Yesterday I participated in my first book related event (and it was a blast). I was a guest speaker at The Sanity Chase, a 5K obstacle course organized by Women Run to benefit The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. Approximately 400 women, including me, ran, paddled, climbed a rock wall, hula hooped, rode tricycles and slid down a water slide.
Why were we chasing our sanity? Could it be because women spend, on average, 30 percent more time than men on housework? It doesn’t matter if we work outside the house, or if we work full-time or part-time, collectively, we’re carrying a large load at home. And yet, we’re the breadwinners in 40 percent of households. Sixty percent of us are caregivers, helping elderly parents, neighbors or friends. Thirty percent of us are volunteers in our communities, children’s schools, or for our favorite charities. Calls from the school? We’re taking them. Caring for the planet? We got that. Taking care of pets? That’s us. We complete an obstacle course every day.
And so I asked the women at The Sanity Chase, if they could add one more thing to their to-do lists this week. I asked them to do the Mogul, Mom & Maid triathlon. It’s not your typical race. It involves 1) putting down the mop, or the laundry basket, or pots and pans – whatever is adding stress to your life but not joy, 2) phoning a friend, and 3) doing something nice just for you. Do you think you could do it too?
First, put down the mop, and for just one week, lower your standards and accept that clean enough is good enough. See what it feels like. No one will get hurt.
Then, phone a friend. One of the things that was so clear to me in writing my book is that women need to talk to each other about what they’re lives are really like. The women we see on television and in magazines appear perfect all the time. The people we pretend to be on Facebook appear to be perfect all the time. It’s great to celebrate with each other when things are going well, but we also need to talk to each other when things are falling apart. We can boost each other up. So call a friend and tell them they’re fantastic. Or ask them to remind you that you’re amazing too.
And finally, do something nice for yourself. We are so busy managing the three Ms: mogul, or our workselves; mom, or our caregiving selves; and maid, who handles all of the life management and drudgery; that we sometimes neglect the fourth M: me.
The Mogul, Mom & Maid triathlon will be easier for some of you then others. But I dare you to give it a try. And let me now how it goes.