The stress of caregiving is impacting our relationships—but this can help

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This article is sponsored by Doctor on Demand. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

It’s one of the greatest ironies of life: The people who devote the most time to caring for others are often the ones least likely to know how to take care of themselves. But we don’t need to tell you that—after all, mothers are the ultimate caregivers.

But despite spending the majority of their waking hours caring for (or thinking about caring for) their families, mothers often don’t consider themselves as “caregivers” in the traditional sense. As a result, they are less likely to take advantage of programs and resources offered to caregivers through employer- or state-funded services. In reality, though, they are experiencing the same pitfalls as any other caregiver when it comes to their mental health. 

In fact, of the 43% percent of adults in the US who are in an unpaid caregiver role, 70% have depression, anxiety or suicidal ideation, according to ARCHANGELS, a national movement and platform that’s reframing how caregivers are seen and supported through public and private partnerships. Despite these stats, ARCHANGELS says 50% of caregivers don’t identify the term—which can make them even less likely to seek help for their mental health.

In response to the mental health crisis, ARCHANGELS believes in the transformative role of innovative services like Doctor On Demand®,  a virtual care provider that offers urgent care, primary care and mental health care for a variety of health issues. This can be particularly helpful for busy moms looking for support and guidance, Doctor On Demand makes it convenient for moms to schedule virtual visits with board-certified doctors, licensed therapists and psychiatrists—right from their couch—24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The accessibility of a board-certified provider is a game-changer because, nationwide, it can take more than four weeks to see a mental health provider in person. (Or, as it’s known in burned-out mom terms, an eternity.) But with Doctor On Demand, you can access a licensed therapist or psychiatrist within days—at a time and place that fits your schedule. Instead of struggling to get face time with a professional who really understands your issues, Doctor On Demand lets you choose from a list of providers who average 15+ years experience and specialize in a variety of areas ranging from parenting coaching and stress to grief/loss and relationship issues. 

Relationship counseling can be especially important for parents because studies and surveys have found that they are taking one of the biggest hits. In the 2020 Motherly State of Motherhood Survey, 63% of mothers reported taking on the majority of caregiving and household duties, and 26% specifically pointed to their spouse as the area where they need more support. In fact, ArchAngels has found that among caregivers lacking support, 50% don’t believe their primary relationship is going to last the strain. 

For these caregivers, professional support is critical—and Doctor On Demand makes licensed family and marriage therapists accessible and affordable (even if your insurance doesn’t cover it). They even provide a free mental health assessment you can fill out prior to selecting a therapist to help you make the right choice for your personal needs. Once you’ve selected your desired therapist, you can schedule appointments in either 25- or 50-minute sessions for as long as you want their help. 

With all that mothers have on their plates, it’s encouraging to see companies like ARCHANGELS and Doctor On Demand putting parents’ needs front and center—and making finding support more accessible than ever.

The work that caregivers do is critical—but so is supporting caregivers. In this IG LIVE with Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety and ARCHANGELS CEO and co-founder Alexandra Drane, hear more about the toll caregiving is taking on mothers’ mental health and the resources who are working to recognize, value and support their crucial work.

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