In fact, I am exhausted.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the expectations on mothers these days. I struggled to figure out when I would actually find some time and energy to create this blog, because I am running aorund until 9 at night. With the recent release of the Shriver Report on working women in the nation, I have been thinking more of the percentage of my day that is spent meeting the demands and needs of others. (According to report, four in ten of us moms are the breadwinners, yet we make .79 cents on the dollar to men.) I never thought I’d say this, but I sometimes wish I was a woman in the 1950s. They seem to have it so easy. Their role was cut and dry. (And of course not being old enough to have been alive in the 1950s, I get all of my information on this topic from AMC’s series “Madmen.”) I would love to stay at home and clean and care for Sofia and cook and try and look good. That sounds like my Saturdays!
I went to a women’s liberal arts school where I was trained up to be confident in the world to take on anything I wanted. I was the first woman in my family to graduate high school without being pregnant, let alone get a Master’s degree. I married a very supportive husband who is willing to do housework and cook and other “non-traditional” duties. Even with that, I find myself growing resentful in my times of heavy stress. I find myself breaking down physically and emotionally because I am getting lost in all my chores and obligations. I find myself constantly guilty for not spending more time with my daughter, which is the thing I would most like to do. I am painfully lonely at times.
I am exactly where I have worked so hard all my life to be: great career, wonderful husband, fabulous daughter, gorgeous home in the ‘burbs. Yet, if someone gave me a magic wand I would live in a smaller house, work part-time in a bookstore, and have more babies.
Being a woman who “has it all” means you are woman who often has to do it all, and it seems there is little room for error. My goal in the next ten years is to slowly start setting up my life so that I can undo much of what I have worked for in the first 30. This is a shift in my values that I never anticipated, but in all my preparation for strong womanhood, no one taught me how to do it all and be a healthy well-rounded individual. I just don’t see how anyone can do all that’s expected of modern moms and not get lost in the shuffle.