Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, March 26, 2012

GEMS for Working Moms

Just as the women in this photo are admiring gems at the Pushkar Camel Fair in India, so can you find treasures for yourself in this blog post.

Is your life an endless cycle, revolving around work and taking care of the kids? If so, you’re not alone. In a recent study by the Families and Work Institute, more than half of American women say they don’t have enough time to spend on themselves and choose the activities they enjoy. We all know that saying ‘yes’ to more responsibility can make us feel safer with the boss and help us avoid conflict in the family. But too often ‘yes’ is our default mode with just about everything.

In a world of relentless demands, saying ‘no’ is highly underutilized. Of course, you can’t abandon the never ending to-do lists around work and domestic duties. But don’t you think you also deserve to identify your other, more personal priorities? Start now with these practical GEMS - Give it up, Evaluate, Move ahead, Savor. You'll see that they can help you put more sparkle in your life.

Give it up: As the gatekeeper, are you sometimes frustrated, stressed out or resentful about your workload and home chores? Recognize that some of the barriers are in your own head and shifting your standards is critical. Let go of the idea that you can do it all. And don’t beat yourself up about it. Guilt is a prevalent emotion for those who worry that they're not doing enough. Remind yourself that it’s OK to do less or to delegate, given the realities of your situation. Know that you’re dancing as fast as you can.

Evaluate here and now: You’ll make better choices if you step back and assess what you’re doing. Are you already exhausted by volunteering in your kids’ classrooms, coaching their soccer team and heading up the school fundraiser? Decide what makes the most sense for you and then prioritize. The same holds true with chores around the house. As long as you’re willing to do it all, others likely won’t step up to the plate.

Have you found some solutions as you struggle with setting priorities for yourself? Click on 'comments' below this post to share your gems with us. And log on here Wednesday for more usable tips, just for you.

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