigrid has deﬁnitely changed the way I deal with the things that life throws at me. Sigrid has taught me I can bounce back much more easily from stress.That has made a huge impact on my everyday life and my happiness. Sigrid herself is the living example of what she is teaching. I think I have never met another person with so much positive energy. - B.G• I could ﬁll her entire blog up with all of the insights that I have acquired thanks to her guidance and wise words. I no longer ﬁght my day. I accept what the universe is putting before me and do my best to learn from the lessons sent to me. I am a happier, more fulﬁlled and joyful person because the universe loved me enough to put her in my path. She is a light and guides others with the glow she emanates. She has guided me to a place ﬁlled with trust, acceptance, joy and love. And I am so glad that she is in the world helping others ﬁnd the answers that they need in order to live a more fulﬁlled, joyful life. - A.B• Sigrid asked the essential questions that made me reevaluate my conventional wisdom. I was able to look at my situation with fresh eyes.Thanks to her, I feel more like I can trust this exciting process called life! - B.S• I have had a meditation practice for years and I am active with a local zen center.You bring it all full circle for me in my life and as a parent. You are helping me to become the mommy I have always wanted to be. I am manifesting my mommyhood!!!! - L.N
• You are a huge inspiration and a real role-model. Everyday you shower golden stars of wisdom and love down on the entire planet. Something you said in one of your videos really inspired me! I had a huge a-ha moment when you said you just decided to be happy, even though everything in your life was not as you wished it to be. So simple, so deep, so genius.Thank you! -A.H• Thank you for helping me change my life around. I can control my thoughts!! Who knew?!;-) Keep up the beautiful, heartfelt work. I am a better mommy (and person) because of you!!!!!! Bless your sweet heart. -M.C• With the lessons I have learned through the Mommy Meltdown Cure, I see that my priorities are becoming aligned and I have found direction where I was lost and feeling hopeless. But in addition to that, I am taking even more opportunities for quality time with my daughter and I am diffusing my husbands meltdowns and seeing more smiles from him after a stressful day at work instead of both of us winding up to a shouting match and both of our days ending on a bad note. I still have work to do - some of it is going to be hard work, but when it comes to happiness the extra effort that I put into it will only mean that I see things get better and better.Thank you so much! - S.K• Since starting the MMC program with Sigrid my whole perspective on mothering has dramatically changed. I used to view everything I did as a demand, chore or task. Everything felt like I “had to” do it, not I wanted to do it. The demands of mothering were taking over my identity and sucking out every last bit of joy. In my short time with Sigrid, I have discovered that I didn’t want to be “that mother” anymore. I have found a new way to be with my children on a whole new level, a very conscious level. And although it takes effort and constant reminders, it feels so much better and more natural. My children are so easy to enjoy now and they respond much more positively to me. Thank you Sigrid for everything you have taught me and for giving me the joy back that my family was longing for. - H.E
Sigrid Kjeldsen, Head Coach and Happiness Expert at TheJoyful Mother has a Bachelor of Science degree inPsychology and is a Certiﬁed Co-active Coach(Internationally Certiﬁed ICF coach) with 10 years ofinternational experience coaching moms around theworld.
In addition to Sigrid’s professional credentialsand extensive experience, she is also a mother!She has a 9 year old daughter and 4 year old sonand has been married to her husband happily for10 years.Sigrid’s passion for helping mothers deﬁne whothey are as individuals and claim their right for ahappy life stems from her own journey in life andher desire to show up as the best version of herboth for herself and for her family.You can hear more about her journey of self-discovery and how she found real autonomyover her life in this video.
"A truly joyful mother is not a perfect mother. A truly joyful mother is a constantly evolving one. She celebrates what she does well, accepts the things she has done less well, she learns from her mistakes, moves on to do better in the next moment and understands that love and forgiveness has the power to heal both herself and her family." - The Joyful MotherThe Joyful Mother is committed to helping you take yournext step in gaining true Mommy Mastery over your life.Sigrid has created two powerful learning opportunities tosupport committed mothers on their quest for joyful lives.Both are inspirational and practical and will leave you withthe tools you need to create habits that fuel a life ofautonomy and joy:
The Joyful Mother’s Club For Mothers Who Deﬁne ThemselvesA Step-by-Step 24 week Training ProgramLearn To Live Your Life By Your Own Design!Learn the practical skills you need to deﬁne who you are basedon your own standards and learn to live as the very bestversion of YOU as a mother, a career person, in yourrelationships and with yourself!Every 2 weeks for 1 year, you will receive in your inbox:✓One powerful lesson delivered to you in pdf and audioformat. Each lesson is purposefully brief (but thorough!) so youcan read it quickly and put it into practice.✓An easy to implement assignment to help youpractically translate the learning from the lesson into your dayto day life!✓One short inspirational video to give you someadditional pointers and guidance for each lesson.✓Plus much moreTo ﬁnd out more about the JMC and to sign up go here --> TheJoyful Mother Club
Note: This is not to be mistaken with the the INTENSIVE Mommy Meltdown Cure that The Joyful Mother offers a couple times a year including one on one coaching with Sigrid.
Mommy Meltdown Cure Personal Power Toolbox in Just 6 Minutes a DayA 8-Week Self-Study Coaching Program TeachingYou Tools You Can Use in 6 Minutes a Day ToBegin Living as a Calm, Loving and In-Control,Masterful Mother!In this 8-week home study coaching program, Sigrid will giveyou the practical tools you need to take control of your life andbe PROUD of yourself as a mother. And all it takes is just SIXMINUTES A DAY!The Mommy Meltdown Cure Home Study Programto provide you with your very own PERSONALPOWER TOOLBOX and includes:✓8 video lessons (with pdf and audio option)✓8 inspirational action plans✓Access to a virtual support group (Mom Spot)✓BONUS: Two months free of The Joyful Mother Club (a$14.99 mo. value!)To ﬁnd out more about the MMC and to sign up here -->Mommy Meltdown CureNote: This is not to be mistaken with the the INTENSIVE Mommy Meltdown Cure that The Joyful Mother offers a couple times a year including one on one coaching with Sigrid.
Thank you for watching! If you have any questions at all about The Joyful Mother, Sigrid, her programs or even the research, please don’t hesitate to connect.You can reach her email@example.com or use the contact info below!