Do you know any of those women (or are you one of those women) who pick up one thing after another, sometimes postponing the eating moment or the going to the toilet moment till all chores are done? She can so easily completely exhaust herself, sacrificing her own needs and her own rest, just completing her chores list, taking care of everyone and everything she can see and think of?
Often in the life of a so active and dedicated woman, there is a man who finishes what he is doing and sits to rest. Usually then, the woman doesn’t need much before starting judging his behavior. She feels annoyed that she continues doing stuff, while he is enjoying his time. She becomes resentful and bitter.
Poor man, he doesn’t understand why his woman doesn’t stop. He is comfortable with taking breaks and leaving some chores for later. Why she decided that all those things need to be done today? Why she blames him for not participating after he has done what she has asked him to do?
The ability of men to find rest drives many women crazy. I completely get it. I was one of those women – sleep deprived but always with clean home, painted nails, and nothing left on my to do list. The chase of the ideal “how it should be” was the root cause of so much frustration and disturbance in my life and my relationships.
Instead of judging the men for their ability to find rest, we can learn from them. Their behavior is the sane, healthy one.
But trust me, it is not easy to get rid of that obsessive compulsive behavior. After working on it for years, I need to admit that every now and then I see its shadow re-emerging in my life again. What helps a lot is to understand where it comes from and why. Then recognizing its signs and counter act to minimize its damaging effect on our health, life and relationship.
So why this behavior is part of so many women and what can we do about it?
The predominant feminine essence in most women seeks fullness. We fill up our day with activities and our life with responsibilities, obligations, and belongings. This is natural, but we can also feel full by connecting deeply with our loved ones.
Many women intuitively or subconsciously don't fully trust their man and can't relax. They feel the need to take the lead and stay in control.
- We can let go of some of the responsibilities we are assuming and give ourselves a little bit of self-care time. In the meantime, if we are not in the drivers’ seat, our man may step up.
There are cultural influences. Witnessing our mothers being constantly busy with household activities sets the example. We can remind ourselves to have breaks & leave some stuff for later. We can optimize and plan effectively our household work or share it with our partner.
I've asked Rogier to help me by inviting me on the couch next to him. This way, instead of getting annoyed that he is resting while I keep on going, I am trying to see his attitude as the one I need to learn from.
- Women see more details, so the empty soap dispenser or dirty light switch, many men simply don't notice. Women see small but time-consuming tasks like these all around and cannot find peace till they don’t complete them. We can also ask our man to help. Just don't expect him to do it our way or according to our timing. What works well for me is make a list with all these small but annoying chores and divide it between my partner and I.
Finally, getting a cleaning lady was a great relief for me. Not that it is all the time clean, but because now I feel that I don’t have the responsibility to clean. I don’t expect it from myself, so I am much more comfortable with less than impeccable cleanness.
If you don't feel that you deserve to slow down, if you feel guilty to rest or if you see yourself as selfish to place yourself and your well-being on top of your priority list, is a symptom of the mother wound.
What a mother wound is, how it manifests, how it affects all areas of your life and how to heal it, you can learn from my training "The relationship with your mother and how it shapes you as a woman".
It is part of my private digital membership Femininity Club "Successful & Feminine". You can watch all trainings for FREE during a 14-day no-risk, no commitment trial period.