I'll be honest when I first heard the words "superwoman complex" I didn't know what the hell people were talking about. I've been hearing so much of it lately that I got curious. I have always heard women refer to themselves as "superwomen" in a positive light, so I was a little bit surprised with my findings.
According to The Odyssey.com "the superwoman complex is the idea that we can do anything and be everything all at the same time." Sounds good right? Why can't we? I literally say this when I'm questioned why I'm always trying to do so much when I have 4 kids. My response is always why not? Why can't I be a blogger, a stylist, a wife, a mom, take some classes, volunteer, make it to the football games, and track meets, brunch on the Sunday. Why can't I do all these things 100%? The reality is sure I can try but something will be neglected and & that's me! I am living proof of this right now, and I'm sure a lot of moms reading this can relate. My goal everyday is to be productive, take care of my family, and thank god, but what about taking care of me? I always seem to fall on the backslide, I'm not talking about a facial, mani, or pedi. I'm talking about really taking care of my mental and physical health.
A constant battle in my household is me with myself, yes you read that right, it's literally me with myself constantly beating myself up about what I didn't get done, what I didn't make it to, what I don't have enough time for. My husband tells me verbatim at least once a week to stop kicking my own ass. Today I finally took the initiative to take care of myself with a medical and dental check up that was beyond due. I got to thinking though where does this complex stem from? As I read further I learned that it is one many black women share and it contributes to our high stress levels. Stress, and obesity affect more black women in America than any other race. It is our role as the caregiver that for a long as history dates back has made us feel guilty for taking the time to take care of ourselves. We feel obligated to fix the crisis, open our homes, feed those who are hungry. Growing up being raised in a black family I watched my grandmother take care of everyone, her children, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, even other peoples kids. I seen her sacrifice her meal for other people. I watched her run her household everyday and take care of my grandfather who eventually became a double amputee until his death. All the while I never knew how much she was neglecting herself, I never seen her go to the doctor for her appointment, or really even take time to relax. Some people believe this complex also results from a lack of a male presence in the home, and in some ways I would agree. My mother was a hardworking single mom during the early years of my life. I remember her working 2 sometimes 3 jobs. I can see now that by not having the proper support from my father my mother felt obligated to fill in and it caused her a great deal of stress that led to other problems.
Watching my mother and grandmother take lead in our family I naturally always felt like I had to be a woman that could do it all. During my first marriage I basically was and when I became a single mother I took on this role wholeheartedly determined to never slack as a parent or at anything. I had built up a wall and was cautious to ask anyone other than my family for any type of advice and help. Growing up without my father in the home and then having my sons father not in the picture I would definitely say these were contributing factors to the development of my complex but I also feel like other elements contributed as well. Unfortunately in our society and our culture no matter how much we talk about loving and supporting other women we judge each other to the max. We are all guilty of judging another women's lifestyle choices, clothing, makeup, hair, man, etc...Shaming each other and forcing us to compete with one another, again taking on the attitude that we can do it all and we'll show you. When I remarried and started having more children trying to be superwoman caused me more stress than ever and if I'm being truly transparent sometimes it still does . I felt so judged by women around me for being an at-home mom that I would stress myself out trying to work or be an entrepreneur. I felt like I could do it all. I went to school while I was pregnant, I started businesses that were not the best moves but great learning experiences and I took on jobs I didn't need. My mom guilt would kill me because I would be at work all day, missing time with my kids when I knew I didn't have to be at that time. As i've gotten older and gained more confidence in myself and who I am the judgement from others is no longer an issue but I still have a tendency to take on too much, and beat myself up a bit but you know we're all a work in progress.
Trying to be superwoman is not only unhealthy its unrealistic. The reading I did on this topic was really eye opening and I hope maybe this will be for whoever may be reading this and is trying to run the whole damn show. I feel you, its really hard to depend on others for help I'm still struggling now. Its not worth jeopardizing our health. Plus I hate being apart of a statistic, although the science is informative and there's things to be learned I hate the whole "black women have higher chances of blah blah blah" let's not be a statistic I'm gonna work on it too. Love you guys thanks for reading.
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Pants: Cotton On