Women are known to be nurturers, matriarchs in most cultures. The core of the nuclear family is responsible for maintaining a stable epicenter. The expectation is to provide loved ones with an endless supply of love, patience, understanding, and services. We are nurses, teachers, counselors, friends, bakers, shoppers, and chauffeurs of the household. Fulfilling the role of everything to everyone is certainly draining. However, the training to be emotional and physical providers usually begins at a young age for many.
My mother has always been a prime example of the Latina nurturer. As the oldest of six children, she was given a significant amount of responsibility growing up. Helping with chores that included starting dinner, ironing uniforms, and assisting brothers and sisters with homework was part of a daily routine. Early on, it was required for her to be present to care for the needs of her siblings, almost immediately imposing the sense of duty. The feeling of obligation was ingrained in her character, leading her to assume a similar role in adult relationships. She became the caretaker, a difficult mold to break out of, once created for a woman.
A major issue with taking on the nurturer part is the lack of self-care that may develop over time. Nurturers can somehow be mistaken for sacrificial lambs, as their priorities shift to everyone else. Mothers, grandmothers, daughters, wives, and partners relinquish themselves to make sure the people they love have what is needed to thrive. However, it is key to remember in the midst of the crazy, that having your own needs met is just as important. Dedicating time for self-care ensures everyone is happy long term. It is possible to attain life balance by doing a few of the following regularly. It’s up to you to figure out how much you can commit each week or month but start somewhere.
Acknowledge, You Matter: Your needs are important and deserve attention. In order to help your tribe, give yourself the time to decompress. Refuel your tank to rev up the energy that produces the best results.
Care for Your Body: Create good eating and sleeping habits, exercise regularly, be mindful and understand that emotional support is part of self-care. Assuming the role of Superwoman won’t help anyone if you lose a crucial superpower, your mental and physical well-being.
Love Yourself: Women have an amazing way of making raising a family seem easy. Truth is that it’s anything but simple, taking blood, sweat, and tears, particularly in situations where it’s a single-parent household. If you haven’t yet, take a hard look at how much you have accomplished, pause to see all you do for others, pat yourself on the back. Caring for yourself is part of self-love too.
Never underestimate the power of self-care. Small acts of kindness begin with you. Be good to yourself. Nurturing mind, body, and soul helps create a better you to give others more of what they need.