Women in the USA

Basma Alawee and her sister Marwah Alobaidi looking at a book

I want to recognize myself and my fellow refugee and immigrant women in the USA.

Women, in general, care about everything and everyone around them. We are the last on the list to take care of if any time is left for us. Women in the USA have many responsibilities. Many are wives and mothers. Add to that if you work full time, family responsibilities, and the list goes on and on.

To be able to care for others and do all these tasks, women in the USA need two main things: organizing and self-care.

I always get asked how I do a lot of work, volunteer and take care of my family? I will share some of the things that have been a great tool but it all starts with a supportive family.

First, have a daily list that you keep adding to it new tasks and take-off completed tasks. These lists have been helping me and keeping me focused. The list includes tasks at home, work, kids’ schools, health needs, deadlines for projects and bills that need to be paid. I also have a weekly one for major family projects or work projects. 

Then I transfer some of the lists that require dates and time to my Calendar. I use Google Calendar to keep all my appointments, deadlines,  and every single call I need to make.

The calendar reminds me ahead of time and it helps me and prevents me from not forgetting my duties. 

As a woman in the USA I know it is important to set a budget. Sometimes we fail because of the heavenly curse called a credit card. You can spend without thinking. But you will need to pay it off at the end of the month or you end up paying the minimum amount and explode yourself with interest. Setting a yearly and monthly budget is a must for all women in America. 

As a family, we started a new tradition four years ago. A part of our new year’s tradition is to write goals and improvements. We think about our previous year’s accomplishments, what we did not accomplish, and what it takes to make it happen. As an example, when my daughter was in pre-K her wish was that she will be able to read a chapter book and that goal helped her focus for the whole year.

I struggle every single day with self-care and it is something that most of the women in America and the world struggle with. I practice my self-care through things I like to do and I feel good about it. I love reading and writing so I try to pick a book to read monthly and I use writing as a daily reflection. I also like to walk and do some kind of meditation.

I try to make time for just me and my husband weekly at least once. We try to not talk about work or responsibilities and just focus on our wellbeing and healthy conversation. We catch up with each other and invest in our relationship. We also try to plan family activities that involve all the family to refresh our relationship.

Lastly, being in a space with other women in America is important so you do not feel alone.

I started a monthly gathering in the community where we come together to share food, work on art projects, and talk about topics that could benefit all women. Sharing with other women is really important. That’s why I am working every day with refugee women in America to share their stories.

Millions of women around the globe are pushed out of their homeland due to wars and political persecution every day. The risky journey into their new lives has been rarely documented and shared with the rest of the world. Learning from Within: Stories of Women in the New World is a book designed to empower and educate women through storytelling. It was released by the Florida Women’s Refugee Coalition. It includes the stories of brave female refugees and immigrants whose survival and leadership can be an inspiration to many other women all over the world.

The e-book is available by donation. Your contributions support the Florida Immigrant Coalition’s work with refugees across the state.

Opinions expressed and advice given in USAHello’s Voices and Hello blogs are the writers’ own. USAHello offers impartial information and online courses to help newcomers in the USA.