Although it is true, many of us feel stuck as the “sandwich generation,” between responsibilities for both our children and our aging parents, perhaps too many of us use this as an excuse to never take full responsibility for our own lives.
Take a moment now to imagine focusing solely on yourself and your needs at this important life crossroad. Too many women and some men were raised with the understanding that their job in life is to give selflessly to others, with no regard for our own needs. This can create a tired, bitter, unsatisfied caregiver who has no more to give to anybody. Do you ever recognize this person in yourself?
Have you played the role of the selfless caregiver too long? Martyrs are never easy to be around. Do your kids ever draw back and suggest that you “mind your own business?” Would it be OK to simply take better care of yourself for a change, even though it may feel selfish?
Take a few minutes to focus on what you are feeling about your life. What do you need more of and how can you get that? How would getting your needs met help those you care for day in and day out? How would a happier, healthier you change your family life?
Giving yourself permission is your first step. It’s healthy to think about your own needs sometimes. It’s a sign of mental health to step back and take full responsibility for getting all of your needs met today.
by Laura Lee Carter, author of How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust, and Your Own Inner Wisdom.