I get it. I really do. Different kinds of moms deserve to feel good about themselves: working moms, stay-at-home moms, thin moms, chubby moms. But in the midst of celebrating the common mom, who apparently has to deal with body issues, countless parenting fails, and competing influences, are we settling for good enough?
Is mediocrity a temporary setback or the goal itself?
I’m all for honesty, but the “I’m not the best mom and that’s OK!” might be its own kind of bad trend. Since when did striving for excellence become a character flaw?
I know a woman with three degrees and a Pulitzer who believes she has to complain about her burned cookies in order to feel accepted at her local playgroup. A coworker’s son was accepted at Harvard and she pretends it was “no big deal” so her cousins will still talk to her at family reunions.
Women who set challenging goals, and conquer them, aren’t always holding their heads up high. They sometimes apologize or point out their own flaws just to make other people feel good about themselves.
Hey, high-achieving moms – just because others feel inferior doesn’t mean you feel superior. Some of us get that.
What happened to celebrating our accomplishments and emulating women who are badass – and know it?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we get on social media and document every success story. No one should be set on a pedestal; it’s too easy to fall off. And laughing at our failed attempts, 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. Magazine editors can highlight women who not only manage a family well, but excel in other arenas.
It’s heartening to learn about women like us who are kicking ass and taking names. 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 Housewives from Miami?
We 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 platinum record sales. We are achieving everything we’ve ever wanted, and more.
And we need never, ever apologize for it.