I like superwoman. I often feel like her. But I keep forgetting that Superwoman cannot be super all the time. I have always taken pride in achieving my goals, on my own, without asking for help. I can do it myself. Off course I can. I am strong. I am capable.
This mentality followed me into my first year as a mother. It was fun in the beginning, I could master everything. Walk the dog two times a day. Make the baby sleep. Do my yoga practice. Change diapers. Keep the house clean and tidy. Breastfeed all night. Refurbish our home, move, and refurbish again. Go to baby swimming classes. Meet up with friends. Go for long walks in the forest. Cook healthy food. Be a good girlfriend. The list is long. I got to a point where I wore myself out. And I am sure a lot of other mothers know what I mean. We often expect too much of ourselves, and kill ourselves trying to live up to our expectations.
Cupcakes, Facebook and Expeditions
Yes, because ultimately it is not everybody else who expects you to do what you do, it is you. We are the ones who believe that we need to perform up to a certain standard. Well I guess the evolvement of social media like Facebook really doesn’t help. Here we expose our lives, and it better be perfect. I am NOT a cupcake baking mother, I make old school muffins. My standards are different. They evolve around physical activity, outdoor life and adventures. Preferably some exciting expedition to a remote place. I want this to be part of my life. But I want everything else at home up to standard too! We should be thankful for a society that allows us to pursue a professional life, follow our dreams whatever they might be, and be mothers at the same time. No need to hit ourselves in the head if our house doesn’t look like a spread sheet from Elle Decoration, or our bodies resemble Gisele Bündchen’s. We only end up hurting ourselves. At some point we need to stop, and be more realistic. What is possible to achieve? What can I manage myself?
It requires more strength to show weakness, than to try to be strong all the time.
It is very typical of girls to try to manage it all by themselves. But what does that really mean? Are we strong if we manage everything ourselves? I believe the opposite. It requires more strength to show weakness, than to try to be strong all the time. Before having my second child this slowly dawned on me. I started changing my routines. I expected less of myself. I got help at home. And I got help with the kids. This saved my life. And probably my relationship to my partner. But I still have to pull myself back very often. I am very ambitious. I have many plans. There is so much I want, and I forget to rest in the midst of it all.
I was infected with Dengue fever a month ago. And although the symptoms vanished after a week, my body is completely out of it. The energy level is totally unpredictable. I have some days where I feel fine, others which are spent lying on my yoga mat until it is time to pick up the kids in Kindergarden. I think I am getting better though, a little bit every day. But it is easy to overestimate my own power and get eager in the spur of the moment. I went to a climbing gym last week, and ended up in a horizontal position for two days. So I am still searching for the balance between doing and not doing. Resting when needed. Not asking too much of myself. And most importantly not being afraid to show weakness.