I come from a long line of superwomen, and I am certain you do as well.
We have witnessed our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts and cousins take on a lot, both personally and professionally. Many of us may have been raised by single mothers who not only worked outside of the home, but also had to manage every detail of the home at the same time. Additionally, our mothers who took care of children, a husband, and a career had their hands full as well. Simply put, women take on tons of responsibility, at home and at work, that may not be necessary and/or healthy for us.
Why is it hard for women to delegate, say “no”, or simply seek assistance from other people ?
I can honestly raise my hand as a woman who feels as if she were sold a dream. I believe that our generation (X’ers) were pummeled over the head by romantic comedies and shamed with the desire to become this “shero” who takes care of home, takes extra special care of her man, tends to the children, runs a multi -million dollar company (or works for one), socializes with the best of them and look fabulous while doing it. We have taken on too much of everything seeking to be something that may drive us crazy attempting to attain.
We have taken on too much debt to get a job that requires too many hours away from home. We have taken on too many antiquated ideals of cooking and cleaning: (sidenote: I actually enjoy cooking and cleaning, when I can do it with a glass of champagne and some Anita Baker playing in the background, but I have a 1 year old and, yea, that scenario does not exist anymore as she tugs on my leg, cries and pulls things out while I attempt to put them up). We have taken on the notion that you HAVE to be married by a certain age. We have taken on ridiculous mortgages because we felt we should be homeowners by a certain age, only to have the market collapse on us. We have taken on extra work at the job to prove ourselves worthy of a raise or promotion, only to be overlooked, overworked, and over stressed. We have taken on more responsibilities in our families as our parents are getting older.
We are doing too much.
We need to slow down.
We need to ask for help.
We need to say “no” without an explanation.
We need to take care of ourselves.
I am learning to do this, day by day. It’s not always easy to reach out to others to seek assistance with the kids, or to ask your husband to cook dinner or breakfast while you get the kids ready. You may feel as if you must single-handedly execute a project at work, without the assistance of your fellow colleagues. You may feel as if you have to date this no-good-ass person just to be in the number of folks who are bae’d up.
Stop playing yourself.
You, and I, do not have to do what does not feel right in our spirit.
I am over not asking for help, especially now that I have a child, a husband, and a desire to not work for anybody else. I need help from my mother, my husband, my fellow sister entrepreneurs, my girlfriends, and my child.
Maybe I had to go through the numerous stressful and impactful situations of almost losing my shit a couple of times (most recently last month while my family was moving out of our apartment) to come to this realization that I cannot, and will not, seek to do it all, by myself. It may appear as if we women have an “S” on our chests, or a cape in our closets at times, but you better believe someone in the background has been, will be, or needs to be helping us out, or telling us to sit down somewhere.
Let’s learn to chill out, not take on too much, and just rest at times. In the long run, cutting down on what we take on may provide more peace, time for reflection, and time to really connect with ourselves and our loved ones on a more personal level.
We deserve this.
Superwoman Syndrome: Why Do Women Feel They Have To Do It All ? was originally published on hellobeautiful.com