Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

One of my favorite working mommy bloggers finally threw in the towel.


Can't say I blame her. She fought the good fight. She made heroic efforts to invite peace and sanity into her life. She scaled back her work assignments, did the part-time thing. She took control of her life, setting clear limits both in her work life and in her personal life. She did EVERYTHING right to try to perfectly balance mommyhood and a successful out of home job with a major firm in a big, fancy office and it STILL wasn't enough.

Lately I've been wondering if work/life balance for us moms is at all possible. I'm especially wondering that today, a day that began with me bolting out the door at the crack of dawn to make an 8 am meeting reeling off instructions to my husband about straightening up the house for the cleaning service and the list of stuff daughter #2 needed for preschool. Despite my clear direction, he forgot to put a towel in said daughter's backpack for swimming and she sadly had to share another kid's towel (dang, I KNEW that was too much information for him!). The replay of her 4 year-old dismay when she discovered no towel, her reluctance to say something to her teachers and her shivering, dripping little body as she stood patiently waiting for her friend's used wet towel continues to play over and over in my head ("And it didn't even have a princess on it, Mommy!") Oh, the guilt!!!

We often blame the extreme work environments and inflexible work policies for the imbalance. But I have all the flexibility one could possibly want. My boss lets me set my own schedule. I'm free to attend any school play, recital, parent/teacher conference, doctors appointment I want. I can work from home at the drop of a hat. Heck, my organization actually gives me 15 hours of time off a year, separate and apart from my regular time off, to do volunteer work. And volunteering at my kids' schools counts! I have a fabulous nanny and though he may not be perfect, my husband does do his part. And yet I STILL find it completely overwhelming.

Why is that? Why can't we seem to make work...well, work? Is it because we're a product of our generation -- hopeless over-achievers unable to let go and not do everything perfectly? Or is it that work and motherhood really truly in our heart of hearts if we were really truly honest with ourselves really don't mix?

I curse the 70's and its unrealistic, idealistic vision for us women. I still blame Gloria Steinem and that f-ing bring home the bacon commercial for making us believe we could do it all. Not to mention that Free to Be You and Me "Parents are People" song (click through -- you gotta watch this). We were brainwashed!

There's gotta be a better way -- some kind of solution. But I'm too tired to figure it out now. After all, tomorrow is another day.


Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

So hey, if you do find that better solution, let me know, ok... :) It's only 10am here and I'm already exhausted today. Sigh.

Yes, I know - I need to get back to doing something productive like actual work. :)

PunditMom said...

Deep sigh.