May 3, 2013

Keeping It Real

Lately I've been all about the "keeping it real" posts.

I try (key word) not to over share when it comes to my personal life, my beliefs, etc., but I think this is a topic worth bringing some thought to. A while back, after a long day, I made this post on my facebook page, knowing full well I would get plenty of responses...

"Any other moms wonder why you spent all those years in college and grad school just to spend most of your day doing "jobs" that require no education at, dog walking, laundry, etc. 
I'm sure I'll use my brain again someday!"

You see, since leaving my "traditional" 8-5 job and becoming, for the most part, a stay at home mom, I've struggled with my identity. I think it can officially be called an identify crisis. I spent all of my childhood, teens and twenties striving towards a personal goal; first it was college, then it was medical school, then it became graduate school and a job at Nike, and the next job at Nike, and then my own business...Sport Lab Ltd.

And then, I had a baby, and suddenly those kinds of goals weren't as important to me anymore, at least for the time being. But two years into motherhood I still find it hard to let go of who I was and the job I had, and there are times when I miss being in the professional world 5 days a week.

So, why is that? Maybe it's because the majority of my friends are professional, working women or maybe it's because our generation was told we could be anything: a doctor, an astronaut, an engineer, or even President; and never did that "anything" statement include being a stay-at-home mom.
Or maybe it's because despite being a pretty secure person, this is one of my insecurities...

Whatever the reason, I am constantly evaluating my place in the professional world and my place as a mother. I think for all women (okay...most) there will always be a struggle to balance work and family.   I will always be challenged to balance the drive and motivation I have to achieve in a professional environment with my love for my child and the flexibility my family has because I don't have a professional career.

So after all of that... there is no resolution to this post, but I thought I would share some recent books and articles that shed more light on this struggle that so many women experience. A friendly reminder for all of us, whatever your decision is... to work or not to work.. we as women should support one another and respect each other's choices, even if they are different from our own.

And let me add. Being a "stay-at-home mom" is by far the most difficult job I have ever had. No question!

Now for some light reading:

What Not to Say To Working Moms vs. Stay-At-Home Moms: What You Should NEVER Say To Them

Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood by Samantha Parent Walravens
Striking the right balance between career and motherhood is one of the most stressful, heart-wrenching tasks facing women today. In Torn, forty-six women examine the conflict between the need to nurture and the need to work, and reveal creative solutions for having the best of both worlds. The stories in the collection offer hope and inspiration, but they also reveal the messy realities of modern motherhood and life's inevitable crises, both small and large: from breast pump mishaps to battles with cancer; diaper blowouts to debilitating depression; competitive cupcake baking to coming home from war. In the end, the reader can take comfort in the knowledge that there is no perfect mother; nor is there a perfect balance when it comes to kids and career. The real challenge facing women today is not juggling their many roles, but realigning their expectations of what is possible and accepting that success does not equal "doing it all."

Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood by Becky Beaupre Gillespie
Join a growing new wave of mothers who are learning to let go of the little things and focus on what they really want out of their career, their family and their life. Through their groundbreaking research, Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple have discovered a paradigm shift in motherhood today: more and more mothers are losing their "never enough" attitude and embracing a Good Enough mindset to be happier, more confident and more successful. Filled with inspiring firsthand accounts from working mothers and drawn from the latest research, Good Enough Is the New Perfect is a true road map for the incredible balancing act we call motherhood.

 I Just Want To Pee Alone 
Motherhood is the toughest – and funniest – job you'll ever love. Raising kids is hard work. The pay sucks, your boss is a tyrant, and the working conditions are pitiful – you can't even take a bathroom break without being interrupted with another outrageous demand. Hasn't every mother said it before? “I just want to pee alone!” I Just Want to Pee Alone is a collection of hilarious essays from 37 of the most kick ass mom bloggers on the web.


  1. I think this post will resonate with many of us. I appreciate it :-)

  2. As a new working mom, I really appreciate this post. I think far too few women are willing to speak honestly about their experiences and like to pretend that they are happy all the time, because to admit that they are not might mean that they don't love their kids, weren't ambitious enough, or have failed in some other way.

    Keeping the conversation going is really important. I love working, but the toll 2 demanding careers takes on our family life is tough. I don't have a solution, since I think staying at home is even more work than going to work (at least it is for me!), and they are not handing out part-time lawyer jobs. As someone who has been defined by her accomplishments for 30+ years, it's a tough spot.

    Anyway, thank you for "keeping it real." Other real women appreciate it :)

  3. Okay, we are going to talk in class on Monday and maybe catch a happy hour one of these days. Love, Jennifer

  4. Thanks ladies for your comment. I think this is a dialogue I will continue as it moves me! :)

  5. Ok, I am commenting on your blog for the first time. Sahm is by FAR and away my most challenging role yet. I love it, I always knew I would quit work when I had babies....but the mommy wars are so bad! I feel like I get judged so severely for my choice. As if I have zero ambition, and just sit around all day. I don't! I barely have time to shower and get dressed, lets not even talk putting makeup on or doing my hair...that is relegated to the weekend when I have a husband around to help for 5 seconds. I don't have the desire to go back to my corporate career...ever! I like what I do, but it is HARD and no one understands unless they have been here! Grateful that you do. (I do miss my professional career-friends, and getting "me" time. But that's about it. I just wish the world was less "judge-y" about stay at home