Friday

Working Mom Rants--The Death of the Supermom!


I believe I saw a "Supermom" once, but I think it was an illusion... I recognize that I am not the most organized person known to man. I had a packed schedule before becoming a mom and having a child did nothing to decompress it.  Like most working moms who practice law I am pulled in a host of different directions and I suffer from the malady of trying to do too much.  I’ve chronicled my journey here where I’ve discussed my speaking engagements, blogging and networking events.  I also had the nerve to get knocked up again. As I write this I am on the eve of becoming about 30 weeks pregnant.  I just learned from my OB’s office that I am beginning the phase of going to the doctor’s every two weeks. As if I needed yet another “mandatory” commitment…
 
What I need instead is a road map to try to navigate my way through my house. Andre has been remodeling our bathroom and decided to re-organize the toddler’s room. He got sick in the middle of the project. So, our house is a fire hazard with s—t all over the floor in our room, on the stairs and in the hallway.  This is on top of the s—t that generally accumulates at our place during the week.
 

Good help is how to succeed as a working mom.

 
I look at some women and wonder, “how she does it”. However, I know the truth.  Nobody can “lean in” to a demanding job, maintain a clean home, happy children and a reasonably strong relationship without having help.  That help may be in the form of their mother, mother-in-law, after school sitter, or housekeeper, but help is required.  And the more help you have the easier it is to achieve balance and the less stressed out you feel.
 
Up until now, many women have felt pressure to lie about how they make it work or suffer silently.  In a recent article I read, I realized that celebrities are not only better paid than we are they may also be more honest. Busy Phillips from “Cougar Town” admitted that her secret to success is “fulltime help”. 
 
I am so glad that moms are finally being honest about how they make it work. The stories will definitely help other moms.  It will also help younger women who plan to become moms.  

Discard any guilt associated with relying on help.

 
So, lets dispense with the myth of the "supermom". Indeed, we can take a photo of her and burn that chick as far as I am concerned. We all have the same number of hours in each day. We all have basic human needs, working can be stressful and children are demanding. While children do transform you and make you a better version of yourself. You remain you, which means that you remain human. And you cannot do it all alone.


The sooner you recognize that, the better off you will be. Indeed, Time magazine published an article indicating that women who subscribe to the "Super Mom" myth are more likely to be depressed.  The only thing harder than managing being a working mom would be trying to do that while depressed.  Let's simply commit to dispelling the myth!




The first three years of my daughter's lie we relied on a nanny to help us make our household work. Having that help made the transition to working motherhood that much easier. I know that is an expensive model. However, I never regretted the cost. I recognized that I needed that help in order to maintain my sanity.  The two nannies we had ensured that our home was always presentable and our daughter was happy and well.  Trust me, it was money well spent.




While the model you choose may be different, be sure that you recognize that you need help.  Choose a model that allows you to manage your demands without being stressed out. There's actually no reward for that. For you, you may need to rely on a relative, a neighbor, or a "mommy's helper" who comes for 5 hours on a Saturday so you can run errands and have some time for yourself. Whatever you choose do to, discard any guilt you might feel for not doing everything on your own.  After all, if Hillary Clinton unapologetically shared the African Proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" you owe it to yourself to maximize the resources of your village to help you live the best life possible. 


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