If Healthcare for Women is Compromised...

If Healthcare for Women is Compromised...

Last year, because of the Affordable Care Act I was able to provide essential preventative office healthcare for women. Some of the women had not had a pap smear for several years, and others never, due to lack of health insurance.  A few women required further intervention due to abnormalities diagnosed by screening but I knew they would be okay because it was discovered in time. If we hadn’t, it would be another story, a story I know too well.

Five Easy Ways to Lose or Maintain Your Weight Without Exercise

Five Easy Ways to Lose or Maintain Your Weight Without Exercise

If there is one topic of discussion that most women have in common it is the issue of weight and certainly for my generation, generation X, that conversation almost always centers around weight loss and weight loss goals. Today I am within 2 lbs of the weight that I was in my last year of college, more than twenty years ago, despite gaining thirty pounds in each of my two pregnancies. ...

What have I done to keep my weight off?

What Job Hunting Can Teach Us About Dating or Vice Versa

What Job Hunting Can Teach Us About Dating or Vice Versa

I have a number of people close to me who are actively job hunting so I am privy to some of the frustrations of the search, the multiple applications, the multiple interviews, the long wait for return calls, the uncertainty and the anxiety.  Given my interest in giving dating advice to women and my own personal journey to finally meeting my husband, I could not help but notice the similarities.

Multiple dates to find the right person, anxiety and uncertainty about when or if you would meet him, wondering if or when he will call again or if you should call again.

These are three lessons I learned from the dating game and job hunting and frankly you can use the advice interchangeably.

What Does Mother's Day Mean To You?

What Does Mother's Day Mean To You?

When I was leaving the hospital this mother’s day after a busy overnight shift I came across one of the hospital employees.  I see her regularly but have never interacted other than a polite greeting   I asked her if she was a mother and she said no.  She asked me the same I said I was and she wished me happy mother’s day.   Shortly after I asked the question though, I regretted the folly of it. It brought to mind the difficult day mother’s day is for many. 

Women, your stress may be killing you

I lost one of my favorite aunts in 2005. She was a beautiful 63-year-old woman who many would say looked younger than her years. She was slender, exercised regularly, never smoked, paid attention to healthy eating and was in a happy marriage for 40 years at the time of her death. She died from cancer, and although she was able to fight it for just under a year, it won the battle. ...

Help! I am a busy working mom and wife - how can I balance it all?

Another question from a reader. 

Stress and my Gyn history

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with an abnormal pap smear. My work life is very stressful. As you know, there is a constant struggle with trying to balance home life (with toddlers) and husband and I often wonder what my sleep deprivation and stress are mutating on a cellular level. What are some of your attempts to balance work and home life?

 

Dear Reader,

As a busy professional woman I find achieving work life balance is always a work in progress.  That being said I am always mindful of my goal.  Yes I need to continue to work to contribute to the finances of the household but I also need time for my children, my husband and myself.  There have been times in my career when I think all were cheated to some degree but I have always maintained the goal in mind.  This is what I have learnt.  Whenever possible find a work position that provides flexibility.  Sometimes the amount of work hours is not always the problem but the hours during which you have to deliver the work. For example if I am able to attend an important daytime activity at the children’s school they are more comfortable if I come home a little later in the evening.  At other times I will do a night shift so that I can be with them more in the day.  To be honest sometimes I may spend many of those hours in the bed resting if it has been a busy night but they know that they can easily find me if they need me.    I also use my resources to get help when needed.  I know that for example cleaning the house is not an activity I enjoy and that I am also very inefficient at it so for me it is more beneficial to work a few more hours in my career and hire someone to clean from time to time. This allows more of my home time to be spent in more relaxing activities.   I have certain times of day, which I deem family time when I try to unplug so that my attention is not divided between them and my cell phone.   I choose to exercise at home and to be honest my children look forward to me exercising to music videos in their presence. My husband and I try to go out alone at least once or twice per month or catch a movie at home after the children have gone to bed.   For my personal self-care in addition to attempting to eat a healthy diet and exercise I try to have a few minutes of quiet time each night, which I prefer to spend in reading, reflections and meditation specific to my faith.   I cannot pretend that I can do this every night but I am always mindful of the need to make it a priority so more often than not it is done.

Thank you so much for your question and I hope this helps.   

 

How I Know I was meant to be Married

I have met some married women over my lifetime who have told me that they just happened into marriage. Meaning they never had a burning desire or even a plan to be married.  Well not me.  I definitely did not just happen into marriage.  It was part of my plan and I had a burning desire for it. The only hard part was that the journey to marriage was way more difficult and longer that I could ever have imagined.  But it certainly did not dissuade me.  Even though I was sometimes low on hope, my desire for marriage never ceased and if anything it got stronger. 

Perhaps it is not surprising that I felt marriage was for me. Growing up as a Roman Catholic girl I saw only two clear choices for my adult life, become a nun or get married.  Like perhaps many Catholic girls I thought about being a nun but this was fleeting and I knew this life though admirable was not for me.  My calling was to marriage.   I must admit I had a good role model.  My parents had and still have a happy successful marriage and at least in my earlier childhood years it seemed like many of their friends and our relatives did too.  As I grew older I realize that many of those other“successful marriages” were far from successful.  There was infidelity, unhappiness, some divorces and some long suffering situations.   However was I put off or turned off from marriage in anyway? Oh no!  I just knew that I wanted to get it right.

So how does it feel for a single woman who is meant for marriage?   It’s like an unshakeable emptiness despite every effort to fill a void.  It’s like living the best life that you can but still knowing that something is missing.  It’s like a small shadow over happiness.    I sometimes felt envious or disconnected from my married friends, especially those who happened easily into marriage or relationships.  They just didn’t get it.  I sometimes felt lonely in family gatherings.  Holidays and Valentine’s Day were often difficult.   A break up had an added dimension, not just the loss of a relationship but the realization that despite another relationship I was no closer to my goal.  I could not retreat and safely keep away from getting hurt by avoiding a relationship because I would never achieve my goal – being a happily married woman.  It was almost as important as the air I breathed. Yes that may sound a little melodramatic but that’s how it felt for me at times.   

I remember my married girlfriend telling me that the pain of a woman who could not get pregnant was worse.  But I could not see it that way; I thought at least she could adopt a child.   I could not just adopt myself a husband.   At times I felt I was experiencing either punishment or torture.

But now I realize that it is ok to be meant to be married just as much as it is ok to be meant to be single.  Single women who want to be married should not need to apologize or explain themselves if they are dissatisfied with their single life any more than single women who do not want to get married should conform to other people’s standards.    I think the only job for her or for you is to decide which are you.

Be proud of who you are and what you are called to be. Know that it may take longer than you hope but trust that you will be better for the wait.  Be confident that if you walk in faith you will get to your planned God given destination.  Forgive the people who do not feel you or hear you.   They just wouldn’t understand.