So the letter begins…
“Egypt it’s just not enough of me to go around… and I can’t take it anymore. I have to cook, clean, work, pay the bills, go to parent teacher conferences, help take care of sick family, LOVE my husband, and deal with just about everything else. I feel like everyone wants me to be a SUPERWOMAN and I can’t!!”
She didn’t even bother to sign her name.
Probably too busy keeping up with her SUPERWOMAN life to do so.
Truth is, this letter represents millions of women across the U.S. like YOU and I, who give so much of ourselves everyday to the world, that WE have nothing left to give ourselves.
I found this email so timely because last night was the first time I cried in years out of frustration.
My grandfather passed away in October of 2012, and I don’t even remember crying at his funeral – even though it was the most tragic and difficult time in my adult life.
I was so busy making sure my grandmother and other members of my family were coping that I didn’t even take a moment to do a self check.
So after a turbulent two years, working two jobs, moving twice, and having a newborn, I finally sat still.
It’s true that SILENCE IS GOLDEN.
It was in that silence that I realized if I continued at the pace that I had been going, that I may not be alive to see my daughter grow up. Five to six hours sleep per night, no days off, no ME time is just not normal.
But why do so many of us sacrifice our bodies to keep up with this pace? WHY? Because women have long been the mule of society, carrying EVERYONE’s load on our shoulders.
We wear the motto: “If I don’t do it, who will?” We brag: “I’m an independent woman.” But really, we are adopting a ME LAST mentality, and it must stop.
WHAT ABOUT US?!
I’m truly worried about US ladies. Women are having heart attacks, strokes, and mental breakdowns at alarming rates, and earlier in our lives. This alone should send red flags that it’s time to SLOW IT DOWN.
WHAT ABOUT US? We can kill ourselves trying to be all things to all people. And then we are confronted with: “Well your momma and grandmama did it, so can you.”
NO! That’s not entirely true. We live in different times, with more complex societal pressures. They didn’t necessarily have to bring home the bacon AND FRY IT!
I asked women to sound off on Facebook and here are some of their sentiments:
La Shonda Foy Barksdale: I think that we as women are automatically expected to be able to do all and handle all with no problem; and while for the most part we are able to do so, at times it does become a bit overwhelming.
Sharon L. Bryant: Stress can kill!!! Ladies, we must take care of ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually!! We’re no good to others if we cannot be good to ourselves first!!
Carol Wallace: And ur so right! No one takes care of us.
We are the back bone we hold it down …sometimes I just have 2 stop and remind everyone that I am human as well, I have feelings as well ..and its like they all look at me like I am stupid.
Sonya Jackson Barlow: As women..and especially women of color..we have been taught to “Carry the LOAD”- take care of family, work a 9 to 5 and leap tall buildings with a single bound! Having depression, burnout or needing to take a time for yourself is not an option…We are expected to bend NOT break…but it’s time to recognize our health as we pursue our purpose!
Nikki Brown: So true..my childhood friend was just buried from a heart attack at the age of 35 on Wednesday.. she has a son that is only 15 years old.
I think it’s safe to say that SUPERWOMEN across the country are in a state of emergency.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready to retire this “S” on my chest, because it doesn’t come with any superhuman balancing power.
Truly what we are in need of is a SUPERMAN to pick up some of this slack. Can I get an “Amen!” and a high five?
* Drops the mic.