Are Your Expectations of Your Spouse Totally Unreasonable?
The Truth Of What It Means To Be A Stay-at-Home Mom—If You Get Divorced
Up until the mid-20th century, marriages were, essentially, business arrangements, and in many cultures they still are. Families merged to increase power and land-holdings. If you ended up with an affinity for your spouse, that was a bonus, but it certainly wasn’t the impetus, and women had almost no choice in the matter whatsoever. Families had children, not because of a biological yearning, but because more hands were needed to support the family business, and indeed the family itself.
Single-family homes, while seen as early as the 15th and 16th centuries, really began to boom with the advent and proliferation of the automobile. With cars came greater freedom to commute, and housing spread into more rural areas, which led to greater and greater space between us. We left our family homes, found our partners, and moved into these new single-family dwellings, white picket fences and all.
The Five REAL Reasons You Keep Losing Your Shit on Your Kids
When I became pregnant, I had just lost my job managing a successful fitness studio that was being financially mismanaged. I was also an actor, and while I still had to have a day-job (as most of us do), I’d been doing pretty well in theatre and television most of my life.
I started my acting career when I was about 3 years old, when I became one of the regular kids on Sesame Street.
Being raised by actors in New York City, I had access to some pretty insane opportunities. By the time I was 12, I had the kind of career most actors would kill for.
When I was 23, I had my picture in almost every newspaper and magazine across the country because of a highly controversial TV movie I starred in (we had the second lesbian kiss in TV history. In 1994 that was a BFD, even for HBO).
All this to say, I had a career, and not an insubstantial one.
But pregnant, I wasn’t exactly taking Hollywood by storm.
Five Reasons Bad Moms is Bad for Moms
If you’re like most moms on the planet these days, you lose your shit on your kids. And then you drop them off at school and sit in your car sobbing, because you’re pretty sure you broke them, and you feel so guilty, and sad, and demoralized, and, and, and…
Or you spend the evening cooking dinner, cleaning up, finishing up work projects, helping with homework, juggling six thousand balls, and they’re not listening, not brushing their teeth, not helping, and you lose your shit on them, and an hour later they’re in bed, and all you want is a do-over.
In my work with moms over the last five years (and in my 11 years as a mom myself), I’ve been able to identify the five real reasons moms lose their shit on their kids—and none of them have anything to do with you having shitty kids, or being a shitty mom.
We Have To Do Better
When I first saw the trailer for Bad Moms I was so excited for this movie to come out. Like so many failed relationships, I pinned my hopes and dreams to it. We were finally going to be understood; someone was finally going to tell the truth about what it’s really like to be a mom in today’s world. As a coach and educator for moms, I could not have been more excited.
And when I finally saw the movie last night, I could not have been more let down.
Don’t get me wrong: I LOL-ed. I cheered, and fist-pumped. I agree with the message that moms need to give up their search for perfection and “having it all.” I believe that we and our kids are over-scheduled, overworked and overwhelmed. I agree that we’re all trying to be and do too much and that it’s killing us—as a culture and as individuals.
But this movie missed the mark on so many levels, because in the end, this movie isn’t really about us...
You Cannot Have It All
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that I never bring the news or politics into my business.
If we’re friends on Facebook, you know me to be very vocal and unafraid of giving a damn what anyone thinks. You know my political affiliation, my stance on a lot of issues, and mostly you know that I am not afraid to speak my mind, fully self-expressed, whether it be outrage, sadness or pride.
I am a fully self-expressed woman, and that’s what I teach other women—to own their own power, to find and use their words and voices in ways that matter and in ways that model to their children—sons and daughters alike—what a fully self-expressed, self-possessed, confident woman actually is.
Which makes it slightly ironic that in my business I have fallen short of doing that myself.
Compare and Despair
One of the greatest lies being told in the world today is that women can “have it all.”
I see self-help gurus, personal development leaders and spiritual teachers spew this shit all the time. It’s a way for us to feel like we’re fucking it up, ALL. THE. TIME. If we could just keep our houses better organized, if we had better systems for this that or the other, if we could just BE BETTER HUMANS, we’d have this.
This promise that there is a “there” there somewhere, this panacea of a Balanced Life, has sold millions of books, magazines and coaching programs—and kept a multi-million-dollar self-help industry afloat.
Part of the strategy is that if there continues to be a promise, and it continues to be elusive, you’ll continue to seek it, and buy more products in search of it.
I call bullshit.
The cold hard truth is that we simply cannot have it all.
As adults, as parents, as mothers, we make hard choices every single day...
I used to feel like shit about myself every single day. I felt small and insignificant. I wasn’t skinny enough, not toned enough, not rich enough, my relationship wasn’t good enough, my legs weren’t long enough, my stomach not flat enough, my clothes weren’t cool enough, I wasn’t funny enough…
And you know who made me feel like that?
I would see a mom out in the world—walking down the street, at Starbucks, in line at the grocery store, on the subway… On social media.