For Mother’s day this year, my kids gave me a Wonder Woman card- complete with theme song and a magnet ready to adorn my shiny new fridge.
If you’re under the age of 40, you probably didn’t plop yourself in front of the television as a kid to watch this Amazonian superhero- but I remember being completely enthralled with her. There were so many other shows- but Wonder Woman was, well, a woman, and us sisters stick together.
Fast forward a few years (just a few), and I am now my own version of Wonder Woman, except there’s no cape or invisible plane to be found. I live my life, as so many women do, walking that fine line between working and being a mom.
As a business woman my days are filled with client meetings, projects, sifting through spreadsheets and managing countless tasks. As the parent of two active kids, I make breakfasts, lunches, and dinner, tend to sniffles, constantly clean up, chauffeur to activities, meet with teachers, settle arguments, and desperately try to keep up with the rate at which they grow out of their clothes. Did I mention the cleaning up?
My husband is a huge help, but he travels a lot for work, which leaves me to handle it all while he’s away. (By the way, if you know a single parent, take his or her kids to the movies for a couple hours. They could really use a break.)
Many women entrepreneurs that I’ve met are very driven and tend to be perfectionists. (No judgment, I definitely fall into this category.) I think the toughest thing for those of us who are both business owners and mothers is that we want to do everything perfectly. We want our house to be clean. We want to be a rock star to our clients. We want to shower our kids with love and attention. We want to look good. We want every facet of our lives to be perfectly organized and well executed.
The expectation that you can do everything, and do everything WELL, is unrealistic.
I’ll let you in on my dirty little secret.
I’m not perfect. (I know, GASP, right?)
There are some days (hell, even weeks) when I have to compromise. Now that feels like a dirty word in my book. It makes me feel like such a slacker. But the truth of it is- I can’t do it ALL well.
Sometimes my family needs to come first- which means ditching my work for a few hours so I can cheer from the sidelines at my kid’s soccer game. Sometimes, I have to make my semi-sick kid stay in school, because I have a deadline that needs to get met. There’s only so much of me to go around. (Well, there’s more of me than there used to be, but that’s another story…)
With so many women I talk to, the story is much the same. Either their business is booming and their house is a mess and the kids are crawling up the walls, or the house is spotless, the kids are happy little angels, but they’re tearing themselves apart because they completely just blew a deadline with an important client.
How does this happen? Simply put- sometimes we expect a little too much. Like a circus performer, we try hard to balance all of those spinning plates, but man, when they fall, they come crashing down into a million little pieces.
So, I’m letting you off the hook. Go be your amazing self. Be the best business woman that you can be, and be the best mom that you can be, but know that it doesn’t mean that you have to be PERFECT at everything.
After all, you’re not Wonder Woman.