This blog is not intended to discount the many hats a man wears but its about women and my own personal journey.
As mothers we wear so many hats. I have been trying to be aware of my own and those of my patients. I have come up with some themes.
The first seems like the BIGGEST and it seems all women wear it. It’s that of caretaker. For me, that immediately speaks to my role as a mother. But I am aware that for those women without children they too wear this “caretaking” hat tightly. WE are continuously thinking of the needs of others. “What are our children eating for dinner (ironically mom’s often FORGET to eat or are so busy they lose their appetite)?” “Have we let the dogs out or do we need to schedule things differently to accommodate a pet?” “Is our girlfriend needing a pick me up or call to check on them (we’ll make time for them during a 10m break but we’ll hold our pee for hours to “get things done” without interruption)?” “What needs to get done at work?” Sure we can work 60 hour weeks on top of all other responsibilities. “What does our partner need or want?” Sure we’ll have sex with a headache on 2 hours of sleep. There’s many more things we do to care for our loved ones and often they involve sacrifice on our part.
This isn’t all the time bad but I’m learning I DON’T HAVE TO NOR SHOULD I wear this hat 24h 7d a week. If you wear a hat all the time your hair grows in a certain pattern that is hard to break and change. I need to take it off to let me growth pattern change. What needs to change? I’m finding I need to sit back and enjoy when someone takes care of me. And most of all I need to care take myself. MAYBE it’s ok to put the kids to bed early without reading to them occasionally, it won’t negatively impact their learning (I’m still working on the guilt associated with this choice). I need to not ALWAYS think of work, family, and friends first but me. Alone time is good. The house cleaning will be there. I need to buy myself nice things and the money I spend on me is better spent than the money I’d have spent on that Nerf Bow and Arrow that wil inevitably get lost or broken and he’ll lose interest in.
I mention taking of the hat but don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THIS HAT. It is the most comfortable and most worn hat that I wear. BUT What I am aware of is that while “I WEAR IT WELL” it’s not my only hat and I MUST take it off occasionally. This is a challenge but if we can rise to the challenge for others all the time can’t we rise to the challenge for ourselves sometimes?!