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If you’re a mom and struggling to articulate exactly why you feel so super-stressed all the time, you need to read this viral post that expertly nails why working mothers often feel ready to pull their hair out.
Sarah Buckley Friedberg took to Facebook to enumerate the many impossible — and often contradictory— demands that moms face, and her words resonated with fellow moms verywhere. The post now has more than 75,000 reactions, 17,000 comments and 68,000 shares:
First, Friedberg addressed how society expects women to go back to work just 6-8 weeks after giving birth, which is way before their bodies are healed and before they have had sufficient time to bond with their baby. At the same time, moms are encouraged to breastfeed for at least a year, all while not letting that interfere with their job.
“So take 2-3 pumping breaks a day at work, but don’t let it throw you off your game or let you lose your focus,” she wrote.
Next, Buckley Friedberg discussed the unrealistic expectations put on women to get their “pre-baby body back” as soon as possible.
“So, lose that baby weight and get back in shape, as quickly and as gracefully as possible,” she wrote. “Make sure to get 8 hours of sleep a night so you can work out, work, and care for your family. But also get up at 5 am to workout, unless you want to do it after your kids go to bed when you also need to clean the house and get life ready for the next day and you know, sleep.”
If all that was not enough, she talked about how moms are expected to keep an impeccably clean and “Pinterest-worthy house,” plan all parties and celebrations, manage kids’ extracurricular schedules, care for pets and do all the grocery shopping and cooking — all while being sure to “love every minute of life because before you know it all of this will be in the past.”
Whew! Just reading all that made us tired.
At the end of her post, Friedberg made a humorous quip: “I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to lean OUT,” she said. “Thanks for coming to my Ted talk.”
The working mom of three kids, who lives in Massachusetts and has a pediatrician husband, did not expect her words to go viral. But she has appreciated messages of support and comments on her original post that made her think.
“I think the thing is, that so many people have days like this,” Friedberg told CafeMom, “but not that many people talk about it. People (myself included) like to post the happy and fun moments on their social media. I think this [post] let other moms know that other people feel like they do sometimes, and they related to that.”
The comments she received included agreement and commiseration, mention of how fathers should be helping and why expectations for them are lower, and even people who say they’re afraid to have kids because of all this. Some commenters even added more working-mom duties that Friedberg neglected to mention — like making sure the laundry is done and taking time for networking.
Clearly, her words reached a lot of people! What do you think of her post? Can you relate?