Most women I know struggle with this Superwoman complex. You know the one. We think that we can handle literally everything–children, laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, homework, volunteering, being a perfect friend, excellent lover–everything. We set out in the beginning of the day to accomplish all this only to end up overwhelmed, exhausted, and disappointed because we didn’t make a dent in what we set out to accomplish. Here’s the thing–Rome wasn’t built in a day so we can’t save the world in one. I mean, God even took 7 days to create the world! And if you’re more of a scientific person, the world STILL took more than a day to get where we are now.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people need each other and the relationships in order to achieve the ultimate goal of self-actualization–our full potential. So if in our definition of functioning at our highest potential includes accomplishing all of the things above, we need others. So how do we make this happen?
Here are a couple ways:
1. Put yourself first. I was sitting in church on Mother’s Day when they asked what made a great mother. A friend stood up and said, “Putting my children before myself…” and I cringed a little. If you are constantly putting everyone else before yourself, chances are you aren’t being taken care of. I know that I require a certain amount of alone time to recenter myself, think about the things that need to be thought about, plan out my days, etc. and without it, I become a little ornery. Some friends and I meet up quarterly at a spa for an evening of nothing but rest and relaxation. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we sleep, we laugh, but it’s about us. We all leave rejuvenated and ready to shine in our roles as mothers and wives. If your well is dried up, how can you provide water to your community? Family? You can’t. Put yourself before other people so your well can be filled.
2. Ask for help when needed. This is one of my biggest struggles but shouldn’t be because I’m married. As a mother of two my energy is limited. I try to fit a lot in my days–work, working out, cooking, cleaning, running errands. Most days, I don’t have time to get all the cleaning that I need to get done. My oldest who is 5 will often jump in to help or I’ll delegate certain tasks to her that I know that she can do. Or I have her occupy the baby while I get some things done. If it’s too much, call in for reinforcements and really ask for what you need. When my husband gets home, I ask for what I need. It took a while to get there but once I was able to really communicate my needs, my feelings of overwhelming dissipated. It’s ok to ask for help–wise even.
3. Hold people accountable. What does this mean right? And is this just another “to-do” on the never-ending “to-do list”? Yes and no. One of the effective tools that help with the keeping the house cleaned is a chore chart. If someone hasn’t completed their task it can affect some of your jobs. Hold them accountable to what they’re supposed to be doing. It may be a headache in the beginning but eventually they will get the point that they need to do what they committed to. This isn’t just for a chore chart, this is for everything. In order to function as a well-oiled machine, all parts have to pull their weight. One person isn’t the machine though, it’s made up of multiple people. Hold the people accountable early on so this doesn’t become another problem to solve.
Is it possible to get all the things completed that you want to? Yes. Can you do it on your own? Sure–but it won’t be without some negative feelings accompanying the ones of accomplishment. The sooner that we understand that we shouldn’t be doing everything on our own, the sooner peace of mind will come.
What are some other tips to help in getting everything accomplished?