A recent MSNBC article scolded celebrity moms for not being more forthright about the fact that they employ nannies to help keep all their fabulous ducks in a row. That by not being honest with us stars like Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts are responsible for the unrealistic expectations we “regular women” heap upon ourselves.
The insinuation that “regular moms” are so boneheaded that we look at someone like Angelina Jolie and don’t automatically assume that she has help is mildly offensive. It is insulting to assume that at work from home mom like myself is just plain flabbergasted by Angie’s ability to do it all.
I like to believe that we’re all smarter than that. That we look at our own lives and the blissful juggle that it takes to keep it all going and understand that everyone needs help.
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Expectations are hard to keep in check. I know this. But are regular women really walking around trying to be like Angelina Jolie? I doubt it.
I think it’s probably more accurate to say that we’re trying to be like the friend whose house is always clean and manages to take the kids to fun places every week. That we look at our neighbor’s lovely flowers and wish we could figure out how not to kill every hanging basket we bring home. That we eavesdrop on the mom at the park calmly redirecting her willful toddler and wonder how on earth she does it.
I think it is good to admire the positive qualities of your friends and to try to emulate the traits that you value. But I think it’s important to stop short of heaping guilt and anguish on yourself because you perceive a mom, any mom, as “having it all”.
Ask them if they have it all. I bet they’d laugh in your face.