Monday, April 12, 2010
Will You Still Call Me Super(wo)man?
For a long time, I’ve done my darndest to be Superwoman. In addition to writing and trying to publish, I’m also a mother of 2 with a part-time resume writing business, a wife, a daughter, a friend and sister, and active member of my local writing chapter. I’m also a perfectionist in some areas, while I let others slide (like housekeeping and I’ll admit to letting my children watch too much television). I’ve tried to do it all, often suffering from burnout and stress.
Unfortunately, I suffer from a medical condition that is heavily influenced by the amount of stress in my life. Until I started researching my condition I didn’t realize how important the concept of “stress relief” was to me. This is not good, because I have a very difficult time getting outside of the stress in my life and doing anything about it. And while others seem to take the bumps and bruises of life in stride, I tend to take it all to heart and overreact to each and every one (I admit it, Drama Queen gets her nature honestly!). This may not be readily evident to those who aren’t close to me, because I react internally rather than causing a scene, but the women in my life are used to talking me off the ledge on a regular basis (I’m ashamed to admit).
I don’t know if the fact that I’m finally looking at my physical issues with some degree of realism, or if my slide into the last half of my 30th decade is influencing my thinking, but I’m approaching acceptance over the fact that I can’t do it all. I’m not a super mom (even though Little Man likes to pretend he’s Batman). I’m not physically or emotionally capable of doing it all. Because when I attempt to do so, the important things fall through the cracks, pushed aside by everything else with a deadline.
What brought all this self-reflection on, you ask. Well, quite a few things, actually. I won’t bore you with the details. But interacting with the women in my life has taught me that I’m not the only one in this situation. So many of us try to be everything to everyone, because that’s just what women do. We feel guilt when we ask someone to help us or try to delegate a task to someone else. For instance, even though I know that teaching my children to take care of themselves is good for them in the long run, a small part of me insists I should baby them for just a little longer (it isn’t winning, but the little voice is still there). Even though I know there are 4 people who dirty up this house and we should all work to keep it clean, it doesn’t occur to me to ask for help. Sad, but true. Clients call insisting they need something done Right Now, and I find myself cramming more into a day than I can reasonably handle, simply because I feel like I SHOULD.
So today, I simply wanted to share with you my own struggles. Being a writer is a part of who I am, not just some hobby I ‘do’. Oftentimes I feel that the ‘writer’ part of me is submerged beneath the demands of my life and my own demands upon myself. Writers are people too. :) In my books, I often portray heroines who “come into their own”, who find their place in the world and learn the true strength that lies within them. Many days, I don’t feel nearly as strong. I’m not Superwoman. I’m just me.
Do you struggle with “Superwoman Syndrome”? How do you combat it?