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Saving Supermom

Cheryl HajjarBy: Cheryl Hajjar – October 2013

Having it all. That quintessential line brought on by the feminist movement that has been driven in every young girl’s mind including myself over the last 25 years. Lucky us. In today’s world, there are many more opportunities for women than ever before in history and we as women for the most part are forever grateful for that but who invented the term “having it all”? The concept of having it all is an exciting and empowering message, yet a dangerous one at the same time.

Many of us define Feminism as a woman’s ability to have it all.  But the movement was meant for us to be able to make choices. Somewhere along the way in the liberation process, we began to buy into the belief that we could assume the role as a man while continuing to be the nurturing mothers as well. Who’s idea was that and what an impossible feat to accomplish.  We put so many things on our plate that we end up feeling like burnt out, stress filled failures mainly because whether we want to admit it or not, our lofty ideas of emulating Wonder Woman is just not realistic.

“Having it all” is a brand that we sadly have bought into.  Not only are we supposed to have that successful career, relationship, children/family, we are expected to look good while doing it. I am the first person to admit that although to some I might look like I have it all, I certainly don’t nor I’m not sure I want to have it all it some days. Being the sole bread winner in my household and balancing career and family is challenging to say the least. Honestly at times, I just want a break.

Men do not try and focus on building a career and raising a family rather they for the most part have stayed in their traditional roles of being the providers. Women on the other hand have exceeded the normal length of a to-do list and have turned it into a to-do novel. The thought of it is just plain exhausting.

It is not my intention to derail my fellow females off of the Feminist movement but rather dump the notion of having it all and simplifying it to having what you want in life. I do believe that we as woman can have it all but it has to be individually designed to fit our lives. Lets look at a few ways in which we can do just that.

  1. What does “having it all” mean to you. Make a list of the things in life that are most important to you. Being at your child’s dance recitals or football game, striving for that promotion at work, being home at night to make family dinners, or having the once a week date night with your significant other. By making a list of the things that are most important to you ,you will quickly see how you can contour your life into a fulfilling one.
  • Its ok to say NO. We as women feel that we always have to say yes to everyone that asks us a favor. Its an engrained guilt that comes over us when we are asked to be the carpooler, or stay late at work. Saying no doesn’t make you a failure or the weaker person. In fact, saying NO is the first lesson in making you a stronger one. Take control by creating the life you want, not what somebody else expects of you. 
  1. Start your own business. In today’s economy, women are starting their own business’s at three times the rate of men. Why? Because corporate America and raising a family is a daunting task! Unless you are Sheryl Sandberg and make a salary that most women would dream of, its just not realistic. Owning your own business can be a very rewarding and exciting thing. It can also allow you to keep better hours, avoid being in an office all day as well as be able to be present at all of your child’s events. I would rather hang myself than be in a cubicle all day but that’s just me.

I am ever thankful to be a women in today’s day and age. We are blessed with choices that our former sisters simply did not have. The Liberation movement is a wonderful thing but we are women, mothers ,caretakers at heart. As we move away from the “I am woman hear me roar” attitude, lets us also leave our supergirl capes at the door and become human once again.

Cheryl Hajjar

Cheryl Hajjar

Cheryl Hajjar is a lifelong resident of the Merrimack Valley. She keeps busy by fulfilling her duties as a mother to her young son. She is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Indigo Magic, an interactive children’s company. One of her passions is music, songwriting and classical piano which she incorporates into all areas of her life. You can email her at babiesnbriefcases@gmail.com

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One Response to Saving Supermom

  1. Bill Gilman (@bgilman66) Reply

    October 19, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Efforts by women to try and “have it all” were rooted in the derisive manner mothers and “housewives” were treated by men and society. Somehow it was concluded that these women were “only mothers” or “only housewives” as if it were not a full time job or truly a vocation.
    So women felt they needed to be more, in order to try and earn respect from men and, in many cases, other women. But, as the author points out, there was still a natural draw to be a nurturing mother. So … they tried to do both. They tried to be full time mom and have a full time career.
    But here is the dirty secret that men failed to share with (or were too cowardly to admit to) their wives:
    Men who dedicate themselves to their careers and “climbing the corporate ladder” ALWAYS lose out on the joys of being a dad. There is no way that men car put the effort into their careers that is required to be a “success” and still be able to put in the time to be a great dad.
    Why?
    Because being a great dad is much more than playing catch, coaching your kid’s team or driving them to the mall.
    Being a dad is about being a shoulder to cry on when they don’t get the part they want in a play or their boyfriend breaks up with them. It’s about helping them with homework and packing lunches and staying up with them with they are sick.
    In short, there are not enough hours in the day to be “Super Dad” just like there are not enough hours in the day to be “Super Mom.”
    The point is, there is a always a trade off. There are always sacrifices … for both men and women.
    And trust me, while the primary caregiver may feel they are “missing out” on a career, the primary provider definitely feels like they are “missing out” on quality time building relationships with their children.

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