You want to know what my life is really like?
Go read the current issue of Newsweek, on newsstands now: February 22, 2005. "The Myth of the Perfect Mother" by Judith Warner. It's not on the Web, so you have to actually read paper.
Yes. To every word she says.
As Gen-Xer moms, we are preconditioned to be perfectionists. To try and do it all, and do it all well. After growing up listening to '70s feminists, Betty Freidan, Patricia Ireland and their ilk sold us on the fact that we could do it all, and we drank the Kool-aid.
Here's the deal: We can't. I speak from experience. It is impossible to hold down a full-time, high-powered job, have kids, be super-involved, find great daycare, join the PTA, have dinner on the table, and a perfect house.
Can't be done.
So she calls for radical changes: Tax-subsidies for companies that offer part-time work arrangements. Let money flow back to the middle class, so we don't HAVE to have two-parent working families to make ends meet. Actually put money into the daycare and educational systems, so we don't have to worry about our kids, and enroll them in extra classes after school to make up for the drastic cuts to music, art, and gym to pay for more drill work to meet the idiotic state standards tests.
And I'm a lucky mom: I have a boss who understands parenting, because he's a Gen-X dad. We both burn the candles at both ends, but we make it work. Sort of. As long as no one (especially us) is sick. I have a great husband who tries to pitch in when he can, despite the fact that he works 50- and 60-hour weeks.
Read the article. Then help us poor, tired moms lobby to make some serious societal changes.