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Shifting Identities: How Women Juggle Roles

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From lover to mother, from teacher to student, from professional executive to underappreciated maid, from daughter to grandmother and back again, women juggle roles frequently throughout the course of their lives. Sometimes they juggle consecutive roles repeatedly throughout the day and, some would argue, perhaps throughout the hour.

As deft and skilled as any magician, a working mom can fold laundry, pack lunches, write silly love notes to her children and still make time to make love to her husband, pick up his mother from the train station and prepare her powerpoint for an important meeting at work the next day.

In fact, many women take these responsibilities as a matter of course. Being the loving and caring people that they are, they simply cannot imagine letting any of it go.

Even when women do not work outside the home, or even when working women do not have children or families to care for, they still juggle multiple roles and identities, simply as a matter of their very existence at times.

While many women are marvelously capable, some still struggle to find themselves in the midst of all these parts that they play. The physical, psychological and emotional depletion and exhaustion that many women can experience leads to a negative cycle of caring for all responsibilities while failing to care for oneself.

Finding time for me has become a very catchy phrase in the last five years or so. As more women are realizing that they put their health, their hobbies, their interests and their personal time on a back burner, there has been a real trend toward carving out time during the day or the week to get back to something meaningful and not fraught with responsibility toward others.

A women may feel she is pulled in a thousand directions with no pause, no time out, no break for just sitting and processing what is happening in her life. Unhealthy ways of coping with the strain of never having any down time can include:

-Drinking too heavily
-Eating the wrong foods or overeating
-Compulsively exercising or dieting
-Engaging in other unhealthy outlets

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.