FIND­ING YOUR­SELF

Herworld (Malaysia) - - FOCUS -

1 ANY TIPS ON MAIN­TAIN­ING A SO­CIAL LIFE DE­SPITE A HEC­TIC SCHED­ULE?

J: We tend to for­get an­other pre­cious role that we hold: the ‘me’ role. It’s as im­por­tant as the other roles, with days off as vi­tal as work and fam­ily tasks. Set reg­u­lar girls’ ses­sions with friends and vow to stick to the plan, even if the time needs to be short­ened. You can also ex­pand your so­cial life with those who are in the same prover­bial boat, for ex­am­ple, by at­tend­ing kids’ events – this could cre­ate new plat­forms and a sup­port sys­tem amongst the par­ents.

P: Firstly, ex­pect changes to hap­pen. Your so­cial life is go­ing to change – what you can con­trol is if it changes for the worse. Plan in ad­vance so you man­age your time and co­or­di­nate with your part­ner. Most im­por­tantly, don’t let the anx­i­ety of be­ing away from your child con­sume you. Be re­al­is­tic in your ex­pec­ta­tions. Is your hus­band go­ing to harm your child? If your child is in safe hands, what is there to be wor­ried about? Not ev­ery anx­i­ety-pro­vok­ing thought needs a re­sponse.

2 WHY IS IT SO IM­POR­TANT TO HAVE ‘ME’ TIME?

J: The lack of per­sonal time causes more harm than good. For­get­ting about your per­sonal needs will even­tu­ally leave you drained and stressed. When emo­tions are neg­a­tively af­fected, it may be re­flected in the be­hav­iour and at­ti­tude towards other mem­bers in the fam­ily. Also, if the role of the mother is so cru­cial, do con­sider what could hap­pen if you were to fall ill and re­quire a long time to re­cu­per­ate.

P: Tak­ing time off is not some­thing to feel guilty about. Only when you are men­tally and phys­i­cally fit, can you be the best ver­sion of your­self. If you think you can’t do it for your­self, do it for your chil­dren then. An over­worked, tired and stressed out mother may project these emo­tions onto her chil­dren – and they can sense that. It can also cause you to lose your tem­per.

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