I am a 31-year-old mother of two. I live with my in-laws and work at a school. Lately, I have been struggling to maintain a balance between taking care of my family and doing my job well. It feels like I’m failing at everything. I feel stressed all the time and have lost my self-confidence. My children, too, aren’t getting the attention they need and my in-laws aren’t happy about that—and not a day goes by when I don’t feel guilty. I feel so lost. What should I do? -A struggling woman
Answer by Nishma Choudhary, Student of MA in Clinical Psychology and Co-Founder of My Sirani
One of the keys to a good relationship is communication. You can share with your family, your in-laws about where you’re at and what you’ve been going through. By communicating your feelings, you will break the wall of misunderstanding and that will create a space for empathizing with each other. Both your in-laws and you can talk about each other’s needs and come to an emotional understanding.
Secondly, as it is said, quality triumphs over quantity—try to spend some quality time with your children when you can. For instance, going on a mini-outing on weekends, or doing a family activity at home. They will treasure these little moments and it will contribute to that bond you have.
At times there could be situations when you have to get to work and your children stay home, then you can teach them to do some personal things on their own. It can be the perfect excuse to teach them to be more independent and responsible. And once they start, you can show appreciation for these little chores.
On days you feel burned out with the stress of work and home responsibilities, try to prioritize yourself. Maybe take 30 minutes out for yourself in the morning or in the evening to do something that is relaxing. Exercise, yoga, meditation, reading—anything that you love and makes you feel at peace. This 30-minute can do wonders to how you look at yourself and the emotional energy that you need to give to the family and work.
Try to focus on your individuality, it can help you see where you stand and think about how you can take things from here that benefit you, your family, and your job.
Similarly, if your work is not in harmony with your mental health, you might want to rethink that as well. Your health comes first, and if what you do on a daily basis is negatively impacting you, ask yourself if it is really something worth doing. Is it something you are passionate about or makes you happy? You shouldn’t be afraid to give up things that hold you back. This could be the time to contemplate the things that will make you happy, where you can give your hundred percent, and change things about your life to reach that state.
Finally, show yourself some love and appreciation!