Friday, October 1, 2010

The "Unflappable" Working Mom

I saw this entertaining article on Yahoo this morning called The Ten Secrets of One Unflappable Working Mother. Give it a read and then count your blessings that you did not opt for that life.

The article is full of advice for women who have opted for the untenable life of juggling motherhood and career (a.k.a. the headless chicken life) - advice which basically boils down to this: Multitask! Do personal stuff at work and work stuff at home! Create a "Command Central" in your house where you can get stuff done while keeping an eye on the chaos! Keep positive and try not to focus on how hard your life is - you are an important person with many hats! Don't worry about getting anything accomplished in the morning - just get the kids out of the house on time and consider that success! Don't agonize over your decisions! Limit bragging about your kids while at the office! (Hey, I like that one).

The fact that working moms need advice about how to manage their lives says something, doesn't it? It says to me that such a life is undesirable. The fact that anyone would voluntarily choose to to live a life where their every waking moment is overscheduled, overwhelming, filled with incessant and competing demands that assault the senses, exhaust energy levels and send a woman into fight-or-fight mode confounds me.

Oh that's right. I keep forgetting. It's so worth it.

20 comments:

scmtngirl said...

That made me tired and cranky just reading it. Blech.

Zyzzyx said...

*shudder*

OK, the 10 points are a little frightening, but nothing like some of the tales in the comments. I made it through a few pages then couldn't take it anymore.

Yeah, quite pleased with the childfree bachelor life. Though that second part is changing. ;)

KATiE said...

I agree that list is a little scary, but....

"The fact that working moms need advice about how to manage their lives says something, doesn't it? It says to me that such a life is undesirable."

Oh, come on! Advice articles are so ubiquitous, and on so many different topics, as to be pointless. There's advice on getting through college and various kinds of graduate school; there's advice on being happy in whatever vocation. The existence of advice on some "lifestyle" says less about the lifestyle and more about the trend to just publish painfully vague, and simultaneously niche, advice when no actual current or interesting topic makes itself available.

charmed said...

my boyfriend doesn't understand why I wouldn't want to work a full time job and have kids, basically giving me two full time jobs! no thanks, I would rather just have one job and enjoy my life, and that job does not include kids!

Spectra said...

My mother-in-law has a bunch of Christian women's magazines that she got from one of her friends. I flipped through a few of them and the main theme in all of them was basically how to tolerate/manage your kids without flipping out and going postal on them. It just made it seem like motherhood was something negative that you have to just deal with. And that's part of why I'm not going that route in my life!

Rebecca and Chris said...

I was at the local YMCA last night (because I can go when I want to) and I walked past a sign advertising a class called, "Parenting Your High-Spirited Child".

I smiled and was thrilled, yet again, about my childfree life, which is the same reaction I just had reading that article.

CFVixen said...

I agree...articles like this make me realize just how undesirable parenthood really is.

Moiraine said...

*whew* I'm tired just reading the article! If I wanted to go through life overstressed, sleep deprived and immersed in chaos then I guess having kids is the ticket.

Luckily for me (and my hubby, cats and dog) I'm blissfully CF! :)

Daghain said...

God, if this is ever my life (it can't be, I'm fixed) please shoot me in the head.

Wow.

Christy said...

Please. I bet she isn't that hard to flap. Maybe the only reason she doesn't flap is because she spends ten minutes each day rocking back and forth in the corner of her bedroom sobbing gently with the door locked.

Where is the time in a life like that for learning anything new about yourself that doesn't involve quick stain removal, for being feminine, for having an adventure that doesn't involve an aquarium? Yes, I am thankful.

Ellie said...

I actually didn't read the article, because mom tales bore the living hell out of me. However, Christy, in case you subscribed to comments, I just want you to know that yours is one of my favorite EVER on a childfree blog. BING. GO.

Childfreeeee said...

I love Christy's comment too. It's a poetic laser beam.

Frieda Claxton said...

Another benefit of childfreedom - storing copy paper neatly next to the printer instead of in the underwear drawer. :-P

Ash said...

Gracious, just reading that sent me into panic mode! I cannot take being that busy. Chaotic situations stress me the hell out. Every so often I have a day that is just go-go-go and I feel like I want to scream. I can't imagine living that every. single. day. No, thank you!
And I really take offense to that last sentence: "And while I get that the weight of all those hats can wear you down, at least be happy you’ve got something important to do."
So CF people don't do anything important? Please.

Childfreeeee said...

But Ash, remember - raising children is the most important job in the world.

Allie said...

Reading this one just about made me fall off the couch.......

I work and have 3 children, my day starts at 5:30am when I make my husbands breakfast and lunch, I clean, mop and do beds, get kids ready, shower do my hair and leave my house at 7:30am to be at work by 8am. Its a lot of work sometimes but I do feel good about myself especially that I left everything clean so that when my kids and husband get home everything is clean for them. So that when I get home, I rest and relax with them.

Punctuator said...

Y'know, I think it really comes down to a variation on "Behind every great [man/woman], there's a [insert support system here]." My second-oldest niece is one of those "career moms." Four kids, full-time teacher, a schedule that makes the people at Franklin Planners say, "Thank you, God!" My oldest niece is childfree. She likes kids, but her philosophy is this: borrow the niece or nephews, spoil the hell out of 'em, and give 'em back to her sister. To make a long story short: Career Mom Niece would be up shit creek without the proverbial paddle if it weren't for Childfree Niece providing on-the-fly daycare, taking the kids to medical appointments and practices, all that stuff. And let's just say that Career Mom Niece is very, very luck that Childfree Niece is her sister and not me (especially given the time when C-M Niece, especially frazzled, managed to back her Suck-U-V into C-F Niece's nearly new car when C-F came over to babysit... after hearing the four-wheeled behemoth's proximity alarm go off.). Oh, she has it all together, Career Mom Niece. Suuuure she does....

Sarah said...

What a horrifying article. With all seriousness: if that were my life, I would want to die.

casu marzu said...

That article made me want to dig my ovaries out with a spoon.

babumoshai said...

And what the hell does Working Dad do while Working Mum rushes around planning every single minute? Does he just come home from work, crash on the sofa and demand his dinner?
It's sad that in the year 2010 these magazine articles still focus on how a woman should juggle her family and career -- it seems like they take it for granted that a MAN will never have to do any juggling, because all the family stuff will be taken care of by his slave, oops, I mean wife!