Thursday, December 16, 2010

Learning to Accept My Limitations

I have a serious confession to make. I'm afraid that it might disappoint you. I'm afraid that you might shake your head and "tsk" in my general direction. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I must make this confession to you, my readers.

I am not Superwoman.

I know. Shocking.

Wait, what? You aren't surprised?

Well I was when I first figured it out. It's a tough lesson to learn. Especially when you think you've got everything under control. When you think you are supposed to be able to do everything that everyone else does.

Let me tell you what I learned though.

Those people that you are trying to emulate? They are not Superwomen either. There is something in their lives they are sacrificing in order to do what they do. And if you are trying to be just like several Superwomen...who all have different surely must realize that you can't be like ALL of them. They can't even do that!

Here are the things I have felt the need to be:

Wife. Yep. My husband needs me. I don't mean he is helplessly useless. But he married me because he wanted me to be in his life and spend time with him. I am called to be his friend, his lover, his support, his cheerleader, his helpmate, his biggest fan, his encouragement, his sounding board, his support. I cannot ever forget that.

Mom. I love my children. I am their mother. They need me to be everything that a mother entails. This in itself is very multi-dimensional and overlaps into many of the categories below. It includes teacher, disciplinarian, cheerleader, friend, doctor, and even just a set of arms to snuggle into.

Engineer. Yes. I am an engineer. An engineering manager these days. This is something that I love to do. I love to use my talents and strengths to help a company succeed. I like using practical and critical thinking skills to tackle a task and create new and innovative ways to approach matters.

Homemaker. Even though I love my career, I feel the responsibility of making our house a home falls to me. I was brought up very traditionally and feel that the cooking/cleaning/ and all matters of the home fall to me. Not that Chip doesn't help--he's actually a HUGE contributor. Not that I don't want him to help, as I am VERY grateful for how wonderful he is. But the responsibility for making sure that it happens is mine.

Cleaner. This is part of homemaking, but it is a huge part for me. I'm a bit picky. When our house is not clean enough to eat off of the floor, my soul is not at rest. These days, my soul is more restless than I like.

Musician. I grew up soaking in music at all times. I love playing. I love singing. I was once much better at both than I am now. This is something I truly love doing, but has been neglected over the last few years when other parts of life have taken over.

Cheerleader. No. Not the kind in ponytails and skirts ( one wants to see that), but the mom on the sideline or in the audience cheering on my children in their activities. The attentive wife who attends and is enraptured by all of my husband's musical demonstrations.

Classroom Mom. I can't be there to cut out felt for craft time. But I want to send homemade cookies. I want to help with Christmas parties. I want to chaperone a field trip.

Volunteer. I want to help out at our church. I want to help out our neighborhood. I want to give time to causes that I believe in.

Friend. I want to have a girl's night. I want to have friends to chat with and have private jokes with. I want to go our for dessert or laugh over a pedicure with girlfriends.

Gardener. I don't have a green thumb or anything, but I'd love for the outside of our home to look really nice and cared about with brightly colored seasonal flowers and manicured landscaping.

Craft Aficionado. I want to be crafty. I want to make things that impress other people and make our home unique. I want to teach these skills to our children while getting to spend quality time with them. I want to offer one of a kind gifts to friends and family that were made with love and personalization.

And the point of this ridiculous list is that I cannot possibly be all of these things. At least not at the same time. And that is okay. I mean, I know that, but I must truly believe that.
  • I must believe that it is okay to have a pile of laundry that needs to be done while I go on a date with my husband.
  • I must believe that it is okay to have store bought cookies because I had to work later than allowed me to bake them from scratch.
  • I must believe that it is okay that the we seriously need some new pine straw for our landscaping because I'm choosing to sit on bleachers and cheer for my son and his teammates on the t-ball team.
  • I must believe that it is okay to say "no" to a volunteer opportunity just so I can spend time on a craft for our home.
  • I must believe that it is okay to take a day off of work to shop and have lunch with a friend.
  • I must believe that it is okay to leave my children in the church nursery so that I can volunteer somewhere else during the worship service.
  • I must believe that it is okay to leave the husband to entertain himself while I plant some lovely annuals in the front yard.
  • I must believe that it is even okay to drop all of these things (even the kids--there I said it and you can lash out in the comments if you want) just so I can take a long hot soak in a bubble bath and relax.

It's also okay for your children to see that dad sometimes wins quality time with you over them. It's okay for your children to see that the house can wait to be cleaned until you have helped a neighbor out. It's okay for your children to see that you can take a day off of work just to spend time with them alone. All of these things are good. In fact, all of these things are HEALTHY for them to see. They need to see that mom is a person. That mom is more than a worker bee.

Dropping one for another is nothing to feel guilty about as long as it is not always the same thing getting dropped. Nourish your relationships. Grow yourself. Be everything you want to be. Just realize that you cannot be all of these things at the same time.

And be okay with that.

I know that is what I will be trying to do.


  1. I'm an engineer too! Not working as one anymore, but still. I admire Moms who work full time and do so much at home too!

  2. I applaud your honesty. Great post!