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Old 04-01-2010, 07:26 AM   #1
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Default Is this a woman's issue?

I was having a talk with one of my male friends the other day regarding balance in ones life. He was going n and on about how I do so much for my family, the staff and kids at work and my friends that I don't take time for myself-I need to be more selfish. He is right of course, I do need to work less, say no to a few people and take some more time for me, but it got me to thinking. Almost every woman I know takes care of their family and friends first and foremost before themselves. The guys I know while great husbands, fathers, and friends usually make time for the things that they enjoy, even if something isn't done or someone could use their help, guidance or assistance. I wonder if its what we are taught in regards to our roles as women, or is it innate in us as individual humans that are just nurturers?
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
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It's a complex issue. There are many different reasons for what we do. Maybe I'm unusual. I always make time for myself every day, otherwise I simply couldn't function. I do try to help friends and family whenever I can, but after a while I wouldn't be much help if I didn't take care of myself too. Besides, over the decades some people who would be happy for me to do all their work have taken advantage of me, especially in the workplace. But if I see a genuine need, I'm there.

On the other hand, my mother seems to go out of her way to help everyone without a thought of herself, and I used to think she was a born nurturer. Gradually I began to realize that she does it at least partly to help keep the spotlight shining on herself too. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmothers spoiling me royally rotten as a girl, and my mother getting upset not because they were feeding me too much, but because she felt the need to outdo them (oh I played that system for all it was worth and I have the fat to prove it ). Don't get me wrong, mom has a heart of gold and would sacrifice herself without a thought to help anyone in need. But she craves the attention too. My father once told me, "Your mother would give the shirt off her back to anyone, provided it had big letters saying 'this shirt generously provided by Sue's Mom'." Or something to that effect. I'm concerned because Mom is 77 going on 78 and she still tries to keep up with relatives a third her age, and she won't hear of it when my brother & I and our father tell her to slow down.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:23 AM   #3
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This might sound horrible but I have arranged my life in such a way that I get to be completely selfish. I am 40 years old with no kids. I work 30 hours a week. I do nothing but what I want to and it's everything I ever dreamed it could be. I watch TV and play video games and hang out with friends, go to dinner etc.

I do things for the people I love when I want to and sometimes when I don't feel like it, but I am never overwhelmed.

I've watched many women in my family spend all their time running around and doing things for people and then get dumped in a nursing home when their usefulness wore out. @#!$@ that!!!!
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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I think a lot of it has to do with whether you're introverted or extroverted. Introverts need a certain amount of time by themselves to recharge their energies, and they see that they get it. Extroverts recharge THEIR energies through interaction with others. My mother-in-law is an extrovert: she insists on celebrating every major or minor holiday, and every family birthday, with a sit-down dinner for everybody at her place -- and her daughters practically have to hogtie her to get her to sit down and let them wash the dishes! My wife and I, both introverts, can take this for about two hours: by then we are completely exhausted!
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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This might sound horrible but I have arranged my life in such a way that I get to be completely selfish. I am 40 years old with no kids. I work 30 hours a week. I do nothing but what I want to and it's everything I ever dreamed it could be. I watch TV and play video games and hang out with friends, go to dinner etc.

I do things for the people I love when I want to and sometimes when I don't feel like it, but I am never overwhelmed.

I've watched many women in my family spend all their time running around and doing things for people and then get dumped in a nursing home when their usefulness wore out. @#!$@ that!!!!
No truer words were ever spoken.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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I think a lot of it has to do with whether you're introverted or extroverted. Introverts need a certain amount of time by themselves to recharge their energies, and they see that they get it. Extroverts recharge THEIR energies through interaction with others. My mother-in-law is an extrovert: she insists on celebrating every major or minor holiday, and every family birthday, with a sit-down dinner for everybody at her place -- and her daughters practically have to hogtie her to get her to sit down and let them wash the dishes! My wife and I, both introverts, can take this for about two hours: by then we are completely exhausted!
My mother is exactly like this, every holiday, major and minor, she simply has to fix up something special and have everyone over. The only exceptions are Father's Day because Dad would rather have his special dinner a day or two early and avoid the crowds, and his birthday for the same reason if we go out. We can all see Mom squirming because they're the "wrong" days, but those are the only 2 days she lets Dad get his way. We've learned never ever to let Mom have her birthday gifts early. Early gifts don't count, and if nothing is left for her on her actual birthday she goes into a major snit.

We almost had to hogtie Mom yesterday. My niece is my brother's daughter, and her best friend is a girl from a prominent family she met at Ohio State University. Yesterday her friend's family invited us over for a terrific lunch on Good Friday: Art & me, my brother & his wife & my niece, and our mother and father. Mom wanted to help but they prepared everything. Mom seems incapable of enjoying herself if she can't provide for others, and she had a hard time having everything provided to her for a change. She always has to do for others but won't let anyone do for her. The rest of us "endured" it just fine.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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I look forward to the day I can go and just be a guest at a family gathering. As husband and I are both only children and Grants mom couldn't cook(burns everything) and my mom has severe arthritis and back problems every celebration was at our house! Told my boys they better find partners that can cook cause I want to show up bringing a side dish or dessert and relax at some point in my life! Although we get to go out for dinner for Easter tomorrow cause mom can't do the few stairs at our house and she wants to get out rather than having dinner at her house! Woo hoo no cooking for me!
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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! Told my boys they better find partners that can cook cause I want to show up bringing a side dish or dessert and relax at some point in my life! !
Solution: tell the boys to learn how to cook. That way, you can start just providing a side or dessert NOW! Seriously. If they can't cook, no woman should have to hop to for them.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:21 PM   #9
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I was having a talk with one of my male friends the other day regarding balance in ones life. He was going n and on about how I do so much for my family, the staff and kids at work and my friends that I don't take time for myself-I need to be more selfish. He is right of course, I do need to work less, say no to a few people and take some more time for me, but it got me to thinking. Almost every woman I know takes care of their family and friends first and foremost before themselves. The guys I know while great husbands, fathers, and friends usually make time for the things that they enjoy, even if something isn't done or someone could use their help, guidance or assistance. I wonder if its what we are taught in regards to our roles as women, or is it innate in us as individual humans that are just nurturers?
Nurturing feels very natural to me, but my mom was a nurturer, and, now that she's passed and I'm my own person, I find I have a lot of her habits and inclinations ... so I don't know if my tendency to nurture is learned or instinctual.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:31 PM   #10
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Solution: tell the boys to learn how to cook. That way, you can start just providing a side or dessert NOW! Seriously. If they can't cook, no woman should have to hop to for them.
Both boys can cook and do so for me. In fact one of them worked as a cook in a local establishment for a couple of years. The other likes to watch cooking shows and try new stuff he sees there. But to be honest the mess they leave behind and the cleaning up after its less work to cook the meal myself. Both of them would rather clean the bathroom top to bottom than do dishes LOL!
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:27 PM   #11
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This might sound horrible but I have arranged my life in such a way that I get to be completely selfish. I am 40 years old with no kids. I work 30 hours a week. I do nothing but what I want to and it's everything I ever dreamed it could be. I watch TV and play video games and hang out with friends, go to dinner etc.

I do things for the people I love when I want to and sometimes when I don't feel like it, but I am never overwhelmed.

I've watched many women in my family spend all their time running around and doing things for people and then get dumped in a nursing home when their usefulness wore out. @#!$@ that!!!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:30 PM   #12
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I was having a talk with one of my male friends the other day regarding balance in ones life. He was going n and on about how I do so much for my family, the staff and kids at work and my friends that I don't take time for myself-I need to be more selfish. He is right of course, I do need to work less, say no to a few people and take some more time for me, but it got me to thinking. Almost every woman I know takes care of their family and friends first and foremost before themselves. The guys I know while great husbands, fathers, and friends usually make time for the things that they enjoy, even if something isn't done or someone could use their help, guidance or assistance. I wonder if its what we are taught in regards to our roles as women, or is it innate in us as individual humans that are just nurturers?
I believe it's probably half nature, half nurture (pardon the pun). I do know, that I've seen time & time again women waiting on men/boys and they grow up that way. It's hard to swing that pendulum the other way.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:52 PM   #13
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I believe it's probably half nature, half nurture (pardon the pun). I do know, that I've seen time & time again women waiting on men/boys and they grow up that way. It's hard to swing that pendulum the other way.
I see this as truth.....some of the spoiled brats I've come across in my lifetime....I blame their mothers or grandmothers.
Don't wait on them hand and foot, do everything for them then suddenly expect them to turn into responsible, considerate adults at age 21. Doesn't work that way....you have to teach your kids responsibility and manners.
You are doing them a disservice not to....all of my kids will grow up knowing how to take care of themselves and not expecting everyone around them to cater to/take care of them.


The last spoiled brat I dated told me he "wanted a woman like his grandmother".
This made me look real hard at granny.....she spoils him still in his 30s.
I can understand that Grandma SHOULD be able to spoil her grandkids and then SEND THEM HOME but in his situation, it was the spoiling granny that raised him. She went on ahead and spoiled the mom or dad too, I guess, by not making them take responsibility and raise their own children.
I have seen this same thing in other men I have known, as well.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:59 PM   #14
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Yes GEF the boys in my house had chores, knew how to cook and clean, do laundry, help others around them and be fairly self sufficient. I agree with you it does them a disservice to not give them the skills they need to succeed in life. Even with those skills it takes some longer than others to come into their own, but with the basics there it will happen. And as a mother you never stop challenging the assumptions and misconceptions your kids have about the world. Some things you can educate them about and some things they just need to learn on their own-the hard way.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #15
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Yes GEF the boys in my house had chores, knew how to cook and clean, do laundry, help others around them and be fairly self sufficient. I agree with you it does them a disservice to not give them the skills they need to succeed in life. Even with those skills it takes some longer than others to come into their own, but with the basics there it will happen. And as a mother you never stop challenging the assumptions and misconceptions your kids have about the world. Some things you can educate them about and some things they just need to learn on their own-the hard way.
You always strike me as a very kind, giving and hard working person Ruth. Not all women are like you. Some men are big givers, too.

I'm betting you "worry" often about things getting done. I do that myself. Funny.....it's not always as urgent as I think it is.....but that's why I sometimes go into a tizzy about some things and want to GET IT DONE.

I have had to work on becoming more mello/relaxed.

However....no one will do anything if it's always done by me. Not sure what the solution is....just stating an observation/something I ponder.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:43 PM   #16
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You know girl I was talking with a friend about this sort of subject this afternoon. She was saying how since they moved into their house they completely gutted and redid that she has been working her ass off trying to make it a home. THeir contractor hasn't finished the place, but they had given notice at the town home they were staying in as they were promised it would be done by end of march. She has been cleaning up after the mess the contractor left, finishing things they can themselves and such. And she said something that struck a cord in me about why many of the women I know in our age range(45 plus). "You know Ruth we grew up with stay at home moms whose job it was to nurture her husband and kids, keep the home clean, laundry done, and supper on the table. Our fathers worked hard to support us and came home expecting to be able to unwind after a long day at work. Yes they did yard work, and fixed things around the house and perhaps helped around the house a little but it was our mothers responsibility to maintain the household and family. Now today we have full time jobs as well as being somewhat responsible for all of the things our others used to have as their sole job. And we as women feel guilty when we cannot get it all done, because as far as we have come many people still judge the condition of the house, the behaviour of the kids as the woman's fault if things don't measure up to their standards. We are trying to juggle all the things that are going on in todays society and yet holding ourselves to the standards our mom set for us."
I am paraphrasing here cause we discussed this several hours ago, but I had never looked at it from that angle before. Makes quite a bit of sense when I look at those around me who have children and husbands that are my age group. Only a couple of my friends put themselves first.
Looking back on this issue and why I do what I do I can surmise this.At age 11 when my mom went out to work for a few years, I suddenly had not only my school responsibilities but a part time job, and my chore list around the house suddenly increased. I watched my father work very hard after having a business sold out from underneath him at age 50 by a crooked partner and having to start over with a baby and a wife to care for. I got taught that hard work was the "norm" by the circumstances around me. As for the caring and nurturing that has always been part of my personality as far back as I can remember. Along with that is the manger, bossy part of me that has served me well in my adult life as a person who has supervised staff for a good portion of my working life. As I figure out these issues for myself I simply wondered if my fellow females felt it was more something women struggle with(as I observe here) or is it that I still live in hicksville? LOL
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:01 PM   #17
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I think you're right about women feeling like the whole family unit structure is their responsibility. We do take great pride in our children/families, marriages, homes, etc and see it all as a reflection of ourselves.
Nothing wrong with loving and supporting our loved ones but I do think we sometimes over extend ourselves in that arena.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:40 AM   #18
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CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.CastingPearls has ascended what used to be the highest level.
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I love my family and friends but they can be draining and since I have a condition which includes chronic fatigue I have zero tolerance for trifling nonsense. I'm a nurturer to a certain degree but I clearly remember when my mother (the matriarchs of all matriarchs) died, the entire clan turned to me and said, 'Now you take over' and I said, 'Those shoes are waaaay too big for me to fill. No thank you.'

I see the reward in nurturing. I also see the disadvantages. The sacrifice. Spouse swears that I am in no way selfish (except sexually which I think he's full of baloney) but I don't think selfish is entirely a bad word.

A psychic once said I was incredibly centered. I'll stick with that.
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]http://castingpearls-blowingbubbles.blogspot.com/

Free me, free yourself
A life of sacrifice controlled me
But those promises I made
No longer hold me
Mercurial more wayward by the hour
The shackles fall away I'm in your power



People throw rocks at things that shine.
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