Are we really superwomen?

Are we really superwomen? Can we really do it all? Whether being the expectations that we put on ourselves, the society or our family and friends, it seems that the pressure to handle it all is enormous. A picture of a successful enviable superwoman is painted somewhat like this: she has the most fabulous high-flying career, George Clooney lookalike husband, perfect kids and a spotless heaven for a home. Can we really juggle it all  with no consequences? 

Growing up with four siblings, I felt so proud that I was the big sister. The need to act like one never ceased. I especially took pride in caring for my baby sister. I insisted on feeding her, changing her diapers and did many other things to her which I shouldn’t have had, for example, braiding her tiny little baby head, oh the horror! As a seven year old myself, sometimes I treated her like my very own Barbie. My womanly assumed duties didn’t stop there, I also attempted household chores like ironing and cooking. As expected, at age 8 I wasn’t skilled at all. Ironing did not last long, I burnt myself straight away and we haven’t been best friends ever since. I still bear the scar. But my father’s compliments about my rubbish ommelette will live on forever. He ate every last bit. I hope he is still smiling about it up in heaven.

Moving on to adulthood, in society there is a call for education, burry oneself in a respectable career, marry Mr Right and produce many beautiful progenies. Sorry, I missed out the part about paying off the student loan, borrow yet more money to buy a house and start to ‘keep up with the Joneses’.

So can we do it all?

The old saying that ‘a dog can not serve two masters’ resonates well with my core beliefs. The New Testament also reminds us that a man can not serve two masters. We simply can’t give everything 100% attention.

Of course responsibilities are always there. So how do you balance? Top career or family? Or both? In this day and age, us women want to have equal rights as men. We also want to have good education, enter employment and have the same professional recognition as men, including salary. I was super proud of my engineer female friend who discovered by accident (as you do when having those coffee table conversations) that a male colleague, who was not as capable as her, was being paid considerably more than her. My friend presented her evidence to her boss, who had no excuse but to augment her salary. Whilst all seem possible nowadays, the path for us women seems to be not without a fight.

The ticking clock..

As the career is doing well, unfortunately for us women other things are also moving but in the other direction. Like it or not, (I don’t) we have a fertility window that does not wait for us as we are struggling to battle the guys to reach the top of our careers. Like many women of my generation, I also invested in my career and also had a few share of trial and error in relationships and therefore, I ended up in the ‘late queue’. As always though, I’m staying positive and ready to face the challenge. On that note, us women we lovingly and openly share the  beautiful baby stories. However, we keep all the struggles and tears well hidden behind closed doors. Medical evidence shows that the risks of miscarriage are sky high with an advanced age. It’s not a walk in the park neither when the baby comes and it needs 24/7 attention. How about sharing the tough stories for a change? For me personally, it is very comforting to know that ‘I am not alone’.

Let’s balance

With everything that deserves our attention; family, friends, pets, sickness, work and the rest, how do we cope? Are we really super women? When do we draw the line? Where do we say I can’t handle it all? I certainly do not mean we should throw in the towel. Perhaps this should be the time where we ought to step back, re-evaluate our situations and decide what is important. What deserves top priority. That’s precicely my story of how I ended up in France today. I think in life we can’t live in fear of what if. Sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith and live our choices.

I personally believe that we can learn from our idols but it’s crucial not to compare. I also think it’s important to ask for help, to confide in someone, a partner, a trusted friend, et cetera. A problem shared is a problem halved. Don’t you think so? How has your womanhood journey been like? I wish you all the joy in the world in embracing it.

PS: About the cover photo. Thanks to Stephanie, my wedding photographer for capturing the beautiful Laura. I think Laura did a great job balancing the load : ) 

 

6 comments

  1. The society pressures us that we can do everything at the same time, but in fact we really “can’t have it all.” I think knowing our capabilities and self-worth should be enough reason to celebrate our own self.

  2. My dearest, You always make me think deeply about what you write 🙂 how powerful are your words!!!
    I believe that of course we can’t have it all but it doesn’t mean we’re not superwomen anyway 🙂 i mean, who could do it so weel as we do and with so many things going on at same time in our lives?!
    I try to keep everything balanced but most of the time it’s me that has to let go some personal pleasures ( as running, as blogging, as reading your blog…) to keep it all together. I think that we , as mums or women in general, are less selfish as we should be sometimes…
    I have so much to think about this subject my dear Marie!!!!!!!!! you’re so inspiring, I think i will make a post about my point of view and my personnal experience.
    I keep saying to you how wonderful you are, but i just can’t help it!!! You’re really special.
    Sending you a big hug,

    Isabel

  3. Hi Marie,

    I ponder these questions all the time. I think one of the problems is that women are made to feel that we should want it all – with “it all” being something like: a demanding career, children, a beauty/fashion/fitness regime, a gaggle of girlfriends, and hobbies. Maybe we shouldn’t actually want to have “it all” after all? Perhaps life would be happier if we were a little less busy?!

    It’s all about striking that balance between living our best life (being motivated and energetic and adventurous) without putting so much pressure on ourselves that we suck the joy out of life (and the process).

    I have lots of goals and ambitions, and I used to get really stressed out about not achieving things quickly enough. I’m trying to now focus on the fact that there is a lot of life ahead of me, and that I don’t need to achieve everything before I’m a certain age. Managing your expectations of yourself is an ongoing mission… I guess it’s central to living with self-awareness.

    I agree wth you about sharing the struggles too. I think women all over the world would feel better to hear and understand other women’s struggles more – be it career, pregnancy, marriage, body image.

    Our social media identities are so often the best versions of ourselves, and I think we sometimes give the impression of a “perfect” life, when really there is so much more going on behind the scenes. It’s a tricky one – we want to share happiness and beauty, but maybe we need to share a bit more somehow?

    Lots of good food for thought in your post. Thanks for sharing. x x

    1. Oh Belle, your comments are exactly how I feel. I couldn’t agree more with self expectations and trying to achieve ‘x’ amount of things by certain age. You mentioned about social media facade and body image issues, I couldn’t agree more.I was afraid that this post might read like a book if I went down that road!
      As you put it, we just suck the joy out of life.
      Let’s learn to appreciate the now, simple joys and share our struggles.
      Thank you so much for sharing Belle xx

    2. Hello my dear Isabel, you are always so kind to me, I really appreciate your praises and encouraging words. It gives me the utmost pleasure to engage with like minded people, and for that I thank you. Obrigada 🙂 x
      And I agree with you completely in that respect that we do a lot to balance our families, home, career etc. I can’t wait for your post about your experience. I can tell already that there is a lot of balancing for you, especially with the T’s, job, hubby and your blog.
      I wish you a good start into the week. Bisous xx

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