Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I don't know how she does it
A few years ago, I read the novel “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” by British author Allison Pearson. It was a humorous account of a successful business woman trying to juggle career and family life, finding that it's a challenge, to say the least.
Last night I saw the trailer for the film based on the novel, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker as the American version of the lead character, Kate Reddy. The novel was a good read, and while I couldn’t relate to Kate’s executive-level work/life balance (I have a senior level position, but no employees reporting to me, THANK GOD), I certainly can relate to the everyday tug-pull that moms who work full-time outside the home experience.
Just this morning I was included in yet another mass email from one of my daughter’s room moms stating, “Hey, let’s take the kids to the park after school lets out – who wants to join us?” Theoretically, I’d love to join you, as would my daughter who usually heads to the school’s after-care program when classes let out. Alas, I’ll have to offer up another big fat “No,” since I WORK FULL TIME. I want to scream this to the moms in her class because when it comes to the working moms, sometimes the stay-at-home-moms at her school lack a sensitivity gene.
Of course, this feeling is somewhat new to me, because when my kids were both at the preschool childcare program, all of the parents worked. That’s why our kids were there. We shared a common bond. But, now my daughter is in grade school and I feel like I’m surrounded by SAHMs. Not that being a SAHM is a bad thing. Sometimes I wish I could be one. It’s just not part of my life path, at least for now.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not attacking SAHMs, so please don't send me hate mail. I'm just talking about this particular group at my daughter's school. I'm not here to judge people's life choices. We do what we do in the best interest of our families. Period.
I have a friend whose husband is an attorney and with his income, she could probably stay at home if she wanted. But, she enjoys working full-time. She says she doesn’t feed into the guilt because her family is happy. “They (the stay-at-home moms at her kids’ school) don’t want my life and I don’t want theirs, therefore it works out for everyone.”
I guess when it comes down to it, I feel that way most days, too. As women, we should support each other no matter what we do – whether you’re a career mom or SAHM. No judgment, just be there for each other because we’re part of the sisterhood.
So, SAHMs, if you want, I’ll be happy to meet you on the playground on a Saturday morning with my kids and Starbucks in tow. We can chat about life, school, spouses, you name it. Rather than judge each other for our life choices, we can pick apart the skinny 20-something girl running through the park. Ah, that makes me feel so much better!
Images from Amazon and IMBD
P.S. - For the record, the majority of SAHMs at my daughter's school are wonderful women and are sensitive to the fact that there are a number of moms who work outside the home. And, there also is a great group of career moms that I adore. It's only a small contingent that irk me. But, I guess I can say that about every aspect of my life!