Today I started my day with a few sprints, squats with a 20-pound and 40-pound weight, some stair climbing and a little bit of light wrestling. This lovely little workout took place before 7 am and if it sounds extraordinary, it is not. In fact is quite boring in it’s routine and likely something, if you have small children as I do, you also did this morning. It was simply the daily workout of motherhood that takes place every morning as I get my 4-year-old and 1-year-old ready for the day.
This daily sweat is juxtaposed with long sedentary lulls where my heart rate slows and my posture melds into the shape of my office chair (a.k.a. dining chair) or seat of my car because not only am I a mom, I am a mompreneur. I am part of that special club whose 9 to 5 coexists somewhere between temper tantrums and boardrooms and my body takes the brunt of both.
There’s a lot of pressure on working moms to do it all and do it perfectly. Women who are high-achievers in their careers often achieve that success through meeting and exceeding their own high standards. For those who have children, there is often similar pressure to be an unfailingly supportive, patient, and attentive parent. Managing a thriving work life while coordinating your children’s schedules, showing up to school functions, and soothing bruised knees and feelings is always a juggling act, and it can seem especially overwhelming when we live in fear that dropping even one ball means we’re failing.
It’s common to hear the word “perfectionist” used to compliment those who strive for excellence through scrupulous attention to detail. From a psychological perspective, however, perfectionism can be cause for concern when we measure self-worth entirely in terms of achievement, and when we compulsively strive toward standards that are unobtainable and come at great cost to mental health.