I was raised in a generation that told girls we could grow up to be anything we wanted to be. Not only that, we could have it ALL! We could be Super Woman – the perfect mom, with the perfect life and the perfect career. We had the abilities (and the time and energy) to find a great guy, have a dream wedding and marriage and be a perfect wife. Have children who excelled in all they did because we supported them as the perfect mom who volunteered in all their activities, was an active part of the PTO and threw them amazing themed birthday parties while always cooking homemade healthy meals. We could do all this while also being a successful career woman, climbing the corporate ladder and busting out all those glass ceilings.
These are great positive things to share with a young girl who is heading out into the world. I was told I could have it all and I bought into it 100%. And I burned myself out because the reality is they lied to me. The lied to all of us! And now we are all paying the price for believing this lie. Suffering in silence we kill ourselves trying to have it all and faking our perfect lives. We are afraid to speak out because everyone else seems to have it all together and we are the only one failing. There must be something wrong with us and if we just push a bit harder we can do it too. So the cycle begins.
Little do we realize those “perfect” women we are idolizing and to whom we are comparing ourselves are crying themselves to sleep each night. They believe THEY are the only failures and that we are the ones who are living this life successfully. There is one thing we have all become extremely successful at though – putting on the perfect facade and refusing to admit the reality of our situation. We have perfected the art of refusing to speak out because of our fear of failure in the eyes of others and in our own eyes.
I have decided to stop this cycle – at least in my life. I am breaking the silence and embracing my failure gladly with wide open arms! And what a relief it has been – a huge weight off my shoulders since I’ve made this decision. I for one am tired of killing myself to buy into the lie. I’m tired of suffering in silence because I fear failure.
So, if you come over to my house you WILL find dog and cat hair on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink and dust on the bookshelves. And please do NOT look up at the ceiling fan blades! My kids eat cereal for dinner on Fridays and we rarely sit down and eat our meals together at the table as a family other than holidays. I would love to have a spotless house and family dinners every night. However, the reality is…I am NOT a Super Mommy. Nor am I a Super Wife, a Super Career Woman or a Super Woman in any way. And I’m learning to be okay with that. My sanity, my happiness and the sanity and happiness of my family is infinitely more important to me than the illusion of having a perfect life. It has taken me a long time to get to this point and I find I still fall back into old habits. But my goal now is to be authentic and vulnerable, no matter how hard that may be. That is where true happiness will be found.