“You look tired. You should get more rest.“ It’s funny how clearly I remember these words even though it has been many years since I divorced the man who said them to me. At that moment, he was watching a Lakers game while sprawled out on the coach with the remote in his hand. I was vacuuming, cooking, overseeing his son’s homework, and picking up our daughter’s toys. Oh, and the washer and the dryer were running as well. I remember thinking that all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep.
Women say they need time out, and men agree we should take it. Then why does this issue seem to be so complicated?
The answer is very simple: women feel guilty.
We feel guilty when we don’t squeeze every minute of our waking hours into doing something productive. We think we could do more in each day. We want to make homemade meals without help from convenience packages. We want to read articles on better nutrition and exercise more. And, of course, there’s always a house to clean and laundry to do.
An interesting read can be found here about how the Perfect Mother Myth found its way into our culture and how it affects almost all areas of our live, including our marriage, career, and our self-image.
Why do women feel guilty and exactly what do we feel guilty about? In my book, Happy Woman Happy World, I identify our mysterious self-imposed guilt tripping as the Triple Paradox. The three Paradoxes women deal with on a daily basis are: the Success Paradox, the Goal Paradox, and the Superhuman Paradox.
The Superhuman Paradox means that somewhere along the way we bought into the notion that it is not OK to be good at just one or two things. We believe we must be good at EVERYTHING. We feel we are expected to have homes that are perfectly decorated, careers that are on the fast track, relationships that are hot and steamy, and kids who are the smartest in their classes. If that weren’t enough, we want to wear size two, be in the best shape of our lives (even as we get older), and, and, and…
I call this phenomenon the Superhuman Paradox because it’s not possible. You can’t put in long hours at the law firm to make partner AND pick up your children from daycare at 3 p.m. and again from after school care at 5 p.m.
Here are three tips that may help you turn “impossible” into a healthy version of “possible.”
- Take a look at what you are trying to achieve during the course of a day or a week. Is it even possible to do everything with the hours you have available? Give yourself permission to suck at a few things. It’s okay not to be perfect. Nobody is keeping score.
- Stop being so hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can with what you have. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder. You probably accomplish twice as much on a bad day as many people do on a good day! Give yourself a break.
- Schedule ‘me’ time as vigorously and with as much detail as you plan gatherings, parties, and appointments. Put yourself on your family calendar. You are the oil of your family engine— nothing functions if you break down. Honor that because you matter.
It is easy to focus on what we haven’t done. Instead, let’s appreciate how much we actually do achieve. Please be kind to yourself and give your inner woman a much needed break. And make time to get some rest while you’re at it. You deserve it!
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.