As a Wife, I will not try to be perfect any more, not at the cost of my wellbeing
12 Feb 2016
Today men too desire women who are smart, well-educated & have well-groomed personalities. Many men want their partners to be working as it helps to improve their living standards and also to ease their own burden of earning for the entire family. But with this additional role, are we changing the expectation from women over other roles?
We still expect our wives to be a perfect mother, perfect home maker, cook the best meal, go for children PTA, come back home on time from work, have good careers but not travel even if their career demands it, maintain their figures and be conscious of their grooming, make their children do homework, remember special days in school… and the list is endless. Has anyone ever realised how much pressure a woman feels?
Sarika Shah, was a 32yr old woman living in Mumbai city in a joint family. She had a son who was aged 5yrs. Sarika was well educated and she had took a break from work to take care of her son till he was 4yrs. But she wanted to work and her husband was also keen that she gets home some extra money to help him with growing expenses. Sarika took up work assuming that she would get some benefit of staying in a joint family and also that her husband would help her since he wanted her to work. But she was living in a big myth.
Sarika would wake up at 5.45am, get her son ready for school, pack his snack box, cook a meal for her family, sometimes manage time for her own breakfast and leave for job. After a long day at work she would take her son to various extra-curricular activities, come and cook evening dinner, make her child read or read to him (“since that was a must do thing!! Children this age need to be read to”), play with him since she was guilty that she was away while the child was home.
Sarika would often have splitting headaches and she always felt tired. She could not realise and understand why she was so frustrated, irritated and grumpy, even after doing “A JOB” that she always wanted to?
When we started our session with Sarika, she showed floating anxiety, she was always anxious about things like, “what if my son will over watch TV? Saturday is his field trip I need to dress him up in blue?”…. “I missed my by bus now I will reach home late, and mother in law would be grumpy, how will I get a holiday on 26th, it’s a presentation day at work and its Ahaan’s open day too”, “how do I tell mother in law that I will be a little late and I need to go to the parlour what do I do Ashok has mentioned it thrice already that I need to look good for his office party”, “I am too tired for sex, yet again he would be unhappy”…….the thoughts were endless…
She was unable to keep anyone happy and that was making her unhappy, tired, anxious, and frustrated and she could not enjoy anything. She had sleepless nights and dying appetite. Her life was worse than a robot.
Was it her expectation to be a perfect mother, perfect daughter in law or perfect wife? During the counselling sessions Sarika realised that these expectations were a combination of a lot of things. Few expectations like perfect homemaker were passed on to her from our patriarchal society and these were made stronger by expectations from the always grumpy mother in law or husband. They were always critical of her.
Some expectations like being a good mother was her own. She felt that, that was her prime responsibility. But did anyone tell her that this is an expectation that a child has from a father too… that she could ask him to help her.
This is a story of lot of women in our society, they get tired and age faster than they should.
Some common issues of women juggling with multiple roles are:
Inability to prioritize work and a piling list of “things to do”
Constant complaint of fatigue and tiredness
Extreme feelings of guilt
Have realistic expectations from self: even god can’t keep everyone happy.
Plan and be far sited: before taking up new role be sure and set expectations with your family.
Seek help from family and spouse: It’s ok to ask your spouse to help. Don’t except that they will understand.
Nurture independence: ensure you family gains independence including your child, which will reduce your work.
Take in your plate as much you can: communicate to your family how much you will be able to do. Be assertive.
Don’t be ashamed of few things that you are unable to do.
Make your husband your best friend.
Don’t be afraid to set your expectations from your family.
If you are anxious because of the many roles you play and perfection around these roles that are expected from you is causing you distress,
then at ePsyClinic , you must take counseling help from India's best relationship and women expert psychologists.
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Tags: #perfection #woman #well-being