Don’t Do, Just Be
As Latinas, we struggle with overwork, burnout and the stress of juggling many, many obligations all at once. As women, we are the ones who take care of household tasks and responsible for child care. We are also the ones who hold the family together, carry on the traditions, and transmit culture (language, food, attitudes).
To Do is to Be -- Sartre
Do Be Do Be Do – Frank Sinatra
As Latinas, one of the things we struggle with is overwork, burnout and the stress of juggling many, many obligations all at once. As women, we are most frequently the ones who take care of household tasks. We are primarily responsible for child care. And we’re the ones who hold the family together, carry on the traditions, and transmit culture (language, food, attitudes).
We as Latinas (of course!) have to take care of ourselves and look good. (As an aside, I remember when my son was young and accompanied me to the nail salon or to get my hair done, and said, “Whew! I’m glad I’m not a girl!” I thought it was funny, ‘cause I’m *delighted* I’m a girl, and that I GET to do all this stuff to take care of me…)
And on top of our household and personal roles, we have career obligations to meet, and community commitments to fulfill. We are accomplished, and in many instances, have achieved much more than our family before us has. So we have burdens, responsibilities and guilt…
How many of us are supporting not just one household, but monetarily contributing to another one as well? And how many of us have “caretaking” duties outside of what the mainstream would expect or understand? We take care of family (parents and grandparents), as well as extended members of the tribe.
There’s a constant source of angst to DO more… And yet, it’s important for us to remember that we don’t have to DO anything at all. We are special, unique and wonderful *just as we are*!
Simply “being” is enough. We, as Latinas, need to slow down, take a breather and relax. We work hard, and we should celebrate our accomplishments, pat ourselves on the back, and enjoy the fact that who we are is fantastic.
You are delightful – lovely – and marvelous. YOU are a Powerful Latina! Don’t forget that being IS doing.
We get so caught up in the DO-ing, that we lose the BE-ing, and the melody gets off key.
Mujer, give yourself some credit. I understand it’s hard to slow down. (I’m one of the worst offenders!) So many people count on us, and we want to make sure that we give back, that we somehow prove that we’ve “earned” the right to the benefits and blessings we’ve been given. We were able to finish school, the opportunity to go to college, and have jobs that perhaps even our mothers couldn’t dream of.
It’s a big responsibility! And yet… If we don’t learn how to balance our cultural and professional roles, what are we teaching this next generation of Latinas coming up? These young women are the *backbone* of the next generation in the U.S.!
When you appreciate, celebrate and honor YOURSELF, you’re also showing others how to do that, and that the ‘pause’ is important.
So, remember to STOP doing, and just allow yourself to be…. At least once in a while!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aurelia Flores wants to offer a learning opportunity to other women who might find themselves in similar shoes. She strongly believes women can learn from other women, no matter where they are in their career or life path. Powerful-Latinas mission is “helping powerful Latina women stay grounded in their power!” To find out more, go to http://www.powerfullatinas.com/