Updated: May 30, 2019
Superwoman comes with so many expectations. Just let me be boring, plain and simple!
I know the title makes you clutch your imaginary pearls and grasp with a shallow breath. And it’s okay, I get it.
Let me start by saying that I am very supportive and appreciative of what Superwoman stands for. The character depicts a woman with immeasurable strength, supernatural powers and the ability to juggle a variety of demanding roles with ease. She sets out each day to use her powers to protect the well-being and livelihood of others. I mean with all of that awesomeness going on, who wouldn't want to be Superwoman right???
Well that's easy, ME!
I do not want to be Superwoman, called Superwoman, compared to Superwoman or affiliated with Superwoman. I know you might be thinking well damn, what did Superwoman ever do to you? Well nothing, besides give the impression that women should be able to juggle the worries and issues of the entire world on their shoulders while balancing their own personal lives and smile while doing it all.
I remember growing up watching the tv shows and movies with a woman in a cape fighting off “evil villains” and saving the day. She started off as being a plain Jane but once that suit and cape was put on, “All Hail the sHERO”. Having on that suit and cape meant that Superwoman was ready to go out into the world and face all the things that were thrown her way. Her goal and mission was to make everything right in the world and by the end of each episode or movie, that’s exactly what she achieved.
I will admit, seeing her “win” all the time motivated and inspired me and made me feel as if I could also go out there and grab the world by the balls and rid it of all evil intent as well. I would even run around the house with a sheet or beach towel tied around my neck pretending to be Superwoman, ridding the house of all the little evil villains.
The inspiration was real! But then I grew up.
By the time I became a young adult, I had learned that society had also drawn up the grand idea that as a woman, I am supposed to attach an imaginary cape to my back, and handle all different kinds of ish (motherhood, marriage, career, family matters, homemaking etc.) all at once. And I should be able to balance all of those titles with their responsibilities attached with ease.
Most days I am so busy being the person others need me to be for them that I forget to be the person I need to be for me.
Each day I get up, the first thing I do in the morning is put on my imaginary cape. Once that cape is on, it’s go time. I get the kids ready, lunches ready and get everybody off to their respective places such as school and the daycare. Then I go to work as a therapist and help support and empower others through counseling. At the end of the day, I go home and cook dinner, iron clothes for the next day, and I make sure everyone is fed, cleaned and off to bed at a decent hour. The cape finally comes off shortly thereafter when I can finally lay down for the night. But guess what happens the next day? Yup, you got it - I get to do it all over again.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love being married to my wonderful, handsome husband. I love being Mommy to my two beautiful daughters. I love being a dependable and supportive sibling, daughter, relative and friend. I love being an enlightened, supportive mental health therapist. But you know what else I love, I love me.
Most days I am so busy being the person others need me to be for them that I forget to be the person I need to be for me. My personal goals at times are pushed aside and once I have dealt with everyone else’s mess, there is no energy left for me to deal with my own. This causes me to become burnt out and by that time, I can’t be a sHERO to anybody.
So you see, trying to live up to the expectation and depiction of being a strong, dependable woman who can balance it all like Superwoman on daily basis is tiresome and at times overwhelming. And I know some of you may say, “well you know you don’t have to do all of that”, “nobody is forcing you to do that” and blah blah blah. But guess what, Superwoman and all the responsibilities and expectations attached to that title says otherwise.
I want to be a super woman. A woman with strength and the ability to support, assist and empower others when needed. I want to be able to rid the world of some of the evil things that I see as well. But I don’t want to do it all the time, every day, all day. I want to be able to take the cape off, shove it in the corner of the closet and just be a plain Jane some of the time. And I don’t want to be criticized, shunned, labeled or made to feel guilty if I choose to take the cape off, be selfish by investing some time in myself and leave everyone else to tend to their own mess.
Superwoman is great, awesome and is a very empowering figure that little girls should have as a sHERO (outside of their mothers) that they can look up to and be inspired by. But I’m going to need some reality mixed up into the story that shows that we as women don’t have to spend all of our time being heroes to others.
So if someone asks me now if I would want to be Superwoman, my answer is simple, Nah- I’m good.