I recently reunited with a few school girlfriends through a chat application which gave us all a chance to communicate with each other on a more regular basis than a status ‘like’ here on there on Facebook. Ongoing discussions revealed that a few ladies were fortunate enough to manage their house and children and did not have or feel the need to work outside of home. A few others asked if they were ‘housewives’ and one smartly replied that she would prefer the term ‘Domestic Engineer’ (DE). That got my train of thoughts running; how often do we dismiss the roles and responsibilities these DEs play and have in the lives of their family members?
I often see clients who present with feelings of being undervalued by their significant others; this also tends to impact their Self Esteem and levels of Confidence. These ladies are busy running various aspects of managing a household (right from paying bills to cooking, cleaning, managing social relationships, shopping for groceries etc etc) as well as looking after the overall development of their children. Some of these clients often judge themselves for ‘not doing enough’ for the family and/or are at times failing the high expectations that their partners have placed upon them.
Its unfortunate that a lot of importance is only paid to the individual that supports the family financially. Money is definitely one of the most important aspects of living a decent quality of life, and even though there is no argument about the hard work that most people put into earning a living for their family, the DEs deserve a lot more credit than what they get. What good is a household where no one really has the time to sort things out or pay attention to the children that they almost constantly need?
I work with these clients by encouraging them to revisit their value systems, making them recognize what is important to them as well as what is right by their family. I often say that ‘Self’ comes first, if you are happy as a mother or as an individual, you will be a good wife or mother or a worker. Then comes the part of recognizing their own contribution towards their family unit and celebrating those achievements. Of course a partner that verbally appreciates their hard work would be ideal, but since I am not dealing with their partners, I cannot help them improve their communication skills. It is therefore important for these clients to take time out and enjoy little pleasures of life such as a coffee with a friend, an affordable massage or some other form of treatment, even a peaceful walk in the park or exploring some lively blogs or websites online. Whatever it is that they do, if they undertake these activities with the purpose of ‘treating’ themselves after a hard day of work, they are likely to feel satisfied by the rewards.
Posted in: Parenting