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How Working Moms Are Selling Themselves Short (and How to Stop)

Do you believe a balanced and fulfilling life as a working mom is impossible?

by Sarah Argenal in Life Balance

There's a lot of talk about what's “possible” for working moms in modern society.

For some reason I've been hearing a number of comments recently about a commencement speech that Shonda Rhimes gave in 2014 at Dartmouth University.  She has a lot of wonderful advice in her speech, but there was one part I took issue with, which is what I want to discuss here.

Here's an excerpt about balancing working parenthood from Ms. Rhimes' speech:

Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life…. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost.  Something is always missing.

I appreciate that this is Rhimes' experience, and I also appreciate her vulnerability and honesty about her experience.  I even appreciate the message she goes on to deliver, which is that being a powerful working woman is a wonderful gift to pass on to your children.

Most of her message I can resonate with.  But this portion of her message deeply concerns me.

Working moms don't have to accept the false belief that feeling like a failure in one area is required to be successful in another.  Working Mom Burnout / Working Mom Balance / Working Mom Guilt