I’ve had just about enough of all the drama in my life. Not to steal too much from my girl Mary J, but The BadAssMama is here to tell you that I refuse to let the expectations, limitations and generalized stereotypes of other people intrude upon my life for one more second.
Let me explain.
If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you might notice a general theme. My mantra can be summed up in four words: Your Life, Your Rules. As mothers, we waste precious time worrying about how we stack up to other parents. Are we reading the right books, enrolling our toddlers in the right activities, preparing our kindergartners adequately for the Ivy League? Are we over-scheduling, under-scheduling, Ferberizing or attachment parenting? Does anyone have the answer to question number five?! Throw in a career, relationship and any semblance of a personal life and a girl can find herself twisted every-which-way-to-Sunday trying to keep everyone happy, all the time – never mind trying to find some quiet time to re-charge her own batteries.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the blogosphere posting about the power of setting up the life that works for you and your family – critics be damned – because no one else has your unique set of circumstances, and quite frankly no one has to live your unique life but you. With just over 6 years of parenting under my belt, (so clearly I’m an expert, right?) I can happily say that I’ve come to the point that criticism of my parenting approach generally rolls off my back. The judgments, outright insults and backhanded compliments have little to no impact on me because I am comfortable with the type of mother I have chosen to be. Sure, I may not make all the right decisions but they are MY decisions, for MY family.
Somewhere along the way, however, I seem to have lost that same sense of power in my professional life. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself slipping into the trap of trying to please everyone – sometimes at the expense of what matters most. Rather than owning my power and bringing my whole self to my professional environment, I’ve allowed rumor and innuendo to color my professional self-image and warp my personal priorities. Rather than relish the beautiful chaos that is the life of a working mother, I began to travel down the slippery slope of never-enough-guilt.
The BadAssMama is here to tell you that I am done with the working mama drama. I refuse to accept that the only archetypes for the working mother are cold-hearted corporate climber or frazzled and guilt-ridden work-life-balancer. Just like I can choose the rules that work best for my personal life, I choose to have an active and engaged career at the same time as being an active and engaged mother. There will be times – many times – when I will have to choose one over the other, but I will make those choices in my way, on my terms. I refuse to become a stereotype. I refuse to be riddled with guilt. I refuse to be mommy-tracked, and I refuse to substitute someone else’s priorities for my own. This is my life. I love my family, I’ve worked hard for my career, and I refuse to settle for anyone else’s image of what that should look like.
I’m issuing a challenge to all the working mothers out there. Will you join me in ending the working mama drama? Can we commit to fully engaging in our roles and career women and mothers in the way we choose without succumbing to the myth that we have to be frazzled and anxiety-ridden every moment of every day? Let’s commit together to end the drama.
Who’s with me?