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Mother of 4 teens!

Sep 5th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 0
Hi, Dr. Elia.

I am a mother of FOUR teenagers, and I’m going crazy. My husband travels a great deal of the time, and I’m left holding the house afloat. HELP! Any recommended books, workshops, etc?


Dear Trish,

My favorite cousin has finished raising all of her teenagers! Now that they’ve returned with honor from their missions and are married in the Temple, she looks back at those crazy times when they were all teens and says with a smile on her face…”I was in the trenches back then!” It is one of my favorite quotes, because when we’re in the trenches as parents and particularly as mothers, we feel like we’re going crazy!

Your description of your life, with a husband that travels a lot is echoed by SO many mothers who feel overwhelmed! There are numerous parenting books out there for you to read. My best advice to you however, is to look for ways to find some balance in your own life, in the midst of this parental “insanity.”

By that I mean to try and discover what fills your physical and emotional bucket. You must create some time for yourself, so you can recharge your batteries and therefore have more to give to your 4 teens. It could be a weekly bubble bath, or reading from your favorite book, or an occasional girls night out. What is it that makes you feel loved? In other words Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself… concentrate on “thyself” so you can have what you need to meet the demands of motherhood at this stage in your life. This too shall pass and you’ll have graduations and before you know it an empty nest. Enjoy as much as you can the gift of time with your kids…even if they drive you crazy!

Good luck,

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

My family is driving me crazy!!!

Aug 15th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 0

Dear Dr. Elia,

I am having a difficult time trying to transition back to being a mom after spending a year at school, I don’t like cooking…my dh hardly compliments it at all…and the kids, well kids like to say “I don’t like it” …you know. I am a ver verbal person, and I seem to be “high maintance” as far as I need pats on the back and my requests honored. I have some health problems as well…PMS and the like…and so my intimacy button is broken as well…and dear husband doesn’t think I like him…or that I don’t like intimacy…so I PLAN times that I am intimate…so that he doesn’t think I hate him…but it is REALLY hard to get my motor going…

Well, I literally BLEW UP at my family today…after I requested for them to stop bitting (criticizing, and nitpicking…especially 17 yr old son and father) each other, first thing in the morning… ( they are like a den of grumpy bears in the morning, and my 4 yr old keeps that grumpiness all day long…and fights with 5 yr old sister!! ( I have 7 children.)

I don’t quite know what to do…now I feel guilty, and drained all at the same time…any suggestions?

Thank you for your time…

Dear Nicoll,

How often do we feel like our family is driving us crazy? It’s more often than most of us will admit!

A couple of thoughts come to mind as to your predicament. I’m not sure if you are truly high maintenance. It sounds like no one in your family is speaking your primary love language… which in your case sounds like “words of appreciation.” So after a considerable time of not feeling appreciated and with all the demands that are upon you, “your emotional bank account” runs empty. No wonder you feel drained…When the stress gets too much a blow up is not unexpected.

It’s very important to understand what makes you feel the most loved and the same for your husband. This is done by prioritizing the 5 love languages from what fills your bucket the most to least. The key to successful relationships is to express our love to our spouse (or children for that matter) in the way that it makes them feel the most loved… For more information on this topic, you can read my article on “Love Languages: It’s All Greek to Me!”

Imagine how different life would be at home if everyone felt loved in their particular language. The emotional bank accounts would be receiving daily deposits and everyone would be happier. Although this requires some work up front, especially on the communication side, in the end it will be worth it. If you need any assistance let me know… It’s not that hard to learn… It is a little harder to implement it and do so consistently. The good news is that once it becomes a habit the sky is the limit!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D

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