While I haven’t yet seen Sarah Jessica Parker’s new movie I Don’t Know How She Does It, I’ve seen the trailer and read a number of reviews. And I’m worried. Not because I hear that her character puts my motherly juggling skills to shame, but because she is the new face of Mommy Wars 3.0.
I admit I found the book pretty amusing when I read it, oh, almost ten years ago just as I was starting my own motherhood journey. I totally related to the whole cupcake and playground smack-downs, as well as the not-so-subtle slams on each mother’s definition of what work/life balance ought to be — or if there even should be one. But I thought that cultural story line had been milked dry and put out to pasture.
Looks like I was wrong.
There’s apparently still plenty of pop culture money to be made on women’s insecurities and the undercurrent that mothers go just a little bit bonkers if they’re working and raising a family. Think The Old Adventures of New Christine. Think Desperate Housewives taking their kids’ Ritalin just to keep up. We ladies are just such fragile things.
Sure we all need to have a sense of humor about our lives, but I’m uncomfortable with the idea of Hollywood making more money perpetuating the myth that when mothers try to provide for their families they are doomed to fail at work and parenting. It’s almost 2012 and Hollywood is still producing movies that not so subtly suggest that mothers are the ones required to do it all, while their adoring, yet semi-frustrated husbands, look on waiting for their wives to come to their senses.
That’s just what we don’t need in this age of two-parent working families just trying to make ends meet –piling more guilt onto moms (and dads) who are just hoping they escape the next round of pink slips if they have to take their kids to the doctor or, heaven forbid, make an appearance at an afternoon soccer game.
Don’t get me wrong — I love me some Sarah Jessica Parker, just for the fashion if for nothing else, but I hate that this movie takes us back to the faux debate about what’s better or who has it easier or which children are the most well-adjusted — the ones whose moms bake from scratch, use a mix or buy the damn cupcakes at the grocery store.
When she’s not managing her own work/life juggling act, you can find Joanne at her place, PunditMom. Or for some inspiring mom reading, check out her new book, Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America.