Without question, women are the nurturers in our society. You carry the pregnancy and breastfeed the baby. You are the epicenter of health care decisions for your family and are more likely to be the caregiver when a family member falls ill. You are often the limo driver, the chef and the chief financial officer of your household. And in addition to your job and caring for your kids and partner, you are often the front line for caring and supporting parents as they age.
So my question is this: Who is nurturing the nurturer? Who is making sure that you are getting the time, attention and emotional support that you need and deserve?
If there isn't a clear answer to this question, pause a moment and realize the need is still there, the desire to be nurtured is still there, and the impact of not being nurtured is still there.
So what can you do? First, ask the question, "Does this sound familiar?" It's OK to have needs. Next, decide who in your immediate world you can reach out to for nurturing. In some cases, there may be no obvious choice to fill this role for you.
That's OK, too. There is still you and you have a powerful position. You can allocate some of the time you are using to nurture others and reserve it for yourself.
Set aside some you-time for an exercise or yoga class or a walk or for reading a book. Maybe it is eating lunch with a friend. Maybe it is two 15-minute meditations you do by yourself. Even talking on the phone with a woman friend can be very therapeutic.
What you do isn't the goal. It's taking time to restore yourself and your "self," to focus on you and not on them. Remember in the airplane, the person says, "In the unexpected case of an emergency and oxygen is needed, when the oxygen mask falls, place it on your head first and then place it on the head of your child."
Every nurturer needs to be nurtured. Are you making you-time to nurture you?
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For more by Mache Seibel, M.D., click here.
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