Women caregivers are the glue that hold families and communities together. Women are raised to be nurturers beginning as mothers and then chef, chauffeur and chief financial officer.
Women caregivers commit so much time to filling these roles, that there's simply not enough time left for themselves. It's east to relate to Dr. Mache Seibel's question “… Who is nurturing the nurturer? Who is making sure that you are getting the time, attention and emotional support that you need and deserve?”. In his article, Making Time to Nurture the Nurturer: Making Time for You, Dr. Seibel says women need to identify people in their world who can provide them with nurturing, and if there really isn't anyone “… you can allocate some of the time you are using to nurture others and reserve it for yourself” by reading, walking or doing yoga.
This article explores where women spend their time, and it's pretty clear that women spend a lot more time as caregivers than taking time for themselves. One woman said it clearly “… I have too many activities so I have no time for hobbies”.
Note: The data here came from a networking meeting in Portsmouth, NH with approximately 30 women, who were asked to share their hobbies and support for non-profits. The question for you – can you make time for yourself to relax and enjoy just one new activity that puts you first?
Women Caregivers – Taking Care of Children
Activities that women mentioned at a December networking meeting included:
- Helping children with homework and sports – soccer, basketball …
- Family time including running and skiing with her children.
- Volunteer work at children's school.
- Supporting a son with mental illness.
Women Caregivers – Taking Care of Other Adults
- Volunteer work at their family's church, was mentioned by quite a few women.
- Taking care of their parents was mentioned by numerous women.
- Helping neighbors …
Women Caregivers Supporting Their Community
The focus appeared to be around women and children first, followed by families and basic support services for them. One of most fun activities shared was one member who said she takes photos of animals available for adoption at our local SPCA.
- For girls and children – Arts in Reach (AIR), helping girls develop confidence and life skills; Camp Huckins, a YMCA summer camp program for girls and the Dover Family School Alliance.
- For women – A Safe Place, a non-profit that supports women in crisis, Sexual Awareness Support Services (SASS) and the United Way's Women Leadership Council.
- For families and the homeless – Crossroads House, Operation Blessing, Seacoast Families Promise and local food pantries, cooking and/or serving meals.
- Health related groups – mental health awareness, Alzheimers, Hospice, the Ronald McDonald house as a family (weekend) and Breast Cancer Stories.
- Housing groups – the Workforce Housing Coalition and the Portsmouth Planning Board.
- Art related groups – the Seacoast Repertory Theater (SRT), the Music Hall, and Pro Portsmouth … all in Portsmouth, NH.
- Fundraising activities – Leukimia walk, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, One World Foundation, the Special Olympics Penguin Plunge, the Wounded Warrior Project, Families First and their big, blue bus needs to be replaced so make a donation by clicking here.
Supporting Business & Professional Organizations
Surprisingly, this group of women who are almost all working, many as business owners, didn't mention too many business organizations for their support activities.
- Several women mentioned volunteering for business chamber activities and Rotary.
- Supporting local businesses by eating locally …
Women Making Time for Themselves
When not involved in one or more of the women caregiver activities above, they said gardening, exercise and skiing were their most popular leisure activities.
- French cooking and gardening.
- Exercise (several women), yoga and meditation.
- Reading and genealogy research.
- Spending time with pets and feeding the squirrels.
- Biking, sailing, golf and skiing.
Are you a woman caregiver with no time for yourself?
What activity could you spend more time on, to re-energize?