I am of the generation that burned bras, demanded independence, opened our own doors, fixed flat tires, had babies, kept outside jobs and believed the mantra "We can do it all, we can have it all".
What a horrid thing to tell anyone, male or female, baby boomer or WWII Vet, college kid in 2020 or my wonderful and still innocent grandchildren.
We may want it all. We can not have it all! We tried and we did well, until we collapsed under the weight of being Superwoman. But old habits die hard.
I am living a Saturday Nite Live sketch - an unbelievable sketch which is why it is funny. I've mentioned my husband has had numerous medical procedures. He is recovering from back surgery, you may remember. Well he fell and broke his hip the day after we felt confident enough in his strength to plan our next big adventure. It was not how to navigate the world of broken hips and medical fixers.
We thought we were done with that.
And I am tired. It has been 18 solid months of hospitals and rehab after 12 years of medical issues. I was ready to be the body in the beach chair sipping an umbrella drink. Then a light went off. And my children's voices sung in my brain. "You need help. You can't do this alone. It's OK to ask for assistance. Mom, really, tell us what you need."
Something in me swung around. My determination to be independent, bulldoze on through suddenly looked like what it was - nuts!
I asked for men sitters, Bob's close friends who he felt comfortable with who could stay with their friend for a few hours so I could do the things that make me healthy and happy. With one email I had all the dates filled. Did not have to ask twice.
I changed commitments I did not need (or want ) to meet. The events still happened! And no one chastised me!
What I have learned is we ALL - no matter if you have a medical issue at home, a new baby, a sick parent, a cranky teenager or a broken heart - have to be real. Behind closed doors those very people we think have it all together may have lots of help, paid staff, nannies, fairy godmothers OR they are like us and struggling
to make sure they DO IT THEMSELVES then collapse in a heap when it is over.
I am on a new bandwagon. We, the elders, need to speak out, educate our kids and their kids and our younger neighbors. Relax. Ask. Don't get pushed into the "it all has to be perfect" like Michelle Obama. Whatever it is, has to be...with help from a person, a bakery, a gardner, a dog walker, a live in grandma... we need to do it. And support each other along the way. No put downs. No snyde comments. No rolling eyes.
Young, middle aged, elder. We all need to open our mouths and be honest about how difficult life can be some days. I can guarantee you will not be alone. Contact me first. I'm now The Tupperware Woman of Death and the Grand Old Dame who knows where to get you help!
First step - Say out loud. "Superwoman was a made up story - like Superman!"
Admit that and you are on your way to sanity and laughter and fun.