Thursday, 8 March 2012

Laying aside the mantle of a 'superwoman'

When the word 'super' is prefixed to any word, the word assumes a greater importance. For example, the word, 'woman' is nothing special but the word, 'superwoman' makes a great deal of difference. Doesn't it? Even words like 'superspeciality,' 'supermom' and the like take on a completely different meaning. And, if one could stress that 'super' in 'superwoman,' nothing like that!

Well, two days ago, I was quite tired of my role as a 'superwoman' that I decided to take a break. Ask me how? I am now the proud mistress of a domestic help. I give instructions and she carefully follows them. I cannot tell you how empowered I feel by having someone to do my work. To hell with the superwoman, I said and employed a help. So the title of 'superwoman' is at rest.

A few months ago, I was frantically searching for someone who could help me out with the quotidian chores of our home. I could not find any. Our neighbours, who are very kind and considerate suggested that doing house-work would actually help me to work out a little. A wonderful suggestion. And, in any case I had to lose weight so why not try two mangoes with one stone: housework done and weight gone. Hence, grudgingly I became a superwoman!!! I worked at home and also outside home. I must confess that I enjoyed the attention and warm smiles of acknowledgement when people asked me: Do you have someone to help you at home? And when I replied, 'No,' I could sense people thinking, "Wow! She does not look like the working types. She wears lispstick and dresses up well. She actually washes dishes and clothes at home!!!?!?!?" I was a superwoman multitasking various jobs and actually performing them well.

I didn't much enjoy being a superwoman



Ah, I don't need to work out by washing, cleaning and moping. I enjoy cooking and will be happy to do only that. The role of a 'superwoman' lost its charm on me. I employed a lovely woman to assist me and now the title is gone, the work is gone and I am just a woman who enjoys her work, loves to cook (experiment as well) and give instructions to M (the woman who helps me).

Sometimes being a 'normal' woman is what matters. The prefix 'super' is not sought by me to validate my status quo.

Well, are you a superwoman at work or just a woman who enjoys her cuppa tea and idleness. If you are a man, what does 'superwoman' mean to you?

Image: Internet

41 comments:

  1. Good idea, Susan. I wonder why we even try...I did and gave up pretty soon too. I'm human and I love it!

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    1. I know, Corinne. But the label is quite alluring.

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  2. The women in my life are all superwomen, cuz it takes "super" to put up with me! :)) Happy Women's Day, Mrs. Sus!

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  3. Old times (my times!) women took care of running the home, raising the children (mostly), gathering the eggs and feeding the chickens. MEN went to work. When men came home, they sat in the cushion, drank some beer, and did very little untilwork the next day.

    Then cam WWII. Women went to work. They stayed at work, liking the money. However, when THEY came home, it was cook, sew, clean, raise children, wash, etc., etc.

    So almost all the women I remember are/were Super Women. Still today, I marvel at the dedication, stamina, and perseverance of modern women, to do so much work, and still look like the "magazine" cover photo!

    Thanks Susan Deborah. This post gave me a chance to honor women everywhere.
    Blessings, Love, PEACE! And I wish you a continuance of these interesting and thought-provoking blog posts!

    AWWW, my friend...you still have word verification enabled. Pffft! What a drag!

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    1. Quite true, Steve. Women everywhere have to mannage work and home, which becomes quite tiring..

      I thought word-verification was gone. I really don't know how to deactivate the same :(

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  4. Now that I'm not working outside the home, I wonder how I ever accomplished the things I did. I do know that between my job and chores, there was no time for writing - ever!
    So glad NOT to be "super" and to finally just be me.
    Blessings!

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    1. I know Martha. Even though i have just began my family life, I find it extremely tiresome to manage my time doing all work at home as well as the University.

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  5. I like to have some time for myself and so had the help from the start...you can add 'lazy' to it too. Now, that I am physically disabled for some more time, I have even hired a cook...and am totally loving this freedom. I am feeling like a 'superwoman' in a different way...I am more charged.

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    1. The liberation brought about by some free time is just amazing, Janu.
      Do get well soon and be fine :)
      Lots of love.

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  6. ah i understand this completely...i def dont want the hero mantle...does nothing for me

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    1. Does nothing for me as well except some vain pleasing.

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  7. I love love love that you finally hired some help! There are no medals being given out for killing yourself with housework, besides, there are so many more interesting things to be doing. Well done Susan!
    Some day I'll hire me some help but until then I'll continue to be a lazy superwoman;)

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    1. Even if somebody is giving out a medal, I wouldn't care less. Maybe if someone offers me huge money, I would consider :) But who would?!?!?

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  8. well.. I'm an authentic woman and because of that I can say I'm not a superwoman at all. Somedays, I love dishes, somedays I hate them. Some days are overwhelming and some days are easy.. on the days that I find hard, I never slip on the superwoman title because I would find it excrutiating to be what I am not. Good for you for hanging up the title and doing what works for you!

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    1. Yes, we should have the freedom to do things at our pace but certain times inspite of not having the will, one is forced to keep the house clean.

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    2. then I'm definitely not a superwoman lol there are days nothing forces me to keep the house clean ;) i honour my spirit and my soul first and if the house gets cleaned one or two days later then so be it :) there is such freedom in letting go of " shoulds". xo

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  9. i also wonder if the expectations we have of ourselves are the ones that are the most difficult to manage - i keep telling myself i am an ordinary person with things that i can and cannot do :)

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    1. Sometimes we do have higher standards for ourselves. I guess they must go.

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  10. Well, at this point in my life I HAVE to be superwoman! I've got two kids to raise, a business to run, and elderly parents to care for.

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    1. Don't you have anyone to help you, Angie. It must be quite tough to manage everything by yourself.

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  11. I enjoyed this post Susan Deborah! It sounds to me like you have being a superwoman down pat anyway my friend. :) There is absolutely no shame in having someone help you out when we need it or even just to lighten the load. I think you made a great choice.

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    1. Thanks Colleen. Good to see you after a long time. But sometimes we set such high standards for ourselves that we cannot live by them. Somewhere we have to draw a line.

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  12. I have never really fit those household chores into my schedule very easily and I count the days until I can hire someone to do it for me. My house will actually be clean! LOL. :)

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    1. I wish you stayed close by. My help would've definitely agreed to help in your house as well. Pity you are thousand miles away.

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  13. You have James Bond's boss working for you?

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  14. I am definitely NOT a superwoman. I am in a total awe of some women that can handle a family life and a carrier in the most efficient way. I am a very laid back person, a philosopher and a dreamer. I need time to relax and do absolutely nothing. I have my talents, but the word super is not the one to be used on me, and I really do not mind.
    Have a great weekend dear Susan and i sure envy you that domestic help, sure could use one right now.;))
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks Zuzana. Some women seem to manage it all but they too get tired and stressed out. Our mothers managed everything well but they didn't work outside home!

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  15. superwoman - super others were COMIC books to be used for fun reading for kids ..:)

    Cant answer your last question , I am not a woman :)

    and Normal is good , it is very good its when we try to be something else that things go wrong .. NORMAL is lovely

    Bikram's

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    1. Ha Ha. The actual term 'superwoman' is the one used by comic books. Funny how we cheat ourselves to think that we are characters out of a comic book!

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  16. If I tried to be a superman, I would have to wear my underwear over my pants. Just the thought of it makes me sweat. I have made peace with mediocrity. The word 'average' is madly in love with me.

    It is important that we men realize that typical housework is very difficult with office work. And ever since women have joined the workplace, they are under even more pressure than their home-maker counterparts. A slave to boss-at-office and a slave to boss-at-home. A help(whether called M or N) would be a great help.

    So the memsahib will now have more creative time at hand, and M's antics would, I guess, become a stock theme of her future posts. ;)

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    1. Wow! Suraj! I like the way you have spoken for your gender. M's antics are very few and I like it that way. As of now, she is quite regular but don't know what the days ahead hold for us (M and I).

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  17. Lucky you to be able to accept help!
    There are women who are perfectionists, and no domestic help is good enough for them.

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    1. I somehow try to make her understand my levels of expectation. She seems fine, so far.

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  18. i am very happy being a normal woman. but my spirits are always high like a super woman. working out and playing my role inside as a wife and as a mother gives me a feeling of a SUPERWOMAN. keeping space for myself, my passion, my interests give me my freedom to choose who i am, what i am.

    lovely post Susan. enjoyed reading it:)

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    1. Welcome Fantasy in Practicality:

      Welcome here and thanks for your comment. Inspite of having a help, I seem to have less time but I defintely feel more relaxed and less hassled.

      Thanks for coming by and taking time for writing a comment.

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  19. My Mom is indeed a Superwoman. But I am and I like to be a normal person, with a pinch of laziness :-)

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    1. All moms are mostly like that and since we grow up seeing them, we secretly aspire to be like them. Only when we grow up, we start thinking and then take our own decisions.

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  20. Susan,

    It seemed superwoman was very trendy for awhile but then, much as your post suggests, there was a backlash to this concept. Nobody - man, woman or child - can do it all.

    Everytime I see those Kelly Ripa commercials where the tag line is "be even more amazing" I wonder, is that superwoman motif still appealing to anyone?

    We are not defined by how many things we are able to do or accomplish, at least not in the routine chore area. Better to hire someone to clean the house and free up time to change the world or spend more time with those you love in a more meaningful way. In fact, some would say those two are the same thing.

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    1. David, sometimes the media never tires of rehashing old concepts like the present one. Well-said, David. We are not defined by how many things we accomplish but we should be assessed by the smartness which we use to accomplish things. Yes, as you have rightly mentioned for some both are the same but not for me.

      Thanks for stopping by here.

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