A couple of years ago, TIME published an article titled Working Women Who Try to Be “SuperMom” May Be More Depressed, in which researcher Katrina Leupp is quoted:
“If you think you can have it all, don’t… Maybe knowing that you can almost have it all is the better way.”
You can read the article for yourself, but here’s a spoiler alert: There’s no shocking information to be read. We all know the torment that comes with trying and wanting to be the best at everything. Whether we admit it or not, nobody expected or expects being a working mom to be easy.
That doesn’t change how you feel. It doesn’t change the fact that most of us will continue to straddle that fence and do double duty as an employee and a mother, either because we enjoy them both or because we just don’t have a choice. Knowing I can’t be “SuperMom” doesn’t change the fact that I still want to be her.
The power of words
My personal mantra—the little reminder I say to myself—when I feel like I am sucking at being a mom and sucking at being a wife and sucking even more at being an analyst or when I feel that something has to give is, “Benita, we design our lives through the power of choices.”
I have to remind myself that I have the power and control to determine the type of life I am living. I have to decide what’s important and make choices that support that. I have to choose to do the things that I want and need to do, and when they need to be done so that I can do them as good as I know that I can. Those little words give me the boost that I need to change my thinking when I feel like things are getting out of control.
There is an abundance of academic research that has been devoted to studying the benefit of positive thinking and the power of words on the human psyche. Don’t believe me? All you have to do is to look at your social media timelines to see the plethora of Photoshopped graphics spewing positive mantras, inspirational quotes, and nuggets of motivation being shared and liked among your friends.
Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman write in their book Words Can Change Your Brain that “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
Now let me be clear: I am not implying that words have the power to heal depression. If you feel yourself in that dark place that you cannot get out of, please seek professional help. However, I am suggesting that if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed and thinking that trying to be a mom with a job is impossible, take a moment to redirect your thinking, take in some positive words and reset… before you get to that dark place.
You are not alone
You are not the first mother to need a little reassurance, a little boost or a reminder that she can do what seems impossible. Here are some positive words and inspirational quotes for working moms that I have found speak to the heart of the matters that affect how moms feel and the quality of their work:
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”
“The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from more than what you tell them. They don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
“I have never met a woman, or man, who stated emphatically, “Yes, I have it all.'” Because no matter what any of us has—and how grateful we are for what we have—no one has it all.”
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”
“Mistakes are a fact of life: It is the response to the error that counts.”
“That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”
“Life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.”
“We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.”
Do you have any favorite inspiration quotes for working moms? Please share them in the comments.