Monday, August 22, 2011

Redefining SuperMom

Photo by Magna Vita Photography
As I approach the one year anniversary of the launch of Kimberley's Kitchen, I am taking some time to reflect on this year and looking to the year ahead. The subtitle of this post could easily be "Practicing What I Preach" because this year has certainly been filled with choices and circumstances that have challenged me in every way.

My career before candy-making was in HR. I often advised employees and managers on career planning. My philosophy is that there is one list. Not a "career" list and a "life" list. They are one and the same. You cross different things off in different areas of your life. But more importantly, the list is a set of priorities. 

My priorities since becoming a parent have been very clear to me. There have been many times when some things give way for others. This couldn't be more true of this past year. I have sacrificed a great deal for certain things. Most of the time I sucessfully strike a balance of parenthood and business, but my personal life has taken its toll. So typical, I put myself at the bottom of the list and I am really starting to feel it.

The pressure to be the SuperMom is incredible. I wasn't expecting to be affected by it but its just out there. (Do I need to see Gwyneth Paltrow do one more thing on my bucket list, better than I ever would?) And maybe some women are talking about it but I feel like we are expected to be Super in so many unrealistic ways. We are expected to look fabulous while working and caring for children and keeping everyone happy and have a perfect home and have achieved inner peace with our yoga practice. Its SO unrealistic that all these pieces come together ALL the time (without a lot of money and people to do the work for you).

Real Moms work, raise children, manage a family, clean a home, feed people, contribute to their community, and if they have time, go to the gym, read a book, do something alone. And we all have our priorities. And the age of our children makes a huge difference too. One infant, two under three, two not yet in school, all kids in school. This definitely impacts how much and what we can do.

Perhaps we could all collectively agree to give each other a break. To stop judging other moms. To start applauding each other for our accomplishments. I think of the moms I know and many of them are the top earner in the family, balance jobs and home, are beautiful, and are just good people. (I will never forget the way the director of my daughter's preschool reacted when I told her we only eat organic food. I was shocked by how judgmental and condescending she was). 

I have decided that being a SuperMom is about who my children are, how well I teach them to care for themselves and the world, and making a contribution to my community. Yes, the laundry piles up. But I know what my priorities are and I am practicing what I preach. I have a new list, much like the lists I advised so many to create. I acknowledge that in order to care for myself and my family best, moving to a small town with a big job and possibly some chickens is the best way for me to be a SuperMom.

The laundry will still be there tomorrow. As long as we are all wearing seasonally appropriate clothing, I'm okay with that.