Summer is here and your kids are out of school or out of college. Before you know it, they start asking (or demanding?) that you do stuff for them. You spend a big chunk of your time being their driver, shopper, cook, entertainer. You love your kids? being a mother was always one of your dreams. You really care about them. You want them to be happy. You help them. It’s supposed to feel good. Who wouldn’t want to help their child?
But they are not the only ones who need your attention. Your boss, your clients, your partner, your older parent, your desperate friend who just had a tragedy – they all need your attention.
At the end of the day you go to bed drained, empty, no energy.
Waking up in the morning, you swear you’re going to make this day different. You’re planning to be patient, loving and kind. After all, it shouldn’t be so hard to be nice to your children and help others, right?
After an hour, you’re already exhausted. “What’s going on?” you’re asking yourself “am I sick?”
Yes, you are.
You suffer from a typical women’s disease called: “There’s always something more important than me.”
A woman who suffer from this disease grew up believing that she can only take care of themselves after everybody else have been taken care of. She gets her self-worth from giving to others, giving to everybody around but herself. She blames others for not taking care of her: “I am doing so much for you, why can’t you do one thing for me?” or “I always help them, can’t they at least do this one thing for me?”
Our woman blames “them”. She becomes very reactive to their needs and she doesn’t realize that actually, it is her choice to do it, whatever “it” means, and nobody is forcing her.
One of my clients helped her daughter move to her new apartment. Did I say “helped”? She found herself carrying heavy boxes, sweating like crazy, while her daughter was at class in an air-conditioned hall. While the daughter left the classroom refreshed and inspired, her mother felt ?worn-out and resentful.
My client didn’t know that she actually has a choice. She was controlled by her old belief that her daughter would only love her if she served her, as she has all her life. When we started to talk about the price she’s paying, she realized that she’s always reacting to her family’s needs, neglecting her own.
If you find yourself drained, empty and reactive, stop. Detach for a moment. Step back, take some time for yourself and reflect on the following questions:
- What makes you so reactive to other’s needs?
- What would happen if you said “no”?
- If you took care of yourself as much as you take care of others, what would you do right now?
The key is to pause, step back, evaluate and respond rather than react.
We do have a choice.
The “yes” we say all the time is based on our fears.
If we were loving towards ourselves as much as we are loving towards others, we would make better choices.
I’ve been there. I understand your pain. I have the tools to help you make better choices. Email me your responses to these questions and let me help you.