She smothers her children with love and support, she’s selfless, and she protects those she cares about. She’s an excellent host and cooks for armies large or small. She makes the best home cooked meals and her guests always ask for more. The next day sends her paidia (children) to school armed with leftover pita, moussaka and dolmathes. Raging rain or scorching sunshine she ensures no one leaves the house without a jacket. She’s the last to go to bed, and the first to awaken. She works hard. Everything she does is for her family and others, leaving little time for herself. She’s a Greek Super Mama.
I have a Greek Super Mama. You probably have one as well, so we’re all familiar with their sacrifices as they ignore their own needs by putting themselves last in order to care for others first. After a day of juggling between long work hours, she ends the day with stacks of endless dirty laundry that never seems to get smaller. Then she puts it all into the dryer before ironing and folding. For some Greek Super Mamas this is the only time she will watch television, her iron moving across the ironing board in rhythm with a Dancing With The Stars tango. She has no off days.
Unfortunately, this means that for a Greek Super Mama, health and self-care are often neglected. A Greek Super Mama needs to know it’s okay to take care of herself. She needs to know that her family is only as healthy as she is and that health is an important investment for her. Since free time is hard to come by for a Greek Super Mama, even finding 15 minutes a day to do something relaxing are beneficial. Here are three realistic tips that can be incorporated into her day to make her health a priority. If you have Greek Super Mama help her get on course with these simple steps:
- She needs sleep. Seven to nine hours of sleep a night is recommended by health experts, but your Greek Super Mama will insist that’s too much. Try your best to get her to get a reasonable amount of sleep per night to help reduce stress and boost her mood. Her body—and her new attitude—will thank you for the extra zzs.
- She needs time to relax. It may be tough to find time in her busy schedule, but finding time for herself to relax will help melt away her stress from a jam-packed day. Going for a walk, taking a yoga class, begin reading a new book, or simply taking a bath can do the trick.
- She needs to brush back a little bit of that Greek pride. In other words, let her know it’s OK to ask for help. And if she does, make sure you do help and not just pretend you are helping. She loves your smile but that’s not enough. Not everything has to fall on her plate, and in those times when you see her struggling, lend a hand, find a friend or family member to help with the load and don’t let her tell you she doesn’t need your help. She does. Anything helps. And, you need to not only help but let her know how to ask for help, too.
It’s easier to figure out how an airplane flies than to figure out how a Greek Super Mama manages her time. How can anyone who works so hard continue to wear a smile day in and day out? So efcharisto (thank you), to all of the Greek Super Mamas in the world who are the rock of the family without expecting anything in return. Without them we’d all go hungry, we’d be hypothermic in the winter and full of mosquito bites in the summer, and we’d be lost when it comes to knowing how to sign a check, where to vote and where to go to get the car oil changed. We have our Greek Super Mamas to thank for the valuable lessons they teach us just by all of the selfless acts they do with precious little thanks every day. Let’s not be silent any longer. Sagapo, Greek Super Mama.