As a Gen X woman I was raised to believe I can do anything. As a Gen X woman, I call BS.
I was told I can have a tertiary education, a challenging job with a big salary, a perfect family, a clean house and healthy home cooked meals served daily in my dream home. Did my parents lie to me? How is it that all of this seems so elusive?
Its all true, we can have all of those things. Yet somehow, as Gen X women have taken that to mean we must do all of those things at once.
For many of us, our mothers didn’t have the opportunity of tertiary education. Possibly due to cost, societal or family expectations, or life circumstance that saw parenthood at a younger age. As a generation of women who have been given the opportunity of tertiary education and all the spoils that come with that, is hard not to feel that we should embrace them.
And, when women of my generation choose to work in the home to raise children, there is often a sense of guilt, or that we need to justify how we spend our time. Yet with husbands who spend longer hours at work and who often travel, ‘choice’ is a generous term.
Add to the mix the desire to raise a perfect family. Where children are much more involved in out-of-school activities, where we want them to have the best education so we invest more time and money. Tutoring, private education, after school music, football, basketball, cricket, swimming, gymnastics…oh the list is endless.
Pretty quickly it becomes a matter of who has time to work?
Every generation wants to give their children the same, if not better, experience of childhood than their own; to make the most of the opportunities offered to them; to protect and nurture their children using the resources at their disposal; to live up to the expectations of our society.
It seems this has led to Gen X women striving to be superwomen.
Yet what happens when it all becomes too much? When do we realise being a superwoman is a crock of…
Health, both physical and mental, is compromised. Our time to exercise, de-stress, de-clutter and rejuvenate is limited.
Its time to let go of the superwoman identity. Its just not necessary. Or useful.
Believe in the three Ds…delegate, delete, do.
Supermarket shopping to my husband. Yes, it does mean I have to write a detailed list and then go back to the shops at least once a week, but its one less task that falls to me. I outsource my cleaning so I know my house is clean for at least a couple of hours a fortnight.
in fact, I’m sure my cleaner hates me…the sight of my house ranges from messy to cyclone zone
I delete tasks:
If its not crucial, delete it.
Like ironing. I just don’t do it. I mean come on, I live in active-wear.
Gardening…think synthetic grass, smaller yard or gardener. Kids activities…limit them, kids can have fun without being organised. Its good for them.
I love a good list and ticking things off. It feels like I have accomplished something. I even schedule my time and the night before I set the priorities to be worked on. This helps me stay on task and not get so distracted.
Despite all this, I do definitely fall into the trap of wanting to do everything at once. I get so caught up in the doing that I lose track of why I think I need to do it all. Then I remind myself. I can do it all….
I just don’t have to do everything at once.