Why women always put themselves second?

"Man can never be a woman's equal in the spirit of selfless service with which nature has endowed her" - Mahatma Gandhi

Springing off the couch as soon as the bell rings.

Running to get a glass of water when someone comes over.

Organising the house.

Heating food.

Planning meals.

Getting groceries.

Sharing food, if your colleague forgets his.

Checking up on neighbour’s dog when she’s out of town.

Sounds familiar?

Now multiply this by 20 after kids. Life isn’t easy to say the least. 

'Me time' becomes a far away concept. Health gets lesser time. And Nutrition takes a back seat. 

Why we as women put ourselves second? Have we ever thought why we find it so difficult to put our needs first? Especially when it comes to family, friends or even co-workers? Why do we have this built in tendency to put others needs first and ours later?

Women in general have a long history of over-accommodating other people’s needs and under-accommodating their own.

Let’s take a step back and look at it from the start.

Over the centuries women have been given the de-facto role of nurturers and caregivers. They also have been given the primary responsibility of raising children, caring for parents and attending to their spouses' needs. As children, we have seen our moms and grandma's giving to the family and not being given in return. Growing up in households where women’s needs are not prioritised, we in turn do not learn how to recognise or voice our own concerns and needs. We become too comfortable with keeping our own needs last on our to-do list. This generational pattern of women’s unacknowledged needs is something that we have become accustomed to see. Also, surprisingly, this attitude does not only pertain to the Indian women, it is infact universal.

So what do we do about it? 

Umm... Let's start by bringing about a change in this mindset?

We as women need to start loving ourselves, in order to spread love. Period!

How do we do this?

  1. We need to understand that people who we love, love us back! - As simple as that. Our family, friends etc. want to see us happy, physically healthy, and emotionally available. When we start giving attention to ourselves, it will be reflected in everything we do.
  2. Taking care of ourselves is mandate, not an option. Let’s start by investing some "ME time" in our everyday routine, in order to invest in others.
  3. "If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person." - Strike a chord? Remember, we always need to help ourselves in order to be safe and sound to help others. Simple isn’t it?
  4. Change starts with us. If we start respecting our own needs and well-being, people around will automatically do the same.

Once this change becomes a routine, saying 'no' will no more feel odd! What say? 

Want to try?

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