With summer drawing to a close, the kids going back to school and the vacation luggage back to the basement, are you wondering what changes Labor Day will bring? If you’re torn between work and family – or family and you – how can you find the balance between your varied roles without accumulating any more guilt along the way?
No matter what challenges you face in your career and at home with children growing up and parents growing older, it’s not selfish to set aside time for you. Vow to put your feet up and think about yourself for once. What brings you happiness? What relieves the stress you face every day? What will bring a sense of harmony to your life?
It’s time to let go of the part you have played as the ‘good girl,’ responding to the needs of others first, and for once, listen to your own voice, quiet as it may be. Schedule in some private time and do something that gives you pleasure – take a walk by the water, enjoy the beauty of a sunset, immerse yourself in a good book. Think of this as a personal retreat that provides the opportunity to reconnect with and re-center yourself.
Recognize that it is healthy to receive as well as to give. Ask for what you need from your family members and seek out professionals for their expertise and guidance. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Let your spouse, children and siblings know exactly how you feel, what you want from them, and how they can do their share. Taking help when it is offered doesn’t diminish your abilities.
Guilt runs rampant among women, who often worry that they’re not doing enough for their loved ones. Remind yourself that you’re dancing as fast as you can, given the realities of your life situation. You don’t have to be the perfect mother, daughter, wife or grandmother. Set your own reasonable standards rather than falling in the trap of trying to live up to others’ expectations.
As you decide to take better care of you, you’ll discover the strength to find balance in life. Develop a firm core within yourself – it will sustain you as you continue to nurture your growing and changing family. Look for more tips to help you nurture yourself on our website, HerMentorCenter.
And continue the discussion with us on Wednesday as we host Donna Henes, author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. “Mama Donna,” as she is affectionately called, will be here to answer your questions about recognizing the wisdom and power you have achieved – and the liberation that comes with it in your prime.