American culture has fallen prey to busyness. The push to get ahead has forced wives and mothers into the workforce. Sometimes it's not the push to get ahead but the struggle to keep afloat. Sometimes in the mix it holds the embarrassment of not keeping up with friends in toys, the latest gadgets, etc. The pretense to appear equal or better than peers brings the need to earn more and acquire more.
This struggle to get ahead presents a host of problems:
1. Mothers are losing motherhood skills. These skills have been left to caregivers and teachers. There is a diminished awareness of what is influencing the kids. When the mother stays home to rear the children, she is the emotional stabilizer of the household and the main influence. Without that secure stabilizer, children can grow up unable to deal with life lessons, resulting eventually in a dysfunctional generation. The time that teachers and caregivers have is spent in general dealing with acceptable social behavior, with little time or ability allotted to them to deal with any hidden issues on a one on one basis that a child may be facing. Where there are hidden or obvious emotional issues for a child, counseling is often recommended instead. All these are extra expenses.
2. Quality of meals has been left to the discretion of a restaurant or the prepared food industry. There is little time to see what exactly is in these foods, how they are processed and what chemicals are put into them in their production. If we do take the time to check, we many times don't understand what the ingredients are or how they affect the body. Americans are sicker now than they ever have been. We may live longer, but we're often sicker longer as well. What goes into the body attributes greatly to overall health and well-being.
3. Stress is at an all-time high. In order to allow our children to experience opportunities in sports and to develop a general well-rounded childhood experience, schedules are cram-packed with extra activities. It's increasingly difficult to find down time.
4. In order to solve all these health issues that eventually arise from this kind of lifestyle, we are more and more relying on prescriptions to mask symptoms. Many prescription drugs are unhealthy and create side effects that have to be alleviated by more prescription drugs that again have side effects that require more prescription drugs . . . It is a never-ending cycle.
Personal responsibility for the life we live really falls into our own lap. All these issues listed above have a consistent underlying thread weaving them together - that of our own personal choices and how they will play out in the end. Some of these choices are hard choices, made only when we look past the immediate and focus on the long-term results, then choose to make any sacrifices necessary.
We Americans wonder why we don't sleep well. We're stressed out, worn out and sick. You can get the best mattress, have the perfect bed pillows, bedding sets, the best environment and all the helps, yet never arrive at a fully restful night's sleep. We know that without a good night's sleep, we are less productive the next day. But seriously, take a deeper look. If you want a peaceful night's sleep, consider your lifestyle, It's not just about how many hours you sleep.