There are uber-moms, and then there are the rest of us

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m not much of a political or “issues” blogger. I’m not much of a political or issues person, for that matter. But I couldn’t help but appreciate an opinion piece called “The Palin Effect: She makes me want to take a nap” that appeared in our Sunday paper todayespecially since a few years ago I unsubscribed to Working Mother magazine because it became too much for me to read about annoyingly-inspiring uber-moms who started their own companies, raised millions for nonprofits close to their hearts, and looked FAB-u-lous while chairing their children’s school fundraising drives.

Michelle Fossum writes:

Mrs. Palin is now the uber-woman, a mix of Hillary [Clinton] and Barbara [Bush]. A Hillara (or Barbary) who governs a state, bakes cookies, has teas, births babies after passing legislation and looks great, too. Can someone please tell me when she finds time to schedule a haircut?

In all honesty, I also have been guilty of multi-tasking myself into oblivion and the wee hours of the night. I work too many hours, get up too early and take on too many projects. I served on too many committees and worked too many part-time volunteer jobs.

But about three years ago, I decided to purge myself of many of these extraneous, often stressful, time-consuming tasks. One symbolic gesture was cancelling my subscription to Real Simple.

It’s a lovely magazine with all kinds of hints and tips and articles about de-stressing your life. Are you kidding me? The stack of unread issues lying around my house caused me to break out into hives…

Ha! Don’t I know that feeling.

Do I think we need more women in higher places in government? Hell, yeah! Do I commend Sarah Palin for her achievements? Absolutely. Do I like her choice in footwear? Yes, I admit it, okay.

Do I think she should be in the White House? Hell, no, not in this voter’s opinion. Well, unless she forgets all the stuff she preaches says and mandates napping time each day for all of the multi-tasking madwomen in this country. (And madmen — hey, I’m all about equality.)

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11 thoughts on “There are uber-moms, and then there are the rest of us

  1. T says:

    I love this!! I hate politics too.

    Hmmmm, a nap… ya know, I should be going to bed but here I am surfing my blogs…

    I may need a nap tomorrow. Can we add a siesta to the day like they do in Latin countries? If she can pull that off, I’d vote for her too!

  2. I love this! I went upstairs and immediately put my hive-inducing pile of unread magazines into recycling. It took three trips from the guest room to the garage. The stack included both Real Simple and Working Mother, among others. Somehow I ended up with a subscription to WM when I wasn’t working but was looking for a job. It’s even worse when you don’t have a job, think you may never find one, and still don’t measure up to the uber-moms!

  3. Yeah – the whole Palin thing leaves me feeling weird – I’m thrilled that we’ve come this far and that there are women in the presidential races, but then I remember that she hates the enivornment and polar bears and wants to ban books and I feel disgusted about it.

  4. Kim: Congrats on cleaning house! I’m glad I’m not the only one who suffers from unread magazine-inducing anxiety. (I only subscribe to one mag now, plus the weekend paper.)

    T: Yes, a siesta is EXACTLY what I was thinking. We can learn a lot from our European friends — between the siestas, 6 week “holidays” each year and year-long maternity leaves.

    Gina: Right on, sister!

    One of my favorites from the article:

    “Lately it seems that the modern woman needs to break that glass ceiling and then take a pottery class to learn how to sculpt the shards into a lovely serving bowl for her next cocktail party or play date.”

  5. I have to admit, I live a fairly simple life – job, kid, her ONE activity, and my helping with that activity… and yet I still sometimes feel overwhelmed. I have no idea how the rest of you do it and still find time to sleep!!

    Siesta is a great idea. 😉

  6. Michelle Fossum says:

    I have been so honored to hear that my thoughts resonated with so many women, and that Susan linked to me on this blog.

    My husband’s family is Colombian, and I definitely have always felt a kinship with their more laid-back lifestyle. I have been amazed when we have traveled to Colombia for holidays, how different it is from the stress-inducing holiday season I have grown up with in the states. His family has parties and food and dancing and fun, but everyone always takes time for the siesta in the afternoon (in full disclosure, they also have a much more extended vacation period than we do). The women AND men in his family work very hard the rest of the year, but they play and relax just as hard. The balance between the two is just much more apparent to me when I am there than when I am here.

    And Kim, as a recovering pack-rat, I admire your determination to purge. While I claim success at de-Real Simplifying, I still have four big crates of papers from college and (!) high school that I just can’t seem to part with, convinced that I will need them someday. For what?? Obviously for some big project that I will never get around to finishing. However, you all will be my inspiration to get rid of them this weekend!

  7. I took a nap today!

    Loved how you edited “preaches,” Susan. I’m happy a woman is a serious contender for VP (after 24 years), but I can’t say I share her political views.

    I do notice that behind many successful women is a (usually rugged and masculine) man who’s willing to step back and let his wife shine. Sometimes that means picking up the dry cleaning and taking care of the kids.

  8. I appear to be in the minority here, but I love Sarah Palin and what she stands for. And yes, she’s not doing it all by herself, she does have a husband who obviously spends a lot of time being a dad. And, no doubt she has other help, as many, many executive women do (an admin assistant for sure as well as advisers, a cabinet, a lieutenant governor, etc.). My hat’s off to what she’s accomplished, especially because I can’t fathom doing the same myself. I’ll be voting for her.

  9. Michelle, Terry and Christine: Thanks for sharing your views! I agree with Christine that once you get to a certain level you must have to have *some* help in order to do all of those things (or at least to do them well), whether a spouse or family support system or outside help or all of the above!

  10. Legal Editor Mom says:

    I’m not going to comment on the political aspect of this, although I know what (who) I want in the White House, and for our country.

    I can totally relate to having never-ending to do lists, or completing one, only to realize yet another task that needs tending to. I, too, loved Real Simple magazine! (and a few others) but I canceled all of the subscriptions since I can barely make it through the Sunday paper, daughter’s schoolwork and various other papers, mail, freelance work in addition to work from my full-time job, you name it.

    I’m from another country where they siesta also, along with having more holidays and vacation time than in the U.S., and they live much more stress-free lives than Americans. Gives me much food for thought for retirement. But for now, multi-tasking is key, along with living a healthy lifesyle, taking time out when necessary, and knowing when to say no.

    Great post!

  11. I love all the stuff Matt Damon is saying – do we really want her in the White House if McCain dies? I respect that she has her own views on how to live life, but they don’t come close to matching mine.

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