Guest Author - Sheila L McHughes
Bella meaning “beautiful” …our beauty is in the eye of the beholder coming from the heart. Women are incredible with the many roles that we fill.
As a female, the role of the caretaker is a natural one. As a child we all depend on others to provide and to guide us with most of the care coming from a parent or guardian and usually in the form of a female. Our emotional well being begins at a early age in our lives. As a baby we do find comfort in touch, being held, comfort in the smells around us, mother's milk or infant formulas fill our tummies while hearing a lullaby often puts us to sleep. Colors and learning to play, recognition of a love one when a caregiver comes into view can all be comforting.
As we grow our lives take on many changes. We develop from a child into a young teen and discover other roles. We learn independence from those that have cared for us and have taught us that we are unique. We go from dolls to makeup and it seems that it is over night. I remember as a young girl that I truly enjoyed getting dressed up, fixing my hair, applying my makeup “perfect” and wearing lipstick. I still do. Personally, I find these simple things comforting.
Then “boys” just kind of pop into our lives. Hormones can really be confusing as mood swings seem to jump. While studies from school are a focus and our futures to decide, we have many physical changes. I believe it is this time in our lives that we begin to learn how to “juggle” the things that effect our lives.
Graduation is upon us, work, college and careers become a consuming part of our lives as we move forward. For many, marriage is just around the corner, finding that “special” someone to share our lives with, we all are looking to complete our lives. Most women are now at point in their lives where they are now a caregiver as they experience a great love for another person.
For those women who face health problems our emotional self can become so complicated. The stress of chronic pain and physical difficulties places burdens on us that can become so consuming. Many women now have small children to care for in addition to the numerous roles that we now juggle. Stress in our lives can bring depression, fatigue, negative and frequent mood swings. Excess smoking and eating habits can become a part of life.
From my personal experience, I always felt that due to the chronic pain that I suffered with, that my quality of life with my children was stolen from me. I relied on those in the profession of health care to know what would be best for myself and I was wrong to do this. When my daughter was faced with the very same problems it became clear I needed to gain the knowledge to make an informed positive decision regarding her health and I needed to teach her the same.
Failed marriages and relationships can tear us apart emotionally. Numerous as our roles are, there is always help to assist and lighten our difficulties. I always believed that I could cope alone, I always felt so alone. I have learned through research and I have learned through other women that I have not been alone.
The support groups that are available to us are wonderful. Counseling can be a positive experience. So while we are caregivers we may also need those that can give us guidance and hope. Many times through the ups and downs of life, we become stronger and wiser.
Our emotional well being is so very important to our physical health and to our ability to handle our many roles.