The not so Unicorn Mom – Part 1

I love that we are a society where it is perfectly socially acceptable for women to work, stay home, or a combination of the two.  Women should absolutely be able to pursue passions and careers right along with men.

Who doesn’t love the idea of the beautifully dressed career woman with the great job and the perfectly attired, well-mannered children?  The proverbial woman who “has it all.”

I used to think that women who truly fit that mold were a bit like a unicorn sighting – a woman who looks like she is fresh off the pages of a magazine. A magazine that I would have convinced myself was only airbrushed perfection. Or, at least this is how I thought until I spent some serious time in the premier Seattle neighborhood.

Here “on the hill” these women aren’t unicorns, they are the norm – beautiful designer clothes, ivy league educated husbands, perpetually perfect hair and nails, private Pilates instructions, beautiful well dressed kids, top pre-schools, expensive luxury SUVs, private children’s language tutors, premier sports leagues, organic homemade snacks, immaculately clean houses, manicured yards, etc.  How in the world do they do it?

And then I remember the secondary population of daily visitors to the neighborhood: the French or Spanish speaking nannies, the maids, the gardeners, the “household managers.”  Ah, thats “how.”

Considering the number of folks on their household’s payroll, I suppose I would expect some level of impressive order. But as I sit here with no kids, and a life that isn’t even half as “together” as these women’s, I can’t help but draw the comparison.  What the heck is wrong with me?!  No kids to use as an excuse and my lawn still looks like a brown meadow.  If we have enough clean laundry to get through the week and I have at least one good hair day, then I would count it as a darn good week.

I admit, I am fascinated by the level of perfection that seems to embody everything these women touch, I can’t help but wonder: Is it as impressive to have great well behaved kids when you hardly spend any time with them and those lovingly homemade organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, fun-free snacks weren’t made by you but your 20-something-year-old french au pair named Juliette?

Why then is this mommy rat race worth it?  And why does it feel like such a competition?  Who is winning?  How do you win?

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