Bye, bye Superwoman

I had the opportunity to be a speaker at my church’s women’s conference last weekend.  While I was there I heard an amazing presentation by an even more amazing woman named Erin Brown  (ww.erinbrownconnects.org).  Her topic really slapped me in the face.  It was “I’m Not Your Superwoman.”  Can you say “Wow!”

Her presentation talked about the pressure that we put on ourselves as women to be everything to everybody.  Hearing her presentation made me reflect on my recent decision to be a stay-at-home mom.  For years I’ve been a “superwoman” juggling career, community involvement, church obligations and family.  This year the juggling act became overwhelming.  I knew that I was getting out of control when I found myself working at home ALL the time.  My 5 year old daughter began complaining that I was always in a meeting.  My husband and I were ships in the night passing on the way to our next work meetings.  I felt out of whack and unhappy.  And we all know the saying “When mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!”

It was hard tearing myself away from a career that spanned over 15 years of nonprofit management.  But for me it was the right choice.  I’ve made a personal decision to put my family first, and for me that means staying at home, doing part-time consulting and managing the family full-time.  It’s not a decision for every working mama, but it works for me in this season of my life.  It gives me time to really be there for my family, pursue goals that I’d put on the shelf and forgotten, and most importantly take time for me.  I’m a firm believer that we women are amazingly strong.  We’re stronger than we know — but we all have our limits.  The reality is that Superwoman is a burnt-out, overloaded, crazy woman who rarely puts her needs first.

Ladies, the superwoman myth is just that – a myth.  We CAN do it all, but just not at the same time.  It’s time that we start reprioritizing and making decisions that work for us.  Forget the world’s expectations.  Life is short and at the end we all want to look back and know that we spent our time where it counts.  For me reprioritizing meant being a stay-at-home mom.  For you it may mean letting go of activities that waste your time.  Or it could mean abandoning your career to pursue your true dreams.  Or maybe it just means reserving a weekend every month just for you.  Whatever it means, it’s time to put what’s important to YOU first.

So are you ready to burn the S on your chest and replace it with what really matters?