As women, how many times a week, or even a day, do we feel like we aren't measuring up to this unattainable standard? We feel less than, not good enough, and like we are constantly disappointing our family, our friends and ourselves. Where does this pressure to be perfect come from and how can we stop it?
Wonder Woman was created in the 1940?s as a comic book heroine who was set for high adventures, excitement and romance. Fast forwarding to 2017, the modern day wonder woman has a high powered career, is a fabulous mother who home cooks healthy, vegan, gluten-free meals grown from her organic garden, keeps a clean house, is extremely fit, practises yoga, is a sexy wife, and looks fabulous. This woman still has to be a fictional character as no woman can manage all of this at once, but yet for many of us, this is the model we aspire to be like. What?s worse is that we beat up on ourselves, and other women, for not being able to attain this standard. This must stop!
As women, how many times a week, or even a day, do we feel like we aren't measuring up to this unattainable standard? We feel less than, not good enough, and like we are constantly disappointing our family, our friends and ourselves. Where does this pressure to be perfect come from and how can we stop it? Social media made it even worse as it has become easier to compare ourselves to the other Wonder Women who are posting about their fantastic lives with fantastic photos too.
The reality is that if you are managing to excel in your career, or motherhood, or fitness, or cooking, you are probably doing better than most. It isn't a competition though and we need to stop competing against each other. We need to be more supportive of one another.
In some ways it seems to me that younger women have much better boundaries and a better understanding that women shouldn't be expected to do all of this. It is often women who are over 45 who I find struggle the most with trying to be all things to all people, and putting their own needs last. Women in this generation grew up with the women's movement and many sought careers outside the home. It seems though that changes in the division of labour on the home-front didn't accompany the changes in the work force at the same pace. Many of these women still perform all the household and childcare tasks of prior generations while balancing a demanding career.
Younger women and younger men seem to have a better understanding that one person can't do it all. The modern day man helps around the house, helps with the kids and is expected to do so. Middle aged women can learn a thing or two from their younger peers on this front.
The best thing we can do to help facilitate change about the expectations of women is to support one another. We need to recognize that most women are doing the best that they can, and they are usually brutally aware of any areas where there is room for improvement. We don't need to judge each other, and more importantly, we need to be willing to be honest and authentic about our own struggles, and stop putting on the perfect Martha Stewart or Gwyneth Paltrow fa?ade that we are juggling everything to perfection. If we start to get real and honest about the impossibility of being a hot, fit, high-powered lawyer, who is a perfect mother and wife, who grows her own organic vegetables, and cooks, as well as eats, a healthy, gluten-free, vegan diet , we will then make progress.
If you are having difficulty juggling everything in your life, coaching can really help you establish priorities and boundaries. Contact me at email@example.com for details. I'd love to help you be your best and create the life you desire.