Thursday, 14 May 2009
I am NOT Superwoman!!!
Tears ruining the perfect make up on my face and every muscle aching from too many late nights, I looked at my ‘to do’ list. It seemed to stretch the entirety of womanhood, from mundane activities like doing the laundry through to developing my business empire. On the sheets of paper in front of me seemed to be the tasks for 5 different people, the business woman, the wife, the children’s ministry member, the daughter, the friend, the sister, it didn’t seem to end.
‘I’m soo tired’ A shriek of frustration that came from the depths of my soul. ‘I just can’t take this anymore!’
My mind started playing tricks on me. I jumped on the ‘I’m just not good enough’ emotional merry go round. It reeled off the mental record of things I should of, could of and would have done; like the unforgiving boss completing an internal appraisal of myself.
After I had bent the ear of everyone who cared to listen, I faced my internal mirror. I took a good look at my busyness and concluded that I was achieving very little. I came to the strange but very true conclusion that I am not Superwoman. I am not a fan of ‘I can’t’s but aren’t there only so many ‘I can’s one can have? I can try to relax my hair whilst making dinner and encouraging a sister on the phone. The reality is one of those tasks will suffer, that evening I could end up in A&E with blood pouring from my scalp, a cindered kitchen but a very encouraged sister. The realisation of my true identity as a forever newlywed and not superwoman threw up many issues.
We have been taught from the beginning of time that women are the greatest multi-taskers. We have been praised for our ability to juggle tasks like trained circus performers but, what if the learned psychologists were wrong? There are millions of women who can empathise with how I have been feeling; tired, worn out with a list of tasks long enough for the circumference of the earth. Of course, that idea does not settle too well with a busy body like me. I still agree with those learned people. It’s not that we cannot multitask; it’s that we grab at soo many tasks at one time. We snatch them as if they were the last pair of shoes at the Boxing Day sale. So quick to select the tasks that we don’t always weigh up the pros and cons of it. We don’t always ask questions like, what affect will this have on my time, is this time that I have to spare, how will this affect my resources? Surely a better understanding of each task will naturally lead to a better management of time, effort and energy. So instead of relaxing my hair whilst cooking, I could cook first whilst speaking to my sister and relax my hair on the weekend. Bad multitasking means that either little time is spent on each task or the attention given to each task is severely divided. Either way, the end result is an express trip to the Isle of Guilt.
A career or a business brings multitasking to a whole new dimension. Juggling a successful career or an expanding business whilst trying to build a happy home could prove challenging. Sometimes when I get home from the office (especially when I have programmed my mind to sleep upon arrival), the will to cook and the desire to pick up laundry that magically missed the basket, mysteriously disappears. The apron doesn’t look a good enough exchange for the supercareer cape woman I have so delicately wrapped round my shoulders.
In the workplace women now how have the pressure to perform just like superhero’s have to conquer their evil counterpart. Wives of old used to have ‘cook outs’ and ‘baking days’ but now with the world’s favourite kitchen appliance - the microwave - u can be ‘Miss Career’ and ‘Best Food Warmer’ all in one. I am by no means banishing us to a prison of nappies and Jamie Oliver re runs. The person writing this has dreams, aspirations, plans and objectives that are carefully conspiring for world domination. Believe it or not, there are women who place their businesses and careers far above their husband and their children. They love their family but continuously arrange their everyday tasks around their career and not around their family. Things like happily spending an extra hour in the office which means that you’re not able to spend that hour with your husband or children. We ought to strive for a life of balance.
Sometimes in the midst of our multitasking, we forget that we are part of a formidable team. We have husbands!! What an underestimated asset we have by our sides. I believe there are a number of tasks/projects we struggle with that we could work with our husbands to achieve. Granted not everyman might want to help your daughter make her costume for the ballet recital but he might be thrilled to give you direction for your business ideas. You might just discover untapped potential buried on the inside of him. I believe in every relationship there is a visionary and an implementer perhaps, you can see opportunities but lack the momentum to see that come to pass. Every superhero has some sort of side kick, someone that goes along with him on all his adventures. Batman has Robin and Superman has Lois Lane. As wives I think we are guilty at times of forgetting that we are the side kick. I say that not to cause offence but to make you realise, the superhero’s aren’t anything without their side kicks. If Clark Kent and Lois Lane really did exist in today’s society, Lois Lane would be the breadwinner in that household. Think about it! Clark Kent would forever be flying off to save the world from the many disasters, so what work would he achieve to bring money in?! I wonder if he would help her to cook and clean?! Every good prince needs a princess to save, imagine if Rapunzel decided to buy her freedom by creating lace wigs with her hair! They are no less a princess for needing rescuing, both characters make up the entire story.
I am getting my life in check. I have learnt that not every good idea needs to be executed now. The world will not end if I don’t send that email or arrange my clothes in colour and season order. I have come back to basics to even question what my purpose is on this earth. Sounds deep doesn’t it? The definition of that purpose ensures that I only do the tasks that are centred on that. My core purpose aside from being the female version of Richard Branson (in business style only as I don’t have an aspiration to set sail in a hot air balloon), is just to be a WIFE.
With the tissues and the tears packed away, my vision and focus returns to start a new to do list.
Number one: Pick up the forever newlywed apron and drop my flying solo superwoman cape.