Working mothers experience an incredible amount of stress in everyday life.
We have to make sure that we take care of our children, who are in school or going to a babysitter or sitting under our chair sticking stickers all over the furniture while screaming, “You can’t FIND me!” at the top of their lungs.
We have to make time for our other family members, such as spouses, significant others, parents and cousins. You know, they tend to get grumpy when we forget about them.
We have to make time for our close friends, with whom we love to spend time but who fall easily into the cracks when we get busy.
We have to make time for ourselves. I’m not talking about enjoying a leisurely bath, either. I can’t recall the last time I did this. Heck, I can barely remember the last time I bathed! No, I mean we have to shave our legs and pluck our eyebrows and get our hair trimmed so that we can keep our jobs.
During the course of all of this, we are expected to maintain a cool air as we deal with irrate clients or bad bosses. We have to treat everyone with respect so that we don’t lose business, and we have to do this with a smile when inside we feel so much like wringing someone’s neck. We have to speak politely, must say thank you and we have to remember to breathe. Seriously-how many times have you gotten angry and realized that you’ve been holding your breath?
I posted last month about my mother’s recent stroke. She was just 61 and while she did have a few lifestyle issues that needed to be changed and could have contributed to the stroke, she was also one of those nice “yes” people who worked hard all of her life and who rarely said a mean word to anyone.
She is a yes person. She doesn’t want to do something at work but they ask nicely and she says yes. While I was in Florida last week caring for her, she told me that she does this not because she is afraid people will get angry if she doesn’t do what they want, but because she doesn’t want to hurt their feelings.
If so, it’s time to change your ways.
Saying no to someone is not against them, it is for you. And we all have to be aware of how much we are taking on day to day. As working mothers, it is easy to quickly overload. We go and go and go, not realizing how much we are taking on, until we drop.
In my mother’s case, she dropped hard.
Luckily she will be okay. She will be graduating from a walker to a cane this week and returning home, but she has months of therapy to tackle.
As she works on learning how to walk again, or how to hold something in her left hand, her therapist constantly remind her the importance of slowing down and relaxing. Of saying no when things are not right. Of remembering that she is most important in life, and that everything else comes next.