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Being A "Superwoman" Comes With A Price

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Rosanna Corniel thought she could do it all and have it all.

"I really did try to have the perfect life, I had got the house in right neighborhood, I married the perfect man, I had lined up my checklist," she said.

Corniel, who has three girls ages 3, 5, and 6, said became stuck in a continual cycle of trying to balance motherhood, career, and marriage - and to do it flawlessly.

"I would bash myself, I would really just attack myself in my own head, I mean it was bad in here if something went wrong, if something didn't go perfectly," she said.

Dr. Julia Harper is a psychologist and occupational therapist who has worked with Corniel. Like so many other mothers she's counseled, Harper said she suffered from 'Superwoman Syndrome.'

"A superwoman is a woman who believes that she finds her happiness from doing everything perfect. She's the perfect wife, she's the perfect employee, the perfect boss, her house is clean," she said.

But being a Superwoman comes with a cost.

"All of the things that are really important to you, your husband, your children, your own joy, your peace, you've sacrificed it for the list," said Harper.

Harper said women like Corniel spend her their days reacting, only to find exhaustion and little happiness in the end. She teaches them how to relieve the pressure.

"I really am able to now see my life for what it is," said Corniel.

Letting go, said Corniel, has actually helped her to gain the control she was working so hard for before.

"It's a huge relief, it's like a big weight lifted off your back," she said.

"If your interest is in getting things done, keep your list, if your interest is truly being happy and getting things done, then there's a different way," said Harper.

Harper said all women all vulnerable to suffering from Superwoman Syndrome because often society programs them to be that way. The key, she said, is recognizing the problem and be able to change it.

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