Last week one of my biggest fears came true. I realized that I am not superwoman. Why? Because I got absolutely nothing accomplished in the span of a week. I didn’t write a blog post. I didn’t mop the floors. I didn’t choreograph for Zumba. I didn’t work on my Zazzle store. I didn’t earn cash back from receipts on Ibotta. I didn’t interview any sources. And I didn’t run the dishwasher. I didn’t even touch my computer once last week.
I did absolutely nothing. It wasn’t by choice though. It was because I got sick, which was strange because I hardly ever get sick. But on this particular week I got hit hard… with a 103 degree fever. No sneezing. No coughing. And no runny nose. Just a high fever which rendered me motionless. I was fatigued and so weak that I couldn’t even get out of the shower on my own. So instead of mustering up energy to do anything, I remained practically lifeless in the bed all week as a sick puppy and did nothing.
For some people, the chance to just sit in bed all day and sleep would have been heaven, but for me it was torture. I pride myself in being able to the woman who can do it all – work, volunteer, keep the house in order, and keep her husband happy. Not being able to do anything but “relax” was like my worst nightmare come true.
Rather than relax, which I should have done to recupperate, all I did was think, worry, and beat myself up. I wasn’t mad at myself for getting sick. I was mad at myself for not being able to do anything at all. Not only did it mean that all of my work would be left undone, it meant that I was not superwoman. It meant I couldn’t do it all.
For years, I watched in admiration of my mother as she somehow managed to go to work, cook dinner, help me with my homework and keep the home in order all while dealing with a cold. I strived to be that person. I thought it was possible for me to become that person. Last week, proved otherwise. All it proved was that I’m incapable of managing and keeping it all together when it’s just my husband and I. There’s no way I can keep it together once I finally bring kids into the picture.
As I stayed in bed for that week I realized that after years of studying and practicing I was not that superwoman. Even worse, I was afraid of what mess I would find myself in once my fever subsided and I was able to resume my duties again. I foresaw the bills getting unpaid, writing clients dropping me, food going bad, a starving husband, and Zumba students disappearing. I painted a picture of the home caving in without my control.
What would my husband think once he realized everything that didn’t get done? Or worse, what would my mother or other women think? I felt like I was a complete disgrace to women everywhere. Could you blame me? Everyday we are bombarded with television shows, magazine articles, and society stereotypes of the woman who could carry the world on her back no matter what was crumbling around her. And all those memes stating, “You have the same amount of hours in the day of Beyonce,” only added fuel to the fire. It doesn’t exactly help when it seems as though your own mother could do no wrong when it came to keeping house.
Meanwhile, I was sick in bed preparing to walk into World War III once my fever subsided. However, the unthinkable happened. I walked out of my bedroom for the first time in days to find that the home hadn’t caved in. My husband hadn’t starved (though he did manage to eat nothing but junk) and all my clients graciously understood that I was under the weather. My husband even did his best to help out with cleaning. (Although, I must admit it took me a few deep breathes to relax once I realized he completely went against my kitchen organization.) I had no idea how I would handle the new placement of kitchen utensils, storage containers and produce, but I took it all in stride.
I didn’t know it then, but that random fever turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me. Not because being stuck in bed was a dream come true, but because I was forced to give up control for a bit. (Anyone knows me understands how difficult that is for me) Sure the kitchen wasn’t organized the way I preferred, the paid bills weren’t logged in our planner, emails weren’t responded to immediately, and my husband didn’t eat that well, but life went on. I may not be superwoman, but I don’t need to be because the people around me are still able to manage on their own.
Sometimes taking a breathe, removing the pressure and trusting those around you turns out to be the best thing wannabe superwomen could do. So from this day forward I vow to quite trying to be superwoman and admit that losing control is sometimes the best way to keep control of my life. You’d surprised what people are capable of doing once you give up control and allow others to take over.
I can’t do it all. I’m not superwoman. I’m not Beyonce. I may not even be my mother, but that doesn’t take away from the woman that I am and capable of becoming. I’m not superwoman, but I certainly am super!
Do you try to be superwoman? Have you succeeded in doing it all or do you try to give up control sometimes?
TERRIfic Quip: You can do anything. You can’t do everything.