Sometimes it seems like I’ve got to be superwoman. Well, most of the time. Not that I mind having a lot on my plate – if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have put so much there to begin with.
Women today have a lot of expectations – be Mrs. Brady as a mother, a killer career ala Claire Huxtable , Donna Reed in the kitchen, keep a perfect house, take a cue from Kate and get us all off the island, have Einstein’s IQ, the bedroom ferocity of Rihanna, the body of a Sports Illustrated model and all this while staying cool and calm and even keel through the power of yoga. Did I mention that we’re supposed to find time to blog too? Oh, and we aren’t allowed to age. Not even a little bit.
Women ARE capable of doing of these things – we’ve certainly proved that over the last half century. Whether they’re all healthy to be doing is another matter. We can be Mrs. Brady when we focus on our families, Claire when we make our career a priority, certainly keep the house and cook the meals. Absolutely we can get everyone off the island, women are as intelligent and cunning and powerful as any man (BTW Sawyer got a bad rap, Jack totally treated Kate like she was disposable.) Intelligence is not a problem. Making the bedroom work is something that every woman can do – heck, that’s one way women have always wielded power in society. We can work out, eat right, and get our bodies looking amazing when given the tools to do so. Women also have an amazing ability to hold it together, with or without the yoga. We are the glue that holds society together. Blogging, check. As for the not aging – well I suppose Botox is on the table.
The power of women is astounding, after all we do grow human life within our bellies. That being said there’s been a lot piled onto us in the last fifty years, making it nearly impossible. We’ve got to find that balance in our society because frankly, we can’t do it all at once. Somewhere in there we went from taking on things to become empowered to becoming buried. I don’t like feeling buried – it gives one claustrophobia.
But what to do about it? That’s the real question. Only now, six years into motherhood, am I starting to feel like I might be finding that balance without loosing my marbles. Here are a few of the techniques that I’ve used to help keep up:
- WRITE IT DOWN – I use a planner to keep track of things, couldn’t live without it although I admittedly miss days There’s a great book called Getting Things Done by David Allen that uses a “brain dump” technique. This is a much bigger stress relief than you would believe when you start feeling out of control. Essentially you just write down everything that you have on your plate, categorize it and prioritize it. So many things just fall off the list and with what’s left you feel like you aren’t missing anything. If I don’t do this then I walk around in terror that I’ve forgotten something.
- PARE IT DOWN – I’ve learned to just let things go. This has meant that I’m not involved in as many things as I used to be and that I’ve had to tell many friends that we’ll have to get together later. I’m in graduate school, and a year in have decided that I can get that A without going quite so far above and beyond, I can take it back a notch and still get what I want. It’s really worth it and has allowed me to make my children more of a priority. Remember – you make the decisions about what comes in and goes out of your life.
- JUST DO IT – A lot of the things that don’t get done aren’t happening because I just hate them. For instance, I despise doing the dishes (and in all honesty am not terribly good at it.) I feel like superwoman when the sink is clean because I’ve struggled with it for so long. I’ve really figured out if I just do something that I hate doing, the sense of conquering a task propels me forward.
- NO GUILT – We cannot feel guilty about what doesn’t happen or what we do wrong or perceive that we’ve done wrong. Yes, you must hold yourself accountable, but accountability and guilt are not the same thing. It’s SO hard for women, but we can’t beat ourselves up over things. Talk to your spouse about it, find some support with other women. No one is actually superwoman! Don’t feel guilty that you aren’t!