I went to lunch with a friend recently. “Holy shit, you’re wearing real clothes!” 90% of the time I see you, you’re in ratty sweatpants with barf/poo stained t-shirt or sweatshirt,” he exclaimed.
Well lookitmenow. Apparently I clean up nice. Aren’t you impressed that I can pull off the contrasting stylistic choices of both office wear as well as toddler mom attire? You should be. Last summer, the American Sociological Association released a study saying women who attempt to attain the ideal of “Supermom” may be at a greater risk for depression.
To add insult to injury, Forbes jumped on the “sucks to be you” bandwagon with an article decrying the early burnout of millennial women. According to the article, young women have spent their entire lives plotting, planning and preparing – preening and primping our resumes. Pursuing the perfect college, perfect major, perfect extra curricular activities, perfect career, and then perfect family. And suffering nervous breakdowns by age 30.
Of course, much of the research I conducted for this op-ed (by which of course I mean Wikipedia and a couple other random Google clicks) places me at the tail end of Gen X – not a Millennial. Sadly, CBS quickly swooped in declaring, “experts say if you’re over 35 or 40, you’re pretty much over the hill. And, if you look at the hiring practices at some of the valley’s hottest Internet and social networking companies, it’s hard to overlook the cold hard reality that age discrimination is prevalent.”
So it’s pretty much all rainbows and unicorns for me.
Here’s the deal. I deal with feelings of inadequacy daily. I dread any potential rejection or being discovered that I’m only playacting as a grownup. I regularly ask myself, “Who am I and why am I here?” And I know I’m not the only one.
Whether I’m put together or flashing the preschool parking lot (exhibit A, exhibit B), I admit – I’m striving for the perfect balance. I want to be the flawless mother and the ultimate employee. I want to be the well-spoken, creative corporate writer who comes home to a happy well-adjusted family.
And somewhere in there – is me.
I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for the better part of a decade now – long before I demanded superhero supermom powers of myself. And I’m not ashamed to admit I’m fighting anymore.
- Career: I will get a job. I will play Survivor and I will successfully climb the corporate ladder. I am not afraid of heights.
- Family: I will have a family. I will surrender modesty; I will endure a myriad of needles, tests and heart palpitations. I will be a mother. I am not afraid of twins.
So far, so good.
Personally? I will survive. If nothing else, I’ve come to realize that I am FAR from alone in crazytown. (Maybe that’s what it takes to be a successful blogger. Or more likely, we’re the only ones nutty enough to put our entire lives online.)
To the research and news reminding me that I’m doomed – challenge accepted! I mean, I am Supermom, after all.