Tired of being SuperWoman? Then why dont you just quit?

[Chosen for Blog Adda’s Jan 18th Tangy Tuesday Picks! ]

[Provoked by some women who’re constantly complaining, the absconding maids, and a very astutehusband. Also Starry‘s thought provoking post]

Yet again, SuperWoman saves the day!

There’s dust almost everywhere. You wish you hadnt bought dark furniture. ALL the dishes you own are piled up in the sink. The floors havent been mopped in days. And you can identify stains from each of the games the kids played. The maids havent turned up for days. The substitute cook says she can come in only at 5:30 am, yes am, or not at all. She doesnt have any other time slot. The laundry has started changing color and disseminating smells that thankfully only you notice. The men of the house are impervious to such things. Throw in a coupla important meetings at work, a project deadline, and day care has a day off due to one of the many national holidays – which your company has decided to pass up on. And of course the spouse’s work is such that he cannot take the day off. Or miss those after office conference calls. Or take the family out to dinner.

So what do you do?

Roll up your sleeves, brace yourself, and plough into the job. Prioritize, juggle and just keep going at it. One at a time. Goading yourself on. What to do, you only have to do it. . After all, maids are unreliable; the spouse is busy at office, and YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING. After all, YOU cant stand a messy house. YOU want to feed the kids nutritious food. YOU want to plan out ‘educational’ activities to keep them occupied. YOU also want to complete that project at work, coz  you’re a responsible high performer at work.

Does this sound like YOU?

How often? Every other day? or everyday?

Feel you’re being pushed to the limit? That everyone “expects” you to? That you’re constantly being forced to be Superwoman?

Well, think again lady.

Who asked you to be superwoman?!?

Who? Who? Who?

And just because they (or you) asked, doesnt mean you have to? You do have the freedom to say no. To say that we’ll order in coz there’s no cook. Or get a dabba wala. Or use paper plates and cups coz the other ones are all in the sink. Or ignore the dust. Or ask the spouse to make time to do the laundry. Or better still, hand over complete responsibility for it.


No one’s forcing you. But yourself.

You are not indispensable. If you dont do XYZ, the spouse, the kids, will manage. Just fine. Yes, their clothes may not be washed and starched and ironed the way you like to; the food may not meet your exacting standards; the house may not be spic and span. But 5 years later, will any of it matter? What will last though, is your frustration. And your family’s. When you constantly try to be Superwoman.

The only real challenge is ‘letting go’. Letting go of the need to be Superwoman.

Learning to live easy. Learning to really prioritize.

And you’ll get your life back.

The big question for you to answer is : Are you ready to let go of being SuperWoman ?

10 thoughts on “Tired of being SuperWoman? Then why dont you just quit?

  1. Good Post… I keep falling into superwoman category from time to time… after my BP shot up , i’ve conciously tried to let go.. seems to be working ok so far.. But its addictive n I keep falling back into that rut.

    • I like the term u used – “that rut”. Conveys the 2 sides to being ‘superwoman’ – on one side you have perfection personified – the woman who can, and does, take care of EVERYTHING. And on the other side – the price you pay for that perfection.

      And the other phrase you use – “it’s addictive”. Yes. Just like smoking, alcoholism or any other addiction – ‘superwoman-hood’ is not good for you. And terribly difficult to let go of.

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  3. Great post. I have often felt the urge to be a SUper Woman often and tear my hair out when everything isn’t as spic and span as I expect. The only thing that holds me together then is Hubby with his Easygoing attitude :-)

    • “The only thing that holds me together then is Hubby with his Easygoing attitude :-)”
      Yep. I understand completely.
      The funny thing is, it’s a double edge sword. At times, its the Easy-going spouse that drives SuperWoman over the edge. And at times, that’s what brings her back to sanity. Ironic aint it?

  4. Hats off to all you ladies out there running households and managing careers.

    The SuperWoman Syndrome is pretty old. I recall as a teen saw my mom acting supermom. Her work delegation always fell in my share not my brother or dad’s. Women train other women in being superwomen.

    Perfectionism is addictive but other addictions do not make others dependent on the addict as perfectionism does.
    Perfectionism, is a subtle manipulation of people in the form of ready availablity of person and services thus creating dependence on the perfectionist. It is again a matter of creating false power to control the unsuspecting in the name of cleanliness-godliness and “look at my sacrifices,” “how much I do for you and this house” dialogues.

    Using paper products that will fill the landfills is not a very earth friendly and pokect friendly solution rather train spouse and kids to do the chores. If hands can put food in the mouth then hands can also do the chores and cooking. As simple.

    You are right, Let go off control and let it be and just BE… Dirty dishes never killed anyone nor did anyone win a medal for clean house. :)
    For how to let go… http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/desi-choices-or-else/

    Desi Girl

    • U’re right Desi girl.
      It is women who train the girls. It’s women you up the pressure and build in the un-said (or maybe not) expectation that you have to be SuperWoman. Assertiveness and standing up for yourself, are essential skills that are drilled out of most Indian women. And when she does try to exercise them, it often comes at a heavy price.

      And that’s a full post in itself ;)

      But the bottom line is – that it is your choice. Would you rather live up to expectations and kill yourself trying to be SuperWoman martyr, or let go, reclaim your life and refuse to live up to unreasonable expectations. Both choices come at a cost. You have to chose which price you’d rather pay.

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  6. I completely agree with you… SO many times I would be tempted to become a Super woman, not to please someone but for my own satisfaction.. but end up pulling my hair out.. The one saddening truth is that Men n women equally perform the same duties @ work/office and when u com eback home they hv the liberty to sit watch tv etc. to glory where women r expected to cook, clean,wash, serve food and wat not…

    I have now learned to put my foot down n also have a blind eye to the untidy house,dirt etc n do the stuff @ my ease…

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