In a world driven to label everything, there is even something called Rushing Woman’s Syndrome. Coined by author and biochemist, Dr Libby Weaver, it is the label for women who are stressed out, over tired, coffee fueled and lacking good support networks to talk about being a woman.
In her book aptly named, Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, she delves into the effects of being in a constant rush has on your biochemical make up, nervous system, emotions and more importantly, sex hormones.
There is a checklist in the early chapters with 30 statements that help to classify a woman living in a rush. If you resonate with more than seven, you have Rushing Woman’s Syndrome. I clocked up 24 of the 30… does that mean I have MRWS – Major Rushing Woman’s Syndrome.
Do you relate to any of these statements?
- Feel overwhelmed often
- Love coffee to the point you feel deprived if you cannot get your daily fix
- Can’t sit down as you feel guilty
- Tend to crave sugar, especially mid afternoon or close to menstruation
- Compromise on sleep to get jobs done later at night
- Doesn’t usually ask for help
- Can’t say no easily and if you do, feel guilty
- When some asks how you are, you say ‘busy’
After reading her book, I really did wonder how any women could be anything else but in a rush when they have to ‘do it all’. In addition, our culture has sped up and this generation of women are really just trying to keep up with it. Access to devices, such as iPhones, lap tops and iPads helping us to go mobile with work and life, don’t help to slow the rush. Maybe this book was not written for mums who work and have little children – is there anything else but a rush?
A few years ago, I worked full time as a school teacher and loved every minute of it. I would collect my three children on the way home from school/work and begin the afternoon/evening routine. When my delightful children were tucked up in bed, I would fold the washing, clean the kitchen and four nights out of five, hop on the computer to find resources and write down ideas for making my classroom kids have more fun, be more resilient and prepare them for the world.
This schedule left not one ounce of time to do anything else but ensure I was nurturing the hearts and minds of both my three children and the 26 children I taught. It was the most rewarding year of my life and while I got by on drinking chai lattes and a glass of wine before dinner, I loved it. I didn’t feel in a rush the whole time, I had a focus and a purpose. I knew how to breathe and did yoga for 15 minutes before 6am. Between 6am and 8am (when class started), it was some what of a rush to get out the door with four people intact and ready for a school day. But it was a rush with purpose and focus.
According to Dr Libby, two of the major factors that contribute to the undoing of a rushing woman are an increased intake of coffee, which has a stimulating effect on an already rushed body and a couple of glasses of wine at night (or between pick up and dinner – my least favourite time in the day!). Wine is a depressant and adds load to your liver. Added to this is the amount of sandwiches or bread we eat, the sugary muffin for morning tea with another coffee and the ‘pick me up’ chocolate and coke at 2.30pm (just before pick up). This is one point I do agree with Dr Libby on. As mothers, we have to nurture our bodies by eating properly to have the energy to be with our children. I love my morning protein shakes packed with goodness (from my good friend Tiffany Sharp, Epiphany Health), my bit of morning yoga, an afternoon shake, no bread diet and little sugar.
I have to confess, since reading this book I no longer have a glass of wine before dinner and do I feel better for it? It has been about four months now and I probably have a glass every couple of weeks. I no longer crave it at that time of day and know it was more a habit than a need. I did replace it with chocolate for a few days until I got use to it. But that is definitely a positive. Dr Libby said it improves your morning mood as your liver is taking on less load – I get that as mornings are not my or my daughters favourite time. I have also tried to unconnect – it is liberating leaving my phone at home sometimes or leaving it on my desk when I go to get my hot chocolate and looking around at the world or god forbid, starting a conversation with fellow cafe goers.
All in all, to be a mother and a mother that is going to do the best they can for their children and meet your own needs along the way (including work, gym, life), you need to be in some sort of rush – a rush with a purpose and focus is probably better than just madly rushing. But not the sort of rush that will have lasting effects on your mental health, liver or sex hormone. When you are in a rush, the kids and generally the whole household is in a rush. Having a good Mums network to share the load, ensuring you have the ultimate nutrition and taking a breather regularly can ensure we ease the rush, also laughing along the way and staying on top of the overload.
You can read more about the book at Dr Libby’s website here.
Is Rushing Woman’s Syndrome real? How do you slow down?
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About Anna Partridge
Anna Partridge is a passionate educator, mother of three young children and founder of parenting and education blog, BombardedMum. She also runs parenting workshops about ‘Raising Confident and Resilient Kids’ and works with mums to bring back their Mummy Mojo and find their ‘big picture’ of parenting. Through her blog, she is building a community of like-minded mothers who share the inspiration and challenges of raising the next generation. To work with Anna, contact her here.