Woman Or Superwoman?

If you are constantly scuttling between roles and have a fetish for being perfect in all your roles, you are a good candidate for the Superwoman title.

Guest Blogger Lata Gwalani is a behavioural trainer and principal facilitator at Human Impact Training and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. She is the author of the psychological thriller, INCOGNITO. She can be contacted at [email protected] and you can follow her on http://carelessbytes.wordpress.com

If you are one of those women who are constantly scuttling between roles with this frighteningly sickening fetish for being perfect in all your roles, then you are likely a good candidate for the Superwoman title.

Whoa! But, hold on…it is not a title that you would want to flaunt, because, the epithet ‘superwoman’ is a crown void of all its sheen. Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. All that happens to you is that you drown yourself in a deluge of stress and self-pity. What’s worse, no one seems to care about your self-anointed Superwoman status.

So, what’s with the superwoman syndrome? 

The perfect employee, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, the perfect mother, the perfect daughter, the perfect daughter-in-law… Phew! All of this in one perfect person! When will you stop chasing perfectionism?

Is perfectionism required in everything that we do? I would say a flat ‘no’. Yes, we need to do things correctly. But, perfectly? No.

Lower the bar

Be easy on yourself. When you are not at home for almost 10 hours a day, you are not going to have ‘the perfect home’. Accept it. There is no need to hang yourself over this. Lower your expectations of yourself. Bending over backwards to get things done ‘perfectly’ will only add to your levels of stress. This will, in turn, affect your relationships.

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Give yourself realistic goals. Draw sharp lines and encourage yourself to do just that much. Resist the temptation to cross the line by stretching yourself more. This would be difficult initially. However, with time, you will be relieved, both mentally and physically.

Let things lie

As a working woman, your time at home is limited and valuable. Establish your priorities well. If need be, reprioritise. Choose prudently. Tidying up the room or spending those fifteen minutes with the kids, just sitting and listening to them? Reframe your thoughts. A home has to look lived in! Not like a prim and propah hotel suite! If it helps, you could strike a deal – cleaning on alternate evenings and spending time with family on the other. Work to a schedule like this, and you can slip comfortably into the new pattern.

Shed the guilt

A woman’s deadliest foe is the guilt that gnaws away at her insides. More often than not, guilt is self-induced.  There are many external factors that contribute to guilt, such as a rebuke from family, a snide remark, comparisons made. But, the decision to let the guilt envelope one completely is purely one’s own sensitivity. Self-esteem plays a pivotal role in this context. Women with high self-esteem can successfully handle guilt-inducing techniques used by others. Positive self-talk can help alleviate guilt pangs.

Delegate or get help

The one strong contender for the Superwoman title is the “I will do it myself” trait that most women nurture in themselves. Biting off more than you can chew has always proved to be a faux pas. Even organisations know and believe that delegation is the way to mental sanity. Accept that you cannot do everything yourself. Start delegating in a small way and then go all out.

When you begin to delegate, brace yourself for the imperfections of the outcome. It is extremely unfair to expect others to perform your tasks with the same level of efficiency and finesse that you pride yourself in. Give people a chance. Be patient and focus on long-term gains.

The bigger canvas of life

As a working woman and a homemaker, stay focussed on the bigger things in life, such as honing your work skills and spending happy moments with the family. The routine, mundane, everyday living need not be the mainstay of your existence. Shift your paradigm from the nitty-gritty to things that really matter in the long run. Expand the canvas of your life to include joyous moments, even if they be spent in the midst of a messy home.

Because, eventually when it is time to bid goodbye, I am sure you will not regret the fact that you did not clean your house enough! So, let’s leave with no regrets, and with a life lived to the fullest as a superwoman!

*Photo credit: Jim Legans, Jr (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License)


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