For women, there is this push to have it all. Perfect career, the perfect relationship, perfect family, perfect house, perfect body, perfect face, perfect wardrobe. We strive and strive to make our life look picture of the perfect woman but for many, the reality is vastly different.
We are so busy taking care of everybody else that we have forgotten about taking care of us.
Increasingly, we are wired yet tired relying on stimulants such as coffee to amp us up and wine to wind us down. Our stress levels are through the roof, our food habits dysfunctional and balanced hormones left the building long ago. Sleep is like some kind of mysterious luxury item and the only moving of our bodies involves rushing endlessly from one appointment or activity to another. Workouts or restorative exercise…. “pfff! what are they!?!”
How do I know this?
Because I was that woman. Tying myself in knots to present the perfect image of a doting wife, mother and career woman. The result.… the most despondent period of my life to date. Depression, weight gain, isolation, a failing marriage, children I felt unqualified for and a career with zero fulfillment. But like many women, I suffered in silence. If I could just make it all ‘look good’ on the outside, somehow it would magically feel better on the inside. Newsflash didn’t work. Food became my friend and with each passing day, I fell further into depression and further out of my clothes. At the ripe old age of 34, sitting in sweats watching daytime TV, I came to the conclusion that the best of my pretty average life thus far was officially over.
What was happening? Why had no one told me that in signing on for all this grown-up woman stuff I was effectively handing over my life? What was supposed to be this magical period in my life felt more like a nightmare than a fairytale? I was upset and angry at my fellow womankind.
The world for women has changed dramatically over the past few generations. One hundred years ago, a woman’s role was clear. Couple up, have children, care for the children, cook meals, tend to the house. Today however life is very different from many women having responsibilities outside the home. Yet we still hold these traditional roles, along with the ideal we should be able to do it all perfectly. If not every area of our life looks like a magazine shoot, we have somehow failed as a woman.
We are sacrificing ourselves in the pursuit of some unattainable goal. And this all or nothing mentality we have adopted is quite literally making us sick and miserable. Depression, exhaustion, uninspiring jobs, failing relationships, expanding waistlines, poor self-image. These are all too common occurrences for the modern woman.
How do we change this?
In a world that continues to push us to do, be and achieve more, I challenge you to find a new perspective. Give yourself the permission to slow down. To accept ok and set some boundaries in your life. Reconnect with what you want to be doing rather than just what you should be doing.
The journey from perfect to perfectly imperfect can be grueling at times as we are confronted with parts of ourselves we’d rather leave buried. But we are exchanging life for everything we do, so investing it wisely, in the things that truly matter, should be given more than just a passing consideration. The world won’t fall apart if you go to bed with dishes in the sink and some time outdoors or on a yoga mat can be as beneficial for your health as a high-intensity workout.
The asking price of perfection is dangerously high. And the cost is not just borne by us, but our friends, loved ones and society as a whole as we continue to perpetuate this mythical ideal for women.
It’s time to leave the expectations behind and remove guilt and shame from your vocabulary. Life is not a race or a competition and no matter how green it looks, no one’s grass is perfect so stop with the comparisons.
You and your life are more than enough just as they are!