(also posted in my journal)

Ruth Hartman’s post about the lack of time struck a cord with me. And this is my response to her.

Fortunately for me, Portland is in a different time zone then I am, so I always felt that I had a few extra hours to complete the assignments. But I will admit that I was grateful for deadlines because it made me push myself to complete them.

However I did not have as much time as I wanted this past month to reach out to other members or to add more posts to my journal. It’s just a matter of coincidence that this month my parents needed my help more than usual.

I think that women are TIRED and STRESSED, and I think that whether women work in their homes, from their homes, or out of their homes, it is the same, and everyone has the same complaint – no time for themselves and exhaustion. Our responsibilities are too much- the house, the kids, the husband, cooking, cleaning, running errands, kids’ homework, and the list goes on and on.

An example of a typical day for me: I have adopted 2 beautiful children. After getting my 5 year old off to school, her 2 year old brother’s demands have to be met – one of which is an early morning “game” of soccer (football), and if I do not play I am in trouble! The cat and husband (children in their own way) have demands which must be met. Then come the endless household duties, lunch, more cleaning, homework, and then off to see my mother who is not well. I go each and every day – often with a meal for her and my father, to clean, or just sit with them. Back home, dinner, baths for the kids, picking up after everyone AGAIN – as I said earlier, household duties are endless – and then many nights I fall asleep before my 2 year old does!! I sleep about 2 or 3 hours.

It is now 2:50am, and it’s so normal for me to be awake and at the computer trying to write a few words. I am writing an article about empowering Arab women, and was distracted by Ruth’s post. I had to comment so that I can tell her that she is not alone!!

From what I see, many women have the same story to tell. No time for themselves. Their needs have taken a backseat to everyone and everything else. I think all this comes at the expense of our health.

Difficult as it is, I think it’s time we all slow down, connect to the beauty and the simple things in life, and most importantly connect to ourselves.

As an after thought, Ruth asked what lessons or gifts we got from completing the assignments. It gave me the opportunity to think about things in a deeper way, and then to write what is in my mind without inhibitions or censoring myself, and in the process of writing, I am able to understand myself as a woman better.

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Comments

Usha,

I also think that the word adjust is perfect. As women, we really can adjust to so many needs and expectations. It also raises the question for me: are we willing to let others adjust as well so that we can have more time for ourselves?

Noreen,

Thank you for such a heartfelt and thoughtful response. The love and commitment you have for your family, from your children to husband to parents, is palpable and inspiring. I hope that your mother's health improves and that your health stays strong as you go about your very full, full days.

That you take the time to write about empowering Arab women and time to connect with women here on WorldPulse even if it's 2am, encourages me to keep on writing and connecting as well.

"From what I see, many women have the same story to tell. No time for themselves. Their needs have taken a backseat to everyone and everything else. I think all this comes at the expense of our health.

Difficult as it is, I think it’s time we all slow down, connect to the beauty and the simple things in life, and most importantly connect to ourselves."

With these words you have given me my next steps. I'm going to see how I can incorporate your suggestions into my day and also encourage the women in my life to do the same. I'm glad that the questions helped you think about this in a deeper way and that you wrote without censoring yourself. I love that you said writing helps you to get to know yourself better. This is my experience as well.

What you wrote is beautiful.

Yes, Noreens, you are right.

It just occurred to me this morning that much as we (women) are working so hard to make those around us comfortable and happy. we need to take time to think about ourselves. This is because my weekend was so hectic with the kids, I had to shop for the week, visit the kids in boarding school, help the kids with home work, do general cleaning of the compound and house.... Finally, I realise I hardly have enough time to attend to my personal needs. This is absurd. I need to take care of my needs as well.

So, thanks again for reminding ourselves, the need to adjust, adjust and find time to connect to ourselves..

Grace Ikirimat "It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."

Your story resonates. Just today, I received a text message from my friend's husband, requesting me to call or send his wife a text message as it was his wife's birthday. I guess he must have extended the same request to quite a number of his contacts. She also did same for him when it was his birthday. Any way, upon receiving his text message, I called his wife almost immediately, sang her a birthday song and said a few words of prayers for her. I then went on to ask her if she spared time to bake a cake for herself , as sh always did for others. Of course she responded in the negative. Reason, she was so busy attending to everyone and everything that begged for her attention, and was left with not enough time to bake herself a birthday cake. I told her that was not good enough, and that she should make an effort to correct that by her next birthday. I am100% sure that tired as she may have been, if it were her husband's or son's or sister's or brother-in-law's................................................................................birthday, tired as she may have been, she would have baked that someone a cake. Did you get to read my post about the Model Woman? You are a model woman.

Olanike

Noreen, this is true we hardly have time for ourselves and yet the work we do is undervalued, i was watching CNN this morning and one Thought Leader by name Wendy Lahabe advocated that stay-at-home mothers should be paid for the work they do.

The work we do as mothers, wives, homemakers etc is enormous and yet it is not considered as contribution to national development. No matter what we do, we must try to create time for ourselves.

Salamatu