So, I didn’t blog last week. This caused me a huge amount of anxiety. At the beginning of the year, I committed to myself that, for the entire year, I would send out a weekly newsletter (gotta get on my email list to get that 😉 ) AND the weekly blog post. This is the first week I have missed the blog.
Here’s the problem– the, like, #1 rule of blogging is consistency. All of the people who blog about blogging basically act like inconsistency is akin to maiming the Mona Lisa. The dictionary defines consistency as steadfast adherence. STEADFAST. ADHERENCE. Missing a week is NOT steadfast adherence!!
What if everyone stopped reading? What if everyone unsubscribed from my list? What if someone found a big rip in the middle of the Mona Lisa? It would be entirely due to my own inconsistency. My own imperfection. It would be my own fault and all my efforts might as well be thrown out the window.
Maybe some of you are thinking, “Geez. What an over-reaction.” But maybe there are some of you out there secretly relating to my personal meltdown over not being able to be 100% consistent…? Maybe some of you have that chic in your head that thinks she has to be Superwoman. All of the time. Superwoman. No pressure there…
There are actual reasons why I wasn’t able to blog last week. But Superwoman doesn’t want me to tell you why in case you think I’m just making up excuses. It’s very important to her that she be seen as, well, super.
The Superwoman Syndrome arose…with the shift of the woman’s traditional role of a housewife towards a more career-oriented way of life. This life involved the pursuit of both traditional female roles in the home and with children, as well as the pursuit of traditionally masculine goals in the form of jobs and public social status.”
Personally, I relate to the way it is described by Cari Jean, who characterizes it like this:
“You are a woman who feels pressured to be able to do it all. You are a woman who works hard to fill multiple roles. You are a woman who is trying to juggle, family, career and social activities. And more often than not, if you have Superwoman Syndrome, you are feeling overworked, overwhelmed and overly committed. You are also probably exhausted, anxious and stressed to the max.”
I bet if I could see you all through your screens I’d be seeing lots of nodding heads, fist-pumps, and possible tears of relief that there is some way to describe what you are experiencing. That’s how I felt! And get this. Apparently, girls as young as 13 can develop Superwoman Syndrome if they feel pressure (internal or external) to excel, excel, and excel some more. Scary. I know.
Why do we feel this overwhelming need to be able to do it all and to do it all perfectly???
There are a lot of reasons. Apparently, those of us that tend to be:
- people pleasers
- seek positive attention
- have a hard time saying no
- struggle with self-esteem
- want to feel like we are good people
- are responsible and duty-oriented and want to do what’s “right”
- want to feel like we can do it all
are prime candidates for this lovely little syndrome. And my guess is if you read my stuff, you relate. Deeply.
So according to my Internal Superwoman, I should have been able to put my blog post out last week despite the following (welcome to another bulleted list):
- I was feeling sick. Nothing major, just the low-grade ucky that makes you feel like you aren’t sick enough to stop but leaves you feeling crappy as you keep going.
- We realized my daughter had been throwing away her medications, which correlated with a major downslide in everything related to her behavior.
- I had to watch said daughter get her hair cut off to a very short afro, with silent tears streaming down her face and her hairdresser trying not to cry, because she refused to do what she needed to do to take care of her hair.
- Mind you, she is a 12-year-old African American girl in a very dry, Caucasian environment who already has social issues and I worry about anything that could make her the subject of teasing. (I cried alone when we got home.)
- I felt like the worst mom ever due to the hair thing happening as I eventually followed the “natural consequences” path because every time I tried to help with her hair, it turned into her fighting me tooth and nail.
- I got in a fight with my hubby. No beuno.
- My son didn’t do a stitch of his school reading all week and I felt major guilt since I purposefully let that battle go.
- And my puppy that had surgery and has been unable to walk unassisted (at all) for 5 weeks got 3 more weeks added to this lovely sentence.
So, there you have it. My list of “excuses”.
If it was any friend of mine, I would have told her to go easy on herself, cut out anything that didn’t absolutely have to happen (like work, food, the occasional shower), and to quit beating herself up, for hell’s sake.
But for me? My Internal Superwoman informed me that no one died, nothing truly awful happened, and if I had just organized my time better, I would have been able to get my blog done. Plus, really, I was just being lazy.
Fortunately, I have the opportunity to work with a fabulous coach and I sucked it up and emailed for her opinion and she told me to practice what I preach. Which is basically that we can’t do everything, it isn’t possible, it’s an unfair expectation, and thinking we can just leads to unhappiness.
And this is where I had to tough-love myself a bit by actually giving myself some self-care. I needed to do what I would want anyone I cared about to do for themselves. I went to work. I ate (and I will admit to the food being generally processed and not of the greatest quality because it was easy). And I showered (mostly).
I also didn’t blog. It was surprisingly hard to just let that go. But I did much better with what was actually happening in my real-time life when I finally did.
So my question for you is
Sweetie, where can you give yourself a little tough-love by silencing your Inner Superwoman and listening to the part of yourself that needs you to take it easy now and again…?