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So: What Don't YOU Do?

How to Stop the Super-Mommy Madness

by Jordan Sadler  |  9912 views  |  17 comments  |        Rate this now! 

We’re often told that we can’t have it all. While most of us working moms seem to have gotten that memo, I think we may have missed the one that told us that we can’t DO it all.

Now, here’s the truth: Not a single one of us does it all. And I would argue that we don’t talk about it nearly enough.

We talk more about what we do. It’s only natural. As in, “I'm home with my kids part-time. I run my own thriving business, working full-time hours. I go out with my husband regularly, and also go out with friends often enough. I write for a few blogs. I get real pedicures when I can. I stay in touch with family and friends near and far. I have a new volunteer position at my church and am the Treasurer of our condo association. I'm trying to decide if I would rather pursue a PhD or adopt/foster another child in the next couple of years.”

But I don't do it all. Far from it. In order to have any sanity in my life, there are things that I have let slide. Some are big things. I think we moms - and adults in general - should talk a lot more about what we don't do, because many of us have expectations of ourselves that are way out of whack. If we just understood that no one does all that she thinks she is “supposed” to be doing, wouldn't we be better off?

So, let's drop our expectations right now, shall we? I'll get us started:

1. I don't follow the news. I don't watch television news and although I love NPR, I don't have an opportunity to listen to it uninterrupted. Until recently, we got the Sunday paper but it sat unread each week until we tossed it in the recycling. We had to admit to ourselves that it was time to cancel. The best I do is to get the headlines. My husband fills me in when something big is going on. I really need to get up to speed on the presidential candidates, and I will. But in a regular week, I live in a news vacuum. I don't even know who Paris Hilton is, or what she did.

And it's okay.

2. I don't make “real” dinners. We eat healthy meals, but they are simple to the extreme; not what our moms made when we were growing up. Quite often, my husband and I laugh and remark that dinner prep would sure be easier if we had three microwaves.

And it's okay.

3. I don't clean my own house. This got to be a real problem before we finally gave in and hired someone to help every other week. With our major allergies and disinclination to clean, there is no money better spent. (And let me tell you: the fact that we're forced to clear the house of clutter every other week is almost as helpful as the actual cleaning.)

About the Author

Jordan is mom to two wonderful boys and owner of a speech-language pathology private practice in Chicago, IL.

Read more by Jordan Sadler

17 comments so far...

  • I am too cheap to hire out, except I do have someone come in and scrub for me. I am anal about a lot of things, and tend to either not do them, or not let others for fear of them screwing it up, or me having to do it after them. I always make my bed, but I almost never clean my room. If you make your bed, your room looks cleaner, so I like the idea of it LOOKING cleaner. I dont shower everyday, and I eat a lot more chocolate than I should. I never take care of myself, and my kids eat WAY better than me. I procrastinate EVERYTHING.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by spazzmom on 15th August 2007

  • I don't clean either. But my cleaning lady has vanished, so now I am scrambling for another before the house gets too bad!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jen Creer on 14th August 2007

  • Exercise -- although I know it's good for my health, I don't particulary enjoy it. When you account for changing clothes and showering, it's time-consuming and can be difficult to schedule.

    House cleaning and folding laundry -- the number one thing every working mother should consider outsourcing!

    Flashcards for toddlers -- I don't buy in to the thinking that you will develop your child's brain by pushing pre-school or kindergarten level skills on toddlers.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SoftwareMom on 14th August 2007

  • You're right, we're NOT talking about this much. But I agree - we've got to say no to some things just to manage whatever else we're doing. (I've got a related post going up on my blog today). As for me, I enjoy cooking but not on weeknights, so I rarely do it anymore - and almost never do on the nights my stepkids are at their mom's. I'm involved in very few community activities. I do clean kitchens and bathrooms and make my bed, though.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 14th August 2007

  • OK, I have to admit, I don't make anyone's bed or clean my house either. :) Life has been so much nicer since we got someone to clean twice a month.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kristie McNealy on 13th August 2007