Flashback: Delusions of Superwoman

Flashback week continues with a post from August 2011. I decided to repost this in light of a conversation I had with a friend who wondered just how people who have families and careers are able to go to school…it definitely isn’t easy, but with a good support system and setting (reasonable) goals, it can be done. Enjoy 🙂

My son recently had his tonsils & adenoids removed. (He’s doing perfect, by the way). So of course, I took time off work in order to care for him. However, I assumed that I would be able to squeeze in some work on one or both of my WIPs during his downtime. I reasoned that he was going to be on meds and would sleep for longer than normal periods of time. He sleeps, I write. Right?

Wrong. DEAD wrong. I barely touched my computer. Why? Because I was exhausted. Perhaps a little delirious. Definitely deluded. I stayed in the hospital with him during his overnight and in between the nurses coming to check on him and the fact he kept wiggling out of the pulse ox meter attached to his finger which caused it to beep (loudly) every thirty minutes, I may have gotten about two minutes of sleep. Okay, maybe two hours, but not straight sleep.

About 10 days after the procedure, I’m talking to my friend about my writing plans gone awry. She says that she wasn’t surprised that I wasn’t able to do it. Well, I was! I had the best laid plans in my head as described above. I proceed to tell her that I AM capable of working, writing highly-anticipated best-sellers, going to school, having a family, rescuing kittens from trees, crocheting sweaters, and baking fabulous pound cakes in under 24 hours. Yes, she caught on to the fact that I was being a facetious smart-ass. (I’m still laughing over walking rescue-turned-therapy dogs in my sleep, thanks Yolanda)

Of course, my baby came first during this period. That’s my mommy instinct to make sure he was okay above all else. So I wasn’t really that upset about not being able to write. I just kinda wished I was able to. I recognize that I tend to do this – make these goals, that in any other situation would be attainable, but for me and the many hats I wear, can be unrealistic. And off I go on the midnight train to Deluded-ville…so far, I’ve been able to get a return ticket back to Reality City.

As women, we tend to play a lot of roles. Wife. Mother. Powerful working woman. Caregiver (of a parent, sibling, grandparent, etc.) Student. Community activist/volunteer. Mentor. Friend. Oh, and don’t let us have a dream/vision/something we’ve always wanted to do that doesn’t lead to a big payoff right away (i.e. write that novel, start that business, finally get in the studio and make that album,etc.) Sometimes, it can be hard to balance because we want “Superwoman” (the Alicia Keys version, not Karyn White) to be our theme song. Unfortunately, trying to juggle so much can at best, lead to the occasional dropped ball, and at worst, we not only drop ALL the balls, we trip and fall over them and bust our heads on the ground.

So, how do you balance? How do you set reasonable goals? How do you avoid boarding that train to that deluded place where Superwoman reigns supreme?

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