“I feel like I’m Superwoman.” That’s all it took for the battle of the sexes to erupt at a family backyard summer barbecue. My husband whipped around in his chair with eyes wide and glistening, “Are you saying I do nothing!” Not at all what I meant.
It was a comment that was taken the wrong way, so much so that I even felt a bit of guilt. Why was he so offended? Things were blown out of proportion and the next thing I know the men are arguing about feeling unappreciated and the women expressing how over-worked they are.
My point was simple. My husband — who is a loving, supportive and involved father, a magnificent man (I hope he’s reading this) — simply does not do as much as I do in one day. This doesn’t demean him or his parental role in any way so for him take my “Superwoman” comment and translate that into an under-appreciation of his hard work was baffling.
A screeching alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m., jolting me out of the five hours of sleep I managed to get.
The scramble to get breakfast ready starts at about 6:25 a.m., in the interim I’m running around getting the school uniform and lunch box ready because of course I didn’t prepare for this the night before. It’s as if someone hits the fast forward button as part of a cruel practical joke making time fly when you need it to slow down the most. Next thing I know I’m rushing to get dressed grabbing articles of clothing that would somewhat match in a faint effort to not look like a total disaster for the rest of the day as I yell across the room for my daughter to put on her shoes and finish her breakfast of the third time. One last look in her book bag just to make sure I don’t send her in a track suit again confusing Pajama Day with Sports Day (that was embarrassing).
It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’m now running out the door, hair halfway done, rushing to the car to avoid arriving late to school. You know it’s a problem when the security guard congratulates you for actually making it on time. Keep in mind I’m not even on my way to work yet.
Now to my darling husband’s morning. He wakes up at 7:00 a.m., showers, gets dressed, sprays on some cologne, and goes his merry way. Short, nice, and simple.
After a long day’s work, I’m home by 7 p.m. The living room is now a play house with dolls, paint, clay, and my makeup scattered on the floor and coffee table while the Disney channel plays in the background—but on the bright side dinner’s ready. It has been 13 hours since I woke up from only five hours of sleep and it has been non-stop all day. Even during my lunch break I find myself running errands. My hope at this point is that my daughter has at least done her homework, but to my aggravation they were both waiting on me to get started despite being home for the past two hours.
It is now 9:15 p.m., and my body and mind hurt. I read her a bedtime story and wait until she falls asleep, refusing to shut her eyes unless I am laying next to her. During all this time, where is he? On the couch, Netflix and chill (literally). I don’t even remember the last time I watched anything on television that wasn’t rated Y7.
We manage to squeeze in some time alone together until he blissfully makes his way to bed and I get to spend some time alone with myself in an attempt to regroup at 12 a.m. I check my emails, do some writing, search the web, meditate and it’s now 1:30 a.m. and I decide to call it a day.
At 6:15 a.m., it starts all over again.
Now this may sound a bit inconsiderate and lazy on his part, but trust me, this is not the case. He picks up our child from school, plays with her, makes dinner, helps with homework most of the time, and if I yell loud enough he actually cleans before I get home. It is not that I don’t appreciate him, as he was so quick to assume. It’s that, unlike me, he gets to spend a lot more quality time with himself. He has the time to do the things he wants to do and can stop and give himself some TLC when needed because he overly relies on Superwoman.
Moms do more because we have the overwhelming need to ensure that our children are cared for in every way possible. We want to give 110% of ourselves because we’re selfless when it comes to our little ones, even when they are not so little anymore. As an essential part of the workforce, we strive to excel in our careers and establish ourselves in the work place, many times going above and beyond to reach our goals. As wives, fiancés, or girlfriends, we want to have healthy, loving, stable relationships with our significant other. As caretakers, we desire to have an immaculate home, clean kitchens and made up beds (good luck with that). And to top it all off, we want a social life with supportive friends who will listen to us vent for hours over a couple of glasses of wine.
We want it all, and do it all to the best of our abilities, many times neglecting ourselves in the process. Finding a balance between the many layers of life can be overwhelming, tricky and in all honestly brutally exhausting. So yes, we are Superwomen. Not a title meant to undermine any one else in our lives, but one made in full acknowledgment of all we do. The supernatural powers that come with being a mom.