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Not Your Mama’s Mamas

2011 October 26

It all started with a Tweet from a working mom I follow about how she baked I don’t know how many heavenly things between two client meetings and tending to her little ones, all in one afternoon.

My reply? We’re not your mama’s mamas. We both had a virtual chuckle and went back to our wine.

I do it on the daily. I am typing this post right now with 14% battery power left on my laptop, two sleeping kids upstairs (in part thanks to daddy), a husband working downstairs whose belly is full of the amazing home-cooked meal I whipped up (WW points-friendly, no less!), a freshly-baked pumpkin loaf that I somehow threw together sitting on the counter ready for breakfast, a Powerpoint presentation I just proofread has been sent back to its owner, and a Word doc proposal we are pitching tomorrow is covered in red highlights for yet another round of edits. And did I mention that all happened AFTER 5pm today and on less than six hours sleep from last night?

We’re not your mama’s mamas.

But I am not here to boast. I am not here to tell you I have it all covered, and then some. I am not here so you can say, “I don’t know how she does it.”

I am actually here to talk about my dear girlfriend back in Montreal who ended up in the ICU for a whopping 12 days this month. She came down with a mysterious bacterial virus and the doctors suspect her weakened immune system caused the inexplicably intense damage. She had been feeling burnt out, that we knew. Two young babies, an uber successful husband running his own personal empire, not enough sleep, not enough help. Trying to do it all, thinking everything was never enough. Baking one more pumpkin loaf when there are plenty to be bought at the store. Ignoring the tickle in her throat and the sore muscles because there were pumpkin patches to visit and memories to be made. Running herself into the ground trying to be the mama we all want to be…

We’re not your mama’s mamas.

We are more stressed. We are more overworked. We strive to be skinnier, sexier, stronger. We put such high expectations on ourselves and then instead of finding reward in rest, relaxation, a break – we sip a glass of Pinot and do it all again tomorrow. And maybe that’s ok for some, and maybe it’s not for others. Maybe our daughters will one day look back on us with even longer to-do lists of their own, bigger pipe dreams, more Pinot…and maybe they will have days like today, when the lists seem endless, the obstacles seem insurmountable and that tickle in the throat seems like a big, red flashing sign.

Maybe. For now, we’re simply not your mama’s mamas. For better or for worse.

One Response leave one →
  1. October 28, 2011

    Love this post…and it’s so familiar, of course. I just posted recently about going to see the movie “I don’t know how she does it”. I remember being a kid and thinking I could have it ALL. I could do anything. The older I get, the more I know something’s gotta give almost every day. I make impossible lists. I have ridiculous expectations. And while I put it aside for family time, I try to cram in as much as I can elsewhere. I wonder sometimes if the girls of the future will rebel againist this? Sort of a backlash on the whole working mom who does it all thing? It will be interesting to see.

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