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Caring for the caregivers

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It is often said that women as the caregivers of the family often neglect to take proper care of themselves, such that in ensuring that their families are well, they relegate their own needs to the background.

However, it is also universally acknowledged that being great caregivers is not an excuse that a mother herself should cave in to stress and pressure-so that you mother may sometimes fail to achieve your desires, feel run down or bugged down by disease or illness. We found this advice that we appreciate, somewhere, and think that you can apply them in your daily endeavours; when you feel good and happy, your offspring will glow in your love.

I heard this somewhere: “I think of myself first o” and thought it was very selfish coming from a woman. When she saw the frown on my face, she explained herself, further, “If you are not satisfied, you cannot make people around you feel good in themselves.”

What I made of this statement are these:
Take Care of Your Body
When you overwork with all the washing, cooking, teaching, guarding and guiding-not to forget the demands of your office job, your body is the first to know that you have gone beyond your limit; so treat it well occasionally. Aim to eat well-balanced food at all times. Your beauty regimen should not be abandoned at any time even when you feel like “but why should I bother now; I feel dreadful.” ‘I feel dreadful’ is when you should pamper yourself in a beauty salon. Wear make-up that conceals those things that make you feel that you are “beyond it.”

Create That Time Alone
How do you spend that little time you have for yourself-the time that you are consoling a crying child or screaming at another one? The time when everywhere is surprisingly quiet. Do you go looking for them to enact another kiddies’ time to make everywhere lively again because the quiet makes you think that all is not well with your children? Do you savour the peace and watch the television with legs on top of the coffee table? Of course you may breathe easier with the peace but even you know that you are still doing the same thing as always-cook, bathe them and listen to their talks and watch movies but nothing new. Your free time may be used to try something new. Look around you, there appears to be a new awareness sweeping through this country and women appear to be in the vanguard. Could you not perhaps join a rights group? Your voice against child abuse could bring that change. Besides, this new and vibrant you could make a safer society. But then imagine the way your children would relate proudly to this “tough” and confident mummy with fire in her eyes.

Be Grateful
You have many people whom you should be thankful for having in your life or who once upon a time passed your way. There are your teachers for example. You as an adult now have seen that it is not easy to make anyone, children for example, to listen to you without striving to do just the opposite of what you say. You had your stint as a stubborn teen but luckily for you, that particular teacher did not give up on you.

I spoke to one child prodigy who made distinctions in her secondary school leaving examinations; she has gained admission to one of the nation’s oldest universities to study medicine with scholarship. One would expect to meet a rather dull and bookish type; not this girl, very confident and full of smiles, she posed for press photographers, as would a super model on a photo shoot.

When I asked her who was her role model, she laughed long and hard; I saw immediately that whatever that influence was, it had nothing much to do with books, it was a life-balancing act full of pleasant secrets, I understood immediately.

“My Aunty Kemi” was the mischievous reply. Aunty Kemi was there to make sure that she did not hide behind Mathematics and loses the other interesting parts of a young person’s life.

Be grateful to your senior at work who you go to in times of personal troubles and he gives you time to sort it out.

Remember The Good Days
From being described as complacent and happy people, Nigerians might be described these days as complainants; maybe you grumble for good reasons too. But when you rave and rant without result you feel bad, so think of how to make it good at your end by reminding yourself that you can. And you can truly; think of the big tasks you accomplished on your own without help in the past and take strength from them.

Stop Comparing Yourself With Others
You cannot be happy when you want to live up to people’s expectations or think that their success robs you of making it in life. If you want to make money, make sure that having much money is what you want and not that people would respect you more because you are rich; they may not even like you for being rich and worse, you may get your wealth but discover that it is not the key to happiness. Eschew jealousy, too. Rejoice with people who have succeeded where you have not; work harder; be encouraged that you can make it too.

Accept People for Whom They Are
Don’t try to change people to be what you want them to be; you would not succeed. Take Lola, your over-bearing friend; but she is the one to go to in times of confusion because her views and advice are helpful. If your annoyance was that she says her mind without considering that you feel hurt, it would be wiser to know what to tell her. However, we have such a friend at some point in life and we know that she is not perfect either. But if she is useful-being so outspoken and helping you put things in perspective, take her like that.

Sometimes, some marriages do not come up to expectation, not even children are involved; if you have tried to change Peter for a long without success and have to separate, do so. It is unfortunate. But you would be helping the children to understand that some situations cannot be tolerated.

Have a Hobby
Take up one if you did not have one already. Look within; could those songs you sing as wield the mop a hobby? Is it the tendency to dance with the children? Take it further; many outfits are springing up offering lessons in song and dance; you are not too old to try to improve on these gifts.

Have Faith
Many of us believe that there is a Supreme Being, God Almighty, The Father and Creator; we trust in His Power to guide and guard us. Pray, be simple in your supplication; approach him humbly and His Wisdom will be given to you.


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