Del Alma: Cuidate, Mi’ja
By Boni Candelario
Are you tired of being weak in your spirit? Are you run down and sick? Are you not getting enough sleep and nourishment?
I have been there. For almost two years after my daughter was born, I focused solely on her, my husband, and my job. I threw myself into the role of working mother and began comparing and judging my success based on my mother, grandmothers, and previous generations.
My mother and mother-in-law were both working moms who came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico in the ’60s. After they got married and had children they continued to work, many times doing multiple jobs, outside of the home to help their hardworking husbands make ends meet. They kept many Puerto Rican traditions of food, music, dance and family — including taking on all of the responsibility of work inside the home. They did it all. Todo. Without one complaint or day off.
I looked up to these Superwomen and used them as my standard. I compared my cooking, cleaning, and childrearing to them. Little did I know, they secretly were overworked, depressed, ignored their health and felt pressure to be perfect because of tradition.
For too long, I did the same thing. I didn’t think twice about where my next breath was coming from because I really didn’t appreciate that each breath is a gift.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
To change things for myself, I started to think about what my family and I truly deserve. Shifting my logic helped me kick into gear a healthier lifestyle.
I acknowledge that my body has not been pushed to its fullest potential with exercise and that I have not made sure that it rests. Like a neglected child, I have not spent time loving my body. I never saw exercise and rest as serving my family when it actually does.
My daughter deserves an energetic and happy mother. I really notice a difference when I play with my daughter after taking some time for myself and find that I am more focused, energetic and loving towards her. Because my needs are met, I am in a better position to meet hers.
My husband deserves a fun, happy, sexy wife. I am more loving towards him after I had been more loving towards myself.
I deserve to show myself off and be proud of who I am.
I want to project a positive self-image to other women and girls.
It’s time to come out of my shell and declare that I am a strong, energetic, beautiful and amazing woman.
I am strength
I am love
I am me
So are you.
Career Strategist and Empowerment Coach, Boni Candelario, has a background in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Resources. She assists people stuck in difficult career and life/balance situations. Her other passions include spending time with her family, traveling, ballroom dancing, and writing.Read her blog, Coach’m Up Boni.