It is in the best interest of our men folk to support women who are on the path to empowerment. I’m writing to my friends in heterosexual relationships because studies show that same-sex relationships have greater gender-role equality then in opposite-sex relationships….go figure! Anyway…Thus far, women are the only human beings who have the ability to keep the population going (we bear children). Despite more dads staying home and/or helping out with the care for children and households, women still are the primary caregivers of children, elderly parents and the primary caretakers of the family household. Women should be supported in this work and in the things that make their hearts and minds happy!
It is a medical and psychological fact that individuals who are well mentally and emotionally are well physically. Being well can translate into being more available to our families and especially our partners. Part of being well may include being able to go back to school to earn a degree, having a night out with friends, having help in cleaning the house or disciplining the children.
So here’s a note to our male partners on how to help us be well and empowered:
- Listen to us when we are saying what we need. Don’t get defensive, just listen and state what you can dot o help.
- Don’t always wait for us to ask for help, you’re grown – look around and find something helpful to do (clean the bathroom, wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, cook dinner). Taking initiative is the key.
- Don’t think that just because we’ve always done ________ (fill-in-the-blank with a task) that we’re always going to want to do it. As both lives change and households change what we want and can do also changes. Flexibility is the key.
- Contrary to how we operate or what you think, we are not a super woman – we need rest and care also. Being realistic is the key.
GUYS – helping us out makes us happier, helps us to relieve stress, and make us more available for you.
O.K. ladies so our task on the path to empowerment and overall well-being means that we need to:
1. Make a commitment to what you want to do or change (go to school, lose weight, etc.). Think about yourself and make a commitment to care for you! Self-care is key.
2. Talk to our partners about our needs (in clear language without anger or whining). Good communication is key.
3. Take charge of our own lives and get what we need – hire a house cleaner or a babysitter, enroll in school, plan a get-away… Being assertive is key.
4. Don’t be a superwoman – rest, take care of yourself, ask for help and/or just STOP! Being realistic is key.
My expertise: I’m a social worker so I know a little bit about well-being and mental health. I’m a wife and mommy who works full-time outside and inside of my home. I am a recovering superwoman who has tried doing it all and pleasing everyone – it doesn’t work! But it doesn’t take an expert to know what I’ve written is true. The hard part is being honest about your situation and what you want & need; being willing to do something to engage in self-care; and most importantly – sticking to your plan!
WOMEN be assertive and take charge of what you want and need. Don’t wait for it to come to you or for someone else to provide it for you!