Why is it that so many women I know, including myself, feel like we aren’t doing enough? This is a serious problem of the perfectionist Generation X’ers, of which I am a part.
We are the women whose duty it was to break through the glass ceiling that the previous generation of women cracked. We went to college pursuing jobs that men traditionally held, the lawyer, the CEO, the business manager. Straight A’s were a must, while also pursuing a myriad of extra curricular activities, of which at least one was sure to help lead to a good career. Once out of college we hit the pavement, turning down ok jobs to get THE job. Each job was to lead us to a fully checked list of “must haves”. The job must have the right title, the right location, the right….
During all this we were to find the right husband, marry and raise the perfect family. I joke when I leave work that I am going home to my second job, but it really isn’t a joke. Today’s family, to be perfect, must make food from scratch and all organic; must provide a second layer of teaching, because teachers have no time with all the testing; must protect kids from the dangers of multi-media, showing things we never would have heard about till college; and must participate in a million activities that the kids are participating in, or just the one that they are forced to become experts at at the ripe old age of 5 (talking to you soccer moms).
Then after the job and the parenting the house, the friends the social media all fight for our time. It is MADDENING. It is no wonder that we are exhausted and people are going on antidepressants more than ever before.
And yet, we continue to beat ourselves up for not doing more. After reading a Facebook post about a friend who just went on a trip or just finished redoing their basement, we moms, women, wives think less of ourselves and what we are doing with our lives. We think why can’t I finish this project when she did THAT. We think why does she have that job when I have so much more going for me and I have THIS job. The women I describe and the few friends who might be reading this are really, really smart women but when it comes to our own contribution to life and society we are incredibly stupid sometimes.
A good friend of mine passed along a passage which reminds us to say “we are enough”, “what we do is enough”. Today say that to yourself. You might have to say it several times like me. Give yourself permission to believe you are enough and find peace.