A Mile in Her Shoes? Maybe a block…

Don’t you just love it when other people criticize you for not accomplishing everything they think you should be doing every day? And then they try to pile on even more projects, so you won’t have idle hands for the devil to put to use. Are we ever guilty of that ourselves or do we recognize that others need our encouragement, not our criticism?

None of us should be sitting on our keesters day in and day out, without trying to increase our skills or our knowledge in some positive way, even if we’re too fatigued to be of use to other people for a time. Yet we need to nourish ourselves with time-outs to read or nap. The scriptures are a great place to read but if they’re not your style right now, try something else uplifting. A day wasted can never be reclaimed. And we accomplish more real projects if we’re able to think clearly. But not getting enough done?

Several recent studies even seem to show that multi-tasking isn’t good for us, too stressful, in fact. The brain is affected the most. But women could have told the researchers a long time ago how exhausting multi-tasking can be! It’s different than dovetailing which is fitting tasks together in a pleasing and effective way. Example: Starting the laundry before we get on the phone to deal with the bank and then the insurance company. Hopefully, when we’re done, the laundry is ready for the dryer. And we haven’t been running back and forth to check on it while yakking on the phone. If we have run back and forth, that’s multi-tasking. Unless we only ever do one thing at a time, we know we’re trying to do too many things at once and for too many hours a day.

Even losing one’s job doesn’t free up any time for a person to relax, after the initial shock wears off. Outside of the stressful job hunt, once other people find out you’re at home, the phone solicitations start: I noticed you’re home right now, so would you mind helping with….

Of course, we want to help! And will, as often as we are able. Yet a little of that extra load, enough to get folks out of the house and feeling good about doing for others, can sometimes go a long way. At other times, the more we can help, the better we feel. Loss of a job is highly emotional and results in grief and pain. It will be mourned the same way as any other loss with the same alternating stages of denial, sorrow, anger, and hope for the future (acceptance).

Some men will snarl at the old statement that Man works from the rising to the setting of the sun, but a woman’s work is never done. There is little doubt that most men work extremely hard to provide for their families before collapsing in the evenings. Yet women take care of those same families 24/7. We don’t get to keel over until we’ve pushed ourselves too hard for too long.

Since spouses and significant others don’t often do the same kind of chores as women do, multi-tasking is the only way for women to survive and keep up with everything we need to get done. This includes reaching out to help other people, when we hear of their sorrows. Nurturing is instinctive with the majority of females in any species. And of course, there are exceptions.

Truly, most of us are run ragged 7 days a week, especially in our non-stop “do more and more” U.S. society. There’s nothing very restful about the Sabbath even, with religious responsibilities to take care of, including church members to visit, then family to telephone, letters to write, perhaps upcoming lessons to prepare or the final touches on a homework assignment due at 8 a.m. Monday morning. This is on top of preparing food three times during the day and/or stopping long enough to eat it.

So before you say that without challenge, there is no growth, would you mind walking a block in someone else’s shoes? I ask because I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t survive the proverbial mile in the shoes of others we know, let alone those we hear about elsewhere. A little compassion could work wonders for all of us. And please do keep in mind that we may be almost as expert at dealing with challenges as anyone else. We exhausted women just come at them from a different set of life experiences.

Thank you from all of our harried sisters.

Disclaimer: My blog posts are statements of opinion only. I am not in the business of giving financial, legal, medical or any other type of advice. See Terms of Use and Disclaimer for further disclaimers.

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