Super Woman – the Working Mom Syndrome
Everyone wants to be the best. We strive to be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, career woman and friend. Let’s be real, we can’t be everything to everyone at the same time. It’s impossible, but we continuously push ourselves.
Hello, my name is Carrice and I’m Super Woman. From 2007 to 2010, I worked two jobs, not getting home until 12 am every night, 5 days a week. I even volunteered to work some weekends. If I wasn’t working, I was cleaning something, cooking something, combing hair, trying to give the girls some resemblance of “normal” family time and I almost forgot… I volunteered with Hospice during my lunch breaks about twice a week.
Forget Shaun T’s Insanity… I was insanity!
Now fast forward to 2013, I’ve just returned to work from Maternity Leave. During my first week back, I scheduled an appointment with my 2nd Vice President. I was the ultimate career woman, Ms. Nine to Five! Meeting was flowing, but that wasn’t the only thing flowing. All of the sudden, my VP started to agree with everything I said.
VP: “Well Carrice just get it together and bring the proposal back to me.”
Me: “OK, great I also wanted to look at …”
VP: OK, yes sounds good. Just write it up and give it back to me next week.”
I thought this as strange because he never just agrees without having all the details. So any who, I did my George Jefferson strut back to my desk. I was making moves! As I logged back on to my computer, I felt something wet. I looked down and I had the two biggest circles on my white satin blouse!!! I looked like I had been milked, literally!!! I may have thought I was made of steel, but my maternity breast pads were NOT!!! Poor man, he didn’t know what to do. I’m busy being Super career woman, but I forgot to change my breast pads or pump ALL Day! Super Woman had milky “S” on her chest.
Right then and there. I burst into laughter! The open mouth, slapping thigh, snorting, crying laughter. I realized I was not super human – I was human.
Some days I didn’t know if I was coming or going, I was always doing, never being.
Now 2015, I’m working to bring more balance into my life. To help myself combat against the Super Woman Syndrome:
I invest in myself – What are your talents? What can you do with ease, which may not be so easy for others? When I found my talent, I began to cultivate that talent. Later, I promoted my talents to others and started to market my talents and eventually my talents started bring in extra revenue for my family. When you work in your purpose, work doesn’t feel like “work” anymore. You’re just living in your purpose and contributing to enhance this human experience for yourself and others.
I learned to say “NO”! – I do not volunteer for every PTA committee, every bake sale or field trip. This may be hard for some of us because, we don’t want to be that mother that all the other parents talk about. “I never see her, she never helps with anything.” But look at it this way… how many dishes have they washed in your household, how many meals have they cooked for your family, how many loads of clothes have they washed, how any school projects have they helped your child with, have they stayed up all night while you get a PowerPoint presentation or project together for work? If the answer is ZERO, then their opinion of you means just that much, ZERO!! Don’t feel bad. If you have the time, sure do what you can, but if you don’t have the time nor desire; just say no and you can even say it with a smile, if you like.
I work smarter not harder – I’m so glad I have two older children now. I now delegate some of the house chores to them. When they were smaller I did everything, but now I’ve taught them how to do some things for themselves. I’ve even taught them how to cook some simple meals. I do the same at work. I stop volunteering for every project. If the project is not in my realm of expertise and there will be no professional benefit to me, I let my peers take the lead.
I learned how to chill out! –Now I take time for myself. I bought a home with a garden tub and I was so busy and didn’t have the time to take a bath. I took my first bath in my new tub last year for the first time, after living in my house a year. That was ridiculous! I’m learning to stop doing and just be. I enjoy just looking out a window. Sounds funny, but do it. Sit down and just be.
At the end of the day find your balance. Balance between work and play, family and personal time and sometimes even chaos and peace. We put too much pressure on ourselves to be super women. I have never seen Super Woman driving children to soccer practice, dropping her 2-year old at day care, nor have I seen her with a laptop. So Super Woman isn’t real, she doesn’t exist.
Hello my name is Carrice and I’m a real woman.
Carrice Quinnie is native of Columbus, Ga. She is a divorced, single-mother of three girls, ages 13, 11 and 2. Through college, marriage, motherhood, divorce and single-parenting Carrice has learned valuable, maturing life lessons. Increasing in her own self-awareness, Carrice hopes her words will bring enlightenment and healing to women and their families.