I understand. Really, I do.
All kinds of moms want and deserve to feel terrific: stay at home moms, working moms, fit moms, and fat moms. But in the midst of celebrating the common mom – who apparently struggles with body issues, routine parenting fails, and believes we should all get an A for effort – I’m afraid we are settling for good enough.
Is mediocrity a temporary delay, something we have to deal with every now and then…or the goal itself?
I’m all for being blunt and honest, but the mantra “I’m not the best mom and that’s okay!” might be its own kind of bad trend. Since when did striving for excellence become a character flaw?
One of my friends has three degrees and a Pulitzer and she believes she has to complain about her burned pot roast in order to feel accepted at her local playgroup. Another friend was awarded a Harvard fellowship and she pretends it’s “no big deal” so relatives still talk to her at family reunions.
Women who set challenging goals, and blow past them, aren’t always holding their heads up high. They sometimes apologize or point out flaws, just to make other people feel good about themselves.
Hey, badass moms – just because *they* feel inferior doesn’t mean *you* feel superior.
What happened to celebrating our accomplishments and admiring other women who rock it – and know it?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we get on social media and document every success story. Our quiet confidence and encouragement speaks louder than a bragging session. There’s nothing badass about “Look at me!” Besides, no one should be set on a pedestal, it’s too easy to fall off. And laughing at our failed attempts or shared setbacks, rather than dwelling on them, is healthy.
But we don’t have to mention our muffin top when someone congratulates us for finishing a marathon in under 5 hours. We shouldn’t pretend that accomplishments are “no big deal” when they are. We don’t have to self-criticize in one area when discussing our achievements in another and we don’t have to shrug and almost act embarrassed when someone mentions our recent successes and congratulates us.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking out stories that highlight women who not only manage a family well, but excel in other arenas. Let’s celebrate them all over the place.
Because they’re like us – women kicking ass and taking names. Their stories are inspiring and motivate us to do more.
I used to read about Madonna and other famous moms and think, “Well, of course she can do it all. She has millions of dollars and a full-time staff.”
I recently read an article about a woman who published another bestseller and suggested her husband and his high salary deserved the praise. She said she couldn’t have done this on her own if she had to really work for a living.
This lets the rest of us off the hook quite nicely, doesn’t it?
What happened to feeling inspired by success stories, rather than intimidated by them? Why don’t stories about female scientists, Nobel Prize winners, or heroic doctors have the same effect as watching Real Housewives?
Middle-class mothers and wives don’t need any more excuses. The pressure to be typical is everywhere. And yet, many of us have successful careers. We train and compete in Ironman races. We write columns and legal arguments and speak Mandarin and become black belts. We craft public policy and save lives. We view our husbands as equals and raise honor roll students who are kind and loving.
We’re organized and capable.
We look at our bodies and are proud.
We look at our families and friends and are even prouder.
Our partners help with household chores and other errands, but we do all this and more without a full-time staff or gold record sales. We are achieving everything we’ve ever wanted, and more.
And we need never, ever apologize for it.