Why giving up control might be good for your happiness

Why giving up control might be good for your happiness

By Kristin van Ogtrop from Time Healthland

On my last birthday one of my sons wrote a poem for me, using the letters of my first name to start each line. It was sweet, sort of. It began, “K: kind of a control freak.” When I read that line, we both laughed: my son laughed at my mock horror, and I laughed because if I weren’t a control freak, he wouldn’t know how to tie his shoes, say please or thank you, or take his muddy shoes off at the front door. Oh, and he would have scurvy.

I am no different from most women. I know this because while by night I am K: Kind of a Control Freak, by day I am the editor of Real Simple magazine, where I have spent the better part of a decade amassing completely unscientific evidence to support the theory that most women would rather swallow fire than delegate household tasks.

Sure, we feel overworked and wish someone would just lend a hand, but experience has taught us that that hand would be making the wrong choices nine times out of 10. And then what? Entropy. Laziness. The diminishing of standards until life is all cartoons and high fructose corn syrup; no educational TV or whole wheat bread.

MORE: Have Women Found Work-Life Balance?

But is this really the state of the American woman? Or is it just representative of all of my control freak friends and the women who love Real Simple? To find out, Real Simple recently commissioned a national study with the nonprofit Families and Work Institute, to better understand the relationship women have with time. We surveyed 3,230 women ages 25 to 54 nationwide…

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