Midlife Women and the Superwoman Complex

Women in midlife were sold a bunch of bullsh*t about being super woman – doing it all and having it all. It’s why so many are on anti-anxiety meds and miserable.

Our younger sisters know better. They don’t want to work like crazy and please everyone else.

One of my mentors is a mindset coach named Denise Duffield Thomas. Two of her books, Chillpreneur and Chill and Prosper talk about how you don’t have to kill yourself to be successful.

In my previous life working at a multi-national PR firm, I witnessed this firsthand – women who were working 12 -14-hour days, going home to their kids and barely having a second to themselves. It was expected that we work those hours.  They gave up their life for a job.

I also think of my aunt who was her mother’s caretaker for decades. Her mom had polio when she was younger and needed a great deal of care. My aunt had a high-pressure job and then would come home and take care of her mom. She never had a romantic relationship – there was never time.

And then I look at so many of my coaching clients. Women who gave up a fulfilling career to stay home with their kids. Being a great mom is wonderful BUT losing yourself, your own dreams, in that role is a slow death. Because at some point the kids are grown and flown and these women look up and realize their entire identity had become wrapped up in being mom. And now they’re left rudderless with no recollection of what they wanted for themselves nor how to create a life of their dreams.

You’ve given of yourself completely:

  • To your partner, supporting his career by leaving yours to raise the kids.
  • Your kids by giving in to every whim and want and sacrificing yourself.
  • Your aging parents who rely on you, not your other siblings, for everything.
  • The needy friend who sucks up your time with her latest crisis.

Do any of these situations sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong, yes, there are absolutely things we need to do but there’s a balance to be found.  Because, if not, one day you’ll look up and realize your entire life has been consumed in these roles. And what is it that you have? More importantly, who are you?

In part we’re to blame.  We’re great at taking care of everyone else but when was the last time you sat down and told everyone YOUR dreams and needs?

Have you requested the support you so freely give?

As women we’ve been raised to be the caregivers, the nurturers. We’ve also been brainwashed by the media to be the powerful woman who can do and have it all.

My generation of women probably remembers a commercial for a perfume, Enjoli. It was a woman in a sexy dress and looks like she’s ready for a night out but she’s carrying a briefcase and apparently just came home from work. She whips on an apron and starts cooking. At the same time, she’s seducing her husband. I still remember the lyrics to the jingle:

“I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never ever ever let you forget you’re a man. Because I’m a woman.”

For some ridiculous reason, this was the sign of success for our generation.  We can do it all, manage it all without any help.

Please hear this – you are not a failure by asking for help, saying no to people and prioritizing yourself!

In fact, that’s how healthy, happy and successful women behave.

Ladies, now is the time to reprogram and live life on your terms!  I’m giving you permission to think of yourself first.  This isn’t selfish, it’s self-care.  And yes, people in your life might not love the new you but I promise they will adjust.

Are you living the life you intended to?  What changes would you like to see for yourself? To learn more about how I can help you, visit my coaching page HERE.

You can also download my FREE GUIDE Five Steps to Release Fear and Live Boldly.