What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.
You may have already come across this picture of artist Hein Koh which went viral a few weeks ago. In the picture, which was taken when her twins were 5 weeks old, the new mom is breastfeeding her babies while working on her computer. In the post attached to the picture, she says how becoming a mom has not slowed her down or held her back. (You can read the original post below.)
When I saw this picture and read her post so many thoughts came to mind.
On the one hand, I have to take my hat off to this lady. I mean, when I had the twins I was a mess! I was SO tired, I could barely hold a thought in my brain without bursting into tears, there was no way I could have worked even if I wanted to.
There were days that putting on knickers seemed like too much of a hassle, not to mention having to care for TWO babies and just keep it together enough to seem like I was coping, when the truth was — I was totally falling apart.
On that same note, I can see why this image empowers women.
This lady is kicking ass. She is putting new meaning into the term "multitasking" and proving that when you want something really badly, you find a way to achieve it.
As a woman and a feminist, I respect her for that beyond words.
At the same time, I am also a little bit worried. Not for Hein Koh — she is clearly up for the task and is gracefully killing it. I worry about other moms who might be struggling. Moms like me, who after giving birth were a wreck and felt like they had already taken on more than they can chew.
You see, I'm a strong person myself. When I was pregnant with the twins, I suffered from Preeclampsia and I survived it against all odds. I mean that literally because every doctor who checked me for the two months I spent in hospital during my pregnancy told me I would have to be delivered within the next 24 hours. I told them all to f*ck off and focused on keeping those babies inside me till I reached 35 weeks and I knew for sure they would be OK.
My point is that I am a true believer in will power, and in doing things we don't think are possible when we feel we have no other choice.
Which brings me back to this picture.
The way I see it, these days women are already under so much pressure. It's mental when you think about it. We are expected to be the perfect wives, perfect moms, have the perfect bodies, have successful careers but still make it in time for "pick up" and never miss baseball practice. The expectation of new moms to do it all are already so high, is it really so wrong to take some time off when you have a new baby? Is it really so bad to slow down?
Don't get me wrong, I am the first supporter of anything "girl power." As a working mom myself I totally understand and appreciate the importance in having a career (should an individual chooses to have one).
My issue is with the fact that no matter what we women do, we always seem to lose out. Women who take time off to focus on their kids realize that the world carries on without them, and those who focus on their careers miss out on their kids. And if you do what this stunning lady is doing then seemingly you get to enjoy it all.
Only I question how much of that is really a choice? and how much more pressure can we take before it's just too much?
In a world of "supermoms" and "superwomen," is it really so wrong to say — I CAN do it all, but I CHOOSE not to.
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