I was raised by a bona fide superwoman.
My mother, like so many I knew, did it all. She worked, she cooked, she cleaned, she designed and sewed my clothes, she baked luxurious desserts that’d be Instagram-worthy today. She kissed our boo-boos, encouraged us, and did her best to put us on a better path. She almost always wore make-up, her hair well-styled, and her outfit always sported the latest trends.
For me, my mother wasn’t a superwoman. She was a mother because that’s what moms were supposed to do. Right?
As I got a older, and I started to pay attention to the conversations of the women around me – those who regularly questioned how she did it all – I started to wonder if my mother was somehow exceptional.
She was. So much so that, by the time I hit my 20s, I was starting to really reconsider if children were in my future. I didn’t believe I had the stamina – let alone the talent – to reach the high bar she had set.
But, as Deepak Chopra says, you become what you see.
I may not do all the things my mother did – I am not to be left alone with a needle and thread – but I have, unfortunately, set my own very high, unattainable bar. A standard that I’d never expect of anyone else. Let alone chide them should they not achieve it.
And, yet, for as long as I can remember I’ve been bullying myself into taking on more and doing more.
It got so bad, that last year about this time – right as the Holiday season kicked off – I had taken on an insurmountable client load that had me working 15 to 18 hour days. Somehow, I also planned to:
- Organize the Adopt-a-Family program for Bella’s classroom
- Bake for the annual school bazaar
- Make play-dough every month for Elia’s kindergarten class
Oh! I don’t want to forget about all the Christmas preparation I had put on myself – shopping for Santa’s list, decorating the house, hosting holiday parties. Looking back, I think I believed I was doing the right thing for my family, my clients and everyone who needed me.
But, I was exhausted. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t concentrate. I was so tightly wound, that my reactions to every little thing were blown way out of proportion.
I kept going, but soon my body gave up. Literally on several occasions. Sadly, I didn’t reconsider my situation until maybe the third or fourth meltdown.
When I did finally see the light, I began making changes – some small, but some so very big that I’m still so filled with guilt and shame. It’s been hard work, but I’m starting to see a real difference.
That’s why today’s episode of The Crazy Good Life shares the two things I’m doing to overcome superwoman syndrome. My hope is that they inspire you to make changes in your life that will help you get rid of your very own mask and cape.
Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear how you’re taking off your superwoman mask and cape. I could use more suggestions, so please share them in the comments below.