Today’s Empowered Moms are constantly re-evaluating what it means to “have it all” and creating new ways to balance family and work.
“The Mommy Wars” of the past decades, which pitted stay-at-home mothers against those in the workforce, have changed. There’s less camaraderie now between women in both camps and more isolation as mothers have such varied lives, both at work and at home.
All the while, for well-educated, middle- and upper-class women at least, pressure mounts to succeed at work while still baking gourmet cupcakes for classroom parties, teaching sign language to your infant and Spanish to your toddler and making certain your kids are eating the right amount of leafy greens (organic, obviously).
Hollee Schwartz Temple, a professor at West Virginia University’s College of Law, gave up trying to be a perfect mommy one night in 2005.
Her then-35-year-old husband, John, was in the hospital with a mysterious life-threatening heart ailment, and she had been up all night, stressed, worried and suffering from a migraine that made her throw up.
Her nearly year-old son, Henry, was stirring, wanting to be fed.
Too exhausted for a marathon breast-feeding session, she thought of what the other mothers in her playgroup would say. “Breast is best. Formula is bad,” they would likely admonish her.
But she went to the kitchen anyway, mixed a bottle of Enfamil and took it back to her hungry baby, who drank it happily.
And guess what?
Everything was OK.
The moment is detailed in Temple’s new book, “Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood.”
“We were talking about the challenges faced by our generation of moms,” Temple recalls. “Our mothers, the Baby Boomers, didn’t have the sort of choices we had. There wasn’t really a book out there for smart, ambitious women who wanted to have careers but not at the premium of spending time with their families.”
The Empowered Mom has been reading more and more books like this. Not to become an expert but to try and just get a better sense of the balance between career and family. This looks to be a good one you should try as well if you have similar questions.
And why you are thinking about Good Enough Moms – have you been to Rene Syler’s Good Enough Mother blog yet? Rene and I worked together and became friends several years ago at CBS. This is a great blog well worth your favorites list.