Juggling between your career and home, managing doctors’ appointments for the elderly in the family, looking after your kids and the husband, keeping up with fitness classes, fulfilling miscellaneous social engagement and so on… Are you feeling the pressure to accomplish all these tasks and yet feeling you are not doing enough? 

Key Takeaways

  • A lot of us feel this pressure of fulfilling several full-time roles together, being a career woman, a good mother, a supportive friend and partner, or being the therapist for the family.
  • The term Superwoman Syndrome was first coined in 1984 by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz in her book by the same name.
  • Easing the stress may be a better way to reach our full potential.

Do you have an ever-growing to-do list which pushes you to be a better version of yourself? A lot of us feel this pressure of fulfilling several full-time roles together, being a career woman, a good mother, a supportive friend and partner, or being the therapist for the family. Often when we are unable to do one of these, we tell ourselves we must work harder. Don’t worry your condition has a name. It is called the “Super Woman Syndrome”. And the good thing is, you are not alone in this race.

Also Read: Don’t Put Your Mom On A Pedestal, She’s A Woman Too!

The term Superwoman Syndrome was first coined in 1984 by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz in her book by the same name. Superwoman Syndrome occurs when a woman neglects herself and strives to achieve perfection in every role she is fulfilling and measures success or failure in terms of tangible outputs.  

The term Superwoman Syndrome was first coined in 1984 by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz in her book by the same name.

Sometimes we are often compelled to do much more than we can achieve. For Indian women who are from traditional families, it is the society that pushes them to be a superwoman. These women are often first-generation women to have a full-fledged career. So, they are pushed to manage homes as well as their careers and excel at both. Their commitment to their careers is often seen as a personal choice and not a financial need. Indian women are still having to live up to the expectation of being an ideal daughter, wife or daughter-in-law. Often these mothers wake up before anyone else to cook breakfast, a multi-course meal for children and parents-in-law staying at home, put in a full day at their workplace, then return home to do the chores like cleaning up after people and prepare dinner. Many such households still consider it a stigma to engage a cook as it’s the woman’s responsibility to feed her family. Think about the number of responsibilities on the shoulders of this woman? Can she achieve this superhuman task every single day for the rest of her life? What about her own health and mental well?

They are pushed to manage homes as well as their careers and excel at both. Their commitment to their careers is often seen as a personal choice and not a financial need.

Can anyone perform perfectly in multiple or conflicting roles and keep accomplishing them with ease in the long run? Then, why are we setting such unrealistic goals for ourselves? Don’t we realise how vulnerable we keep feeling all the time while running this race?

Here are some numbers which highlight how stressed the Indian woman is whether she is a career woman or stay at home mother. A study by a UK based charity revealed that 38 percent of working women in India show signs of psychiatric morbidity compared to only 26 percent of the women who don’t work, reported The Economic Times. According to the “Suicide in India 2018” data released by the National Crime Record Bureau, housewives accounted for 17.1 percent of suicides. 

Can anyone perform perfectly in multiple or conflicting roles and keep accomplishing them with ease in the long run?

Is it too difficult for us to accept that each one of us has flaws and that’s what makes us unique? We cannot be there being everything to everyone else without being there for our own selves first.

Also Read: Not Trying To Be Superwoman Anymore: Vidya Balan

Easing the stress may be a better way to reach our full potential. Let us as women stop judging each other for not being the perfect mom or a good daughter-in-law. Let leaving the workplace early or not attending that team get-together on a Friday evening not be a big deal. Let five-course meal not be a priority but staying healthy be. Let’s start believing in sharing the workload and ask for help when needed. 

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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