By Gina B.
In case you’re thinking that superheroes don’t really exist, think again. They’re everywhere. Some exist as a part of a large team of women who are individually known as Superwoman. Undoubtedly you know one of these women. You might actually BE a Superwoman. But is that a good thing?
I was told that I am a Superwoman by a friend who pointed out that the volume of my daily to-do list is not normal. He also informed me that I have a type-A personality, which surprised me a bit. One would think that I would know my own personality type, but I’m usually too busy to think about it. In my opinion, I just do what I do. I don’t think of myself as a Superwoman as much as I think I’m a Fixer. I’ve been told that there are only very slight semantic differences between the two.
It occurred to me that others of us might be roaming the Earth as Superwomen (or Fixers) without even knowing it. In case you’re not sure, here’s a little test. You might be a Superwoman if you:
- Have a full-time job, plus a few gigs on the side – just because
- Have #1, and a husband or serious significant other
- Have #1, and children
- Have #1, #2 and children
- Have any of the above, and an aging parent or dependent siblings to tend to
- Have any of the above and no housekeeper
- Have any of the above and no therapist
- Know, off the top of your head, all of the medical issues, conditions and allergies of any member of # 2 through #5
- Are the primary person who performs household duties, such as shopping, laundry, meal preparation, cleaning, etc.
- Are on an aggressive promotion track – even if you have to work 12+ hours a day to achieve it
- Try desperately to cram 36 hours into a 24-hour day
- Decide that if #11 isn’t possible, sleeping is overrated. Who needs 8 hours, when you can have 5 and be more productive during the day???
- Have a full set of tools and boast the ability to put together the most intricate Ikea item in 20 minutes or less
- Possess the ability to change your own tire in a pinch
- Understand why the engine light on your dashboard might be illuminated, what to do when a cylinder is misfiring, and how to negotiate those repairs with a mechanic
- Are the go-to person for any problem. Problems can range from the correct spelling of a word to a red wine stain on a tie to a 5-alarm fire
- Take the time to help friends through their problems, despite the urgencies your own
- Feel a great deal of guilt when you do anything for yourself
If you can claim at least three of the above, you might be a Superwoman. If you can claim all 18, you might be on the road to a nervous breakdown.
To be clear, this isn’t a “You Go, Girl” festival. The very wrong thing to believe is that the purpose of this article is “Look at Me, I’m Superwoman! Hear Me Roar!” or, “I Don’t Need a Man to Have a Good Life.” Not hardly.
If I had a choice, I’m not sure I would be a Superwoman or a Fixer. Preferably, I would be pampered and tended to all day. I would work about four hours a day and have a weekly spa visit.
However, as a person whose life is more closely related to the Superwoman/Fixer description (without the kids), I implore all women who fall into this bucket to learn to sit down and chill out. It is very possible that you’re neglecting yourself in favor of attending to the needs of others. Make sure that the adult, able-bodied people in your life can take care of you as well as you can take care of them.
Guys, if you’re married to or dating a Superwoman, please give her a break from time to time. Be proactive and do things for her, or make her stop what she’s doing long enough to enjoy a massage that you schedule. She won’t ask for the help, and she might even resist it, but she will appreciate it.
If you’re a true Superwoman, you’re a doer and you won’t slow any time soon. Just build in some time to be super to yourself while you’re at it.