Let’s face it, Real Women, we know we are awesome. We are strong, smart, and we are the glue that holds our families together. Fess up, deep inside we at least partly believe that without our daily management, our households would fall apart…that the others under our roof would just not be able to function correctly if we weren’t there to run things. Yes, it is true, there is a bit of a martyr inside each of us.
We come from a long line of strong women – matriarchs of families – who knew they indeed were the backbone of our relatives’ very existences. I remember even my mom, an appropriately humble, amazing woman, would come in from doing summer yard work, sweating and panting, making sure we all noticed how hard she had been working.
Let’s say this in unison: “What would they do without us?”
Ok, time for a good ol’ slice of humble pie.
This past week, I came down with a nasty, nasty virus. As I have probably stated before, I am rarely ever sick. I can count on one hand – actually, maybe even on 2 or 3 fingers, how many times in my entire life I have been sick enough that I have had to miss work or be out of commission for daily duties. Well, this was one of those times. For approximately 36 hours I was useless to anyone. I was focused on one thing: my own survival. Yes, I’m aware that sounds ridiculously dramatic – its not like I was a soldier off fighting a war or something. Yet in the frame of mind and health I was in at that moment, getting through the next few hours was my only goal. Which means of course, that – gasp – the fate of my household was in someone else’s hands.
And guess what. They survived just fine and dandy without me. My son got his homework done and got ready for bed under his father’s guidance, not mine. He went to sleep without me tucking him in or kissing him good-night. (This is a fact I’m sure bothered me more than him). The next morning, he got off to school and my husband got off to work without issue…breakfast was made and consumed, nothing was forgotten or left behind, no one was late. Even the dog had no issues. Although, I will say that by day two, my furry son had just about enough of the napping mommy and pestered me for some play time.
Huh. They were fine. More than that, they actually went above and beyond just fending for themselves. My husband brought me ginger ale, made me a gastronomically bland dinner of chicken and rice when I was ready for it, and my son checked in on how I was doing – from a distance, of course. Dishes got done. Trash was taken out. Life continued without my assistance.
Ready for this, Real Women? Everyone at my job was just fine with me not being there for a couple days too. Imagine that.
Sure, I got a bit behind in laundry, bill paying, and the pile of to-do’s on my desk. And if I had for some reason been incapacitated for an extended period of time, things would probably have been more challenging all around. Certainly, the people in my life seemed happy to have me back up and active over the past couple of days, and both my husband and son had no problem letting me come back to the helm of the kitchen once I was deemed germ-free. But I realized, with a sense of comfort and egotistical relief, that I’m not that vital to the day-to-day operations of our household. They really can get by just fine if I’m momentarily unavailable.
So what did this case study teach me? Well, for one, it made me realize that I should step down a bit from my high horse. But it also taught me that perhaps it is ok to not be “on” all the time. Last night I actually stopped, put my feet up and looked all the way through a magazine, from cover to cover. For approximately an hour, I got nothing else accomplished. And all was well. Peace reigned throughout the land I call home. Honestly, I don’t think the guys even noticed.
Yes, Real Women, we are amazing. As my favorite old song says: “I got a twenty dollar gold fee that says there’s nothin’ I can’t do….because I am a woman, W-O-M-A-N.” But the others in our lives are not incapable without us. Every now and then I think a little slice of that humble pie is just what our diets need.