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Ease Up, Mama

April 22, 2013

Being a woman in 2013 is hard work.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not downplaying the hardships women faced in previous generations.  I would have lasted about 2.4 seconds as a pioneer woman, and the thought of being considered my husband’s property and being denied the right to vote makes me shudder.  I’m well aware that when it comes to the big stuff we’re in a much better place now, with far more rights and comforts.

The difficulties I’m talking about have everything to do with expectations.  We have invented an ideal that is utterly unattainable.  We have read too many celebrity magazines and taken too many Facebook posts at face value and developed unrealistic goals that can only serve to make us feel like failures.

Today’s woman is expected to finish college with at least a bachelor’s degree, have a successful career in which she shatters glass ceilings and makes everything previous generations fought for worth it.  She is expected to marry well and have three children, all of whom will participate in roughly seventeen extracurricular activities per week from the time they are potty trained (which, by the way, she should feel solely responsible for and should have completed by the time the child is rolling over).  These children should be nurtured but not coddled, raised with self-esteem in spades and given every opportunity.  Her husband should feel valued as a partner and she should not only decorate and maintain their home like something out of House Beautiful, she should know and practice every sex tip ever printed in Cosmo.  She should volunteer in her community, be active in her church, and have a rockin’ body worthy of a twenty-year old.  She should fill her wrinkles and lift her breasts, and by no means should she ever look like a mom.  By God, if Angelina Jolie can pop out that many kids and still fit into her high school jeans, then so should Modern Woman.  She should be well read and belong to at least one book club, coach soccer, volunteer at her children’s schools, and host a killer dinner party.

And perhaps she should also ride a unicorn to work, because we seem to be talking about mythical creatures…

When are we going to cut ourselves some slack?  When are we going to realize we can’t be all things to all people?  When are we going to start saying NO?

I went to college and I love my job.  I have a great marriage and two wonderful children.  I try to eat healthy and I exercise to keep myself sane.  But I carry an extra fifteen pounds.  I occasionally fight with my husband.  I sometimes fail my kiddos as a parent.  Some days my job makes me want to scream.  I have days when I suck at being me.

We have some pretty incredible advantages afforded to us in this day and age.  We have had our road paved by some incredible women.  We should strive to be the best people we can be.  But that doesn’t have to mean being  CEO or having an ass like JLo.  It doesn’t mean we have to be PTO president or raise our own organic vegetables.  It just means we have to be ourselves, flaws and all.  No one is asking us to be perfect except us.  

So ease up, mama.  You’re pretty damn swell just the way you are.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2013 12:17 pm

    Thanks for this post! What a great perspective to keep in mind amidst the chaos. 🙂


  1. Ease Up, Mama | erasecreaterenew

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