“Regardless of being wives and mothers we are still women”*
I wonder at what time so many women that I know stopped resting as they should and doing the things they love? I have been thinking about this for the last two to three years, maybe because I am at that phase in my life in which most of my friends, beautiful and valuable women, are starting to change their priorities as they have decided to live with someone, get married, have children and start a family, which of course changes the rhythm of life.
As these changes were happening; I started receiving several invitations to bachelorette parties, weddings, baby showers or birthday parties. And every time one arrives I feel a great joy since lately it has become the only opportunity to get together to chat and laugh with the ones that a few months ago were like my shadow, my inseparable friends.
At the parties, I'd see my friends rushing around, beautiful as always, happy and confident, but as I looked closer, however, I noticed they seemed exhausted from all the planning, as if they were regretting having the life they chose. This is a problem where the reality of the daily rush wins over the joy to be with the people they love.
But what reality am I talking about? The one we tell ourselves in short texts while we are doing our errands, or the one we share through emails that seem therapeutic, or the one we discuss during lunches that took forever to plan. The deep issues of our life that we share as we eat, work, look at a wedding dress or help our children with their homework. And at the heart of it all stress seems to be in the middle of our lives due to excess work and fatigue. We worry and we have anxiety because we feel there is never “enough time” for everything we want to do. And maybe the things that stress us are not necessarily always big, but they steal our energy and sleep and in a way trouble our soul.
When I notice all that fatigue I can’t help but ask, at what time did we allow so many things worry us? Things like groceries that can wait or an errand that is not vital stress us to the point that we forget to do some of the things we really enjoy. At what time did we allow the “normal” rush of having a new family invade us more than necessary? Because if we are honest, it invades our time, our dreams, and even our essence. Of course it is not our family’s fault; it is up to us to choose how to use our time.
It is not about ignoring all the beautiful things and the joy involved with having a new family, but it is not either about resigning to live tired because we want to pretend we can do it all, control it all, have the perfect family; even when we don’t realize that is what we are trying to do.
Since we are the ones in charge of our time, we should make the decision to love ourselves by taking care of ourselves before we take care of others. This is the only way we can find balance.
This invitation is for us to understand how valuable we are and how we can love ourselves more during our day to day activities:
1. Have a set day to put into practice a simple beauty tip.
2. Plan to do something you love, at least once a month. Make it something that is just yours.
3. If you feel tired and you have a partner, agree with him to have your own time. Not just the opportunity to sleep a little longer in the morning or at night, but maybe some hours on Saturday or Sunday to read for a while, watch T.V., think without being rushed, or listen to music. Whatever you enjoy.
4. Teach your children from a young age to respect your space (If they respect it, they will understand that you deserve it and some day they will remind you to take time for you and to enjoy your space)
5. Think “Nothing will happen…” The world will not collapse if you stay a Saturday or Sunday at home resting without making a specific plan. Nothing will happen if you say no to a family lunch because you are tired and want to be alone for a while. Nothing will happen if you tell your partner that you need time just for you. Nothing will happen if when buying groceries you buy first something you really want, even before you buy the goodies for your children, and if there is only money for yours… nothing will happen, at least nothing major that is worth worrying about.
PD. I dedicate this to my soul sisters, my friends of forever, the ones I know in good times and bad times.
*Marcela Mar || Actriz colombiana || Revista Esquire edición No. 52 - Colombia, septiembre de 2014.