Women often feel the need to do everything and do it well. They may be basing their attitude on their experiences of their own mother or from seeing reports of other women in the press and in their own circle of contacts. Their mother may have been successful in every area, a good homebuilder who did everything herself as well as being a successful wife, friend and businesswoman. Or she may have made life for her children difficult and unhappy and because of this there is a commitment to ensure that it does not happen with her own children.
The problem with being Superwoman is that by looking competent people assume that it is easy for you. They may get the impression that you want to do it all, are happy to do everything yourself. They may feel that you are organized and manage it well or there may be a feeling of inadequacy that they would not do things as well as you, and so they shy away from trying The answer to this is to be more relaxed and generous with your approach. Allow people to take some responsibility and learn how to do things for themselves. In either a work or a home environment people have to learn and be allowed to do tasks in their own way, without fear of censure, ridicule or disapproval.
I knew someone who worked full-time and had recently married. She used to spend every Saturday cleaning their home from top to bottom. Her husband was keen to help but she refused to let him because she was convinced that he would not clean as well as her. I asked if it would be okay for each room to be cleaned perfectly once a fortnight and well enough the week in-between. She was fine with that, so they each cleaned half the house one week and alternated the following week. It freed them up to do fun things together in the afternoon and allowed her husband to feel that he was participating in the home.
As a hostess, a superwoman sets a precedent with other friends. It can become a competition to see who does everything the best. Some groups end up hiring party planners and insisting on new innovative ideas for the most simple birthday party. It is wonderful to attend a fabulous party or ball on occasion but sometimes it is important to remember what the reason is for the get-together.
Having a few people round for supper does not necessitate getting up at 4am to bake four different kinds of bread rolls. Making a quick casserole and buying a nice dessert means that there is more time to relax and chat with friends. And they will probably be relieved at the more relaxed atmosphere and be keener to reciprocate.
Children often thrive better in a relaxed atmosphere rather than one where there is the constant pressure to look pretty, be clean and tidy. A Superwoman for a mother is often someone who is stressed, busy and rushing from one thing to the next. And Superwoman’s children often spend their time attending after school events. Ballet, horse riding, coaching, extra tuition can mean that there is the constant pressure to perform. Having a messier home, a more relaxed mother is often a more pleasant situation for them.
Taking the time to enjoy what you have, a nice life, good husband, children, friends and family can allow a better balance to occur. There are times when stress reaches a peak but being more relaxed about standards on occasion allows everyone to have an easier, more pleasant time.
About The Author
Roland N. Gilbert is Vice-President and founder of the Perennial Consulting Group a management consulting, coaching and sales force development firm that focuses on overcoming fear and other limiting beliefs and creating empowering solutions so that individuals can live out their passions. He consults privately with many organizations and senior executives in the areas of sales force development, sales training, faith-based mentoring programs, peak performance, profit improvement, teambuilding and personal development. A dynamic and powerful speaker, Roland facilitates seminars internationally and has developed programs for top level executives in major companies. Outside of business, Roland is passionate about bringing powerful life-changing resources to young people. He was a member of The F.O.R.C.E., a foundation to mobilize community, educational and business resources for the support and development of at-risk youth.
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