'Why I don’t care about being a supermum'
Not all of us are cut out to save the world and that’s ok
Content Editor / December 29 2018
Have you heard of Dame Helena Morrissey? I hadn’t until yesterday, when I read an article about the ‘52-year-old Superwoman’ who juggles a multi-billion-dollar City portfolio and nine kids. Oh, and she is a charity trustee, campaigns for gender equality and has just had her first grandchild too.
We don’t have much in common, Dame Helena and me. I am a mother of (only) two and I work part-time, but some days I struggle to remember my husband’s name.
My carpet is often covered with a thin layer of popcorn and LEGO, I frequently forget to pay bills, I have never held a gym membership and quite frankly my idea of a good time is sitting on the couch with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc watching The Real Housewives.
I think it’s amazing that there are women out there like Dame Helena and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg who are trail-blazing leaders for the rest of us.
Many of my own friends are #nailingit with book deals and new companies, and I couldn’t be prouder of them. My Instagram feed is often full of images of women doing 5am workouts, meal prepping for the whole family for a week, doing yoga in Bali… you get the picture.
But not all of us are capable – or even interested – in being ‘disruptors’ or saving the world, and I really think that’s ok. Motherhood is tiring, and demanding, and many of us are just trying to get through the day, much less juggle a share portfolio.
A few months ago I was watching comedian Ali Wong’s Netflix special Baby Cobra when she threw some shade at the concept of ‘leaning In’ made famous by Sandberg. “I don’t wanna ‘lean in, ok?’”, she said. “I wanna LIE DOWN. I want to lie the f*ck down.” And I silently fist-pumped the air as I drank my cold tea.
I have tried to be super goal-oriented. I made a beautiful Excel spreadsheet on New Year’s Eve a few years ago with all the things I wanted to achieve that year. Then life happened, my children needed cuddles and food and I had to work to pay some bills and I forgot all about that spreadsheet until six months later, and then it just made me feel depressed.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have goals in life. They are just not perhaps as lofty running a multi-million-dollar business. At the moment my goals are to book a fun holiday for my family, buy more plants for my house and go for a walk every day. Isn’t that enough?
And while building an orphanage is not in my imminent future, I try to make a difference in small ways. Baking a cake for the school fete, helping my neighbour with the school pick-ups, and dropping flowers or a meal over to a friend who’s going through a hard time.
So if, like me, you are content living a happy, busy, messy, chaotic family life where your greatest achievement some days is getting a hot meal on the table, then good for you. You may not make newspaper headlines but I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines.
And if you want a glass of wine and a chat, there is always space for you on my couch.
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.