Monday, November 7, 2011

A Better Answer

Today I got another "I don't know how you work with a baby, I stayed home with my babies," comment. Seriously, why do people think this is an ok thing to say? I don't say to fat people, "wow I can't believe, you continue to be so fat, I went on a diet and it is so much better to not be fat." I mean, what makes people think they can just comment on people's major life decisions?

Of course I gave my usual lame answer, an awkward "oh I don't sleep very much." While this is true, it is a poor answer because I've never slept very much. In college, I partied Tuesday through Saturday, worked, was active in my sorority, and got good enough grades to get into law school. After college was law school and then becoming an attorney, so yeah, sleep isn't really something I do.

Since my answer to the inevitable "how do you do it all?" is so weak, I've decided to come up with some better ones. The next time someone asks me anything about how I manage to work full-time and be a mom here are some of my choices for an answer:

- It's easy to do it all when you are full of the awesome, like I am.
- I rule at all aspects of life.
- I am practically perfect in every way.

And here is the real answer. The answer that I should be proud to say. The real reason how I can manage everything.

I am smart, ambitious, and driven. I am organized, efficient, and dedicated to every commitment I undertake whether it be as a mother, attorney, wife, dog-owner, or homeowner.

Why I am so hesitant to give the real answer? Is it modesty? Am I really that humble? Does it feel like I'm bragging to tell somebody that I am good at all the things that I do? Why can't I just be proud of it? Is this something that other working moms struggle with?

This dilemma reminds me of Tina Fey's take on the matter where, she says that this question is the worst you can ask a mother because she either has to say that a) she's not doing things well or b) she is doing everything well which makes the other person feel like shit. That's a very loose paraphrasing because I can't find the actual quote but you know what I mean. I wish mothers could get to a point where we can comfortably say "hey I'm a good mom and employee," and other mothers can say "hey, that's great, good for you," without any bad feelings on either side.


  1. Yes! I struggle with how to write and talk about being a happy working mom without offending the stay at home moms- whom I honestly think are just as awesome. We've just made different decisions.

  2. Why oh why are we always questioning each other, shouldnt we just support and cheer each other on. Sigh.

    P.S. love the I'm perfect comment. LOL

  3. OMG! I love this post and I LOVED Bossypants -- is that what you were referencing here? I also struggle with how to answer people who marvel at my clean house and the fact that I still manage to put makeup on. It's about priorities. I get up at the asscrack of dawn so I get get shit DONE. I don't think the ability to handle your life is anything to be ashamed of!

  4. I am a young attorney. We don't have kids yet, but I can't wait...until I hear about how awful it is trying to work full time while having a family. Thanks so much for making it seem a bit more do-able! It's true, I'm used to working hard and being organized. Hopefully it will just take using those same skills.