The Illusion of Superwoman
What now?, I ask myself. I haven't even given birth yet and there's already that nagging voice in my head demanding an answer. What else are you going to do besides being a wife and mother?
There are so many articles floating around the ether that always seem to end up on my screen. Do you know the ones I'm talking about? The ones applauding and praising the superwomen, the supermoms, the superwives? I stand in awe of them, thinking how on earth they can do it all while I struggle to carve out time for myself (and I don't even have kids yet. Ha). Are they unicorns? Mystical beings? Am I just too ordinary? Too lazy? I click X on the tab because these articles just give more energy to that nagging voice.
But there's still something in me that holds a stronger pull: the seemingly innocent desire to be holistic, balanced, whole (everyone's favorite buzzwords these days). Woman, it is possible. You should be able to be wife, mother, entrepreneur, writer, baker, stylist, influencer, business woman, etc. Every one's doing it and you have some catching up to do, missy! Hustle!
So I scrambled. I scrambled for things to do, things to add to my portfolio, things to accomplish, things to be darn proud of. Because I must admit it, the cape all these superwomen were wearing looked so glamorous, so mesmerizing. I wanted a cape on my shoulders, too; I wanted the world on my shoulders. I didn't want to be just wife and mom because I believed I was destined to be more than just that.
In gritting my teeth for the pursuit of balance and perfection, here's what I realized, ladies and gentlemen: the cape cheapens love. It sparkles and shines and you can see it from a mile away but up close, it is ragged and worn out. The wearer is burdended and weighed down. Actually, there is no need to aspire to be superwoman, supermom, superwife. There is no need to put others on a pedestal and leave the rest around the corner. And ultimately, there is no need to do more, more, and more.
Don't you realize that superheroes always want to shed off their superpowers? That after all the work and toil, they remove their capes and stuff it in the back of their closets? Don't we fall in love instead with their humanity, their realness? In the end, it's what saves the day - not what they can do but who they decide to be.
The truth is being a wife and mother is more than enough. And when we are not contented with that, when we are ashamed, we rob these roles of their breathtaking beauty and give the power to something temporal instead. We give our all to the world and end up only with scraps for the ones we come home to. Where is the super in that?
So I have chosen to drop the cape and walk away from it; to listen instead to the gentle voice that says there is no need to hustle (tip: when given a choice, always listen to the gentle voice). Because there is a husband and a son waiting for me at home. And it is them I must fly with. No cape needed.
Photography by Nicolai Melicor-Villaruel.