In honor of Independence Day, I now declare myself free of the Superwoman Myth. That myth that started in the 60’s that says women can have it all. A later version of this is “We can have it all, just not at the same time.”
This superwoman myth drives many of us to work longer than we should, take on projects we don’t want to do, say yes when we mean no, push ourselves with no sleep to take care of family, friends and community. All because there are women out there who do this successfully and we think we should do the same. We don’t want to admit we have limits.
You may not agree with me, however, I believe that women are more effective when we are more focused and don’t spread our energy and our precious time across many responsibilities, tasks, commitments, relationships and opportunities.
I’ve decided I want to liberate myself from feeling like I have to do it all. I grew up when women first gained access to birth control, which gave us the freedom to work outside the home. What we took on as a gender is that we can maintain the home plus do all the outside activities. With more money coming in to the family, the kids were free to participate in more activities. Moms ran (and still do) around like crazy because no one realized the model of the perfect family was now changing. As a result, the Superwoman was born, because we didn’t want to admit we couldn’t do it all and we didn’t know how to talk about it and ask for what we needed and wanted.
From now on, I’m going to listen to my thoughts when they are telling me that I have to do something or I should do something. I’m going to liberate myself from the tyranny of those words and ask myself if there are other ways something can get done, particularly when I have a lot of deadlines and family responsibilities for example. I don’t have to assume that I am the only one who can do it all or that I do it better and faster than someone else would. That is a Superwoman myth.
I admit this is easier to write than to do. What I do know is that when women are rested and relaxed, nurtured and fulfilled that the whole family benefits. During this month, our celebration of freedom for our country, decide what you want to be free of in your life. What do you want to let go of?
Just for the next few days, experiment with doing what you want, when you want and schedule yourself some flexible time. Instead of giving it away to other people around you, claim back some time for you. This morning, I decided to write this article first instead jumping into my long to-do list. Of course I’ll get to my list; however, writing is enjoyable for me and with less time, I’ll get those things done faster anyway.
Ban the Superwoman and enjoy life!
© copyright 2009, Kathy Garland, all rights reserved.
Kathy Garland offers programs that awaken the soul of women leaders to enhance their wealth, balance and freedom. www.kathygarland.com.
More movie one-liners:
“just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” Dori, Nemo Thanks to Dawn Mallory, www.autograf.com
“You’re everything I never knew I always wanted” – Fools Rush In
Thanks to Jackie Christophis, Novus Transportation