Forbe’s has just declared Michlle Obama the most powerful woman in the world. Let’s assume for the moment they’re correct (my colleague Robin makes a strong case that they’re not). That would also make Ms. Obama the most powerful mama in the world.
I know I consider it a good, even great, day if I can write a few stories, do a load of laundry and get my kids fed. Michelle Obama has people to do a lot of the mundane stuff for her – I bet she doesn’t have to fold her family’s socks.
But still: she’s a lawyer, who set aside her own high-powered career to help her husband run the free world. Sometimes when I’m feeling really ambitious, I help my husband run errands.
From political powerhouses like Obama and Clinton to pop stars like Lady Gaga, there are some mighty moms on Forbes list.
It’s impressive to see the mothers on this list for two reasons:
1. As I said, I consider it a good day when everyone goes to bed clean and fed. My bar may be pretty low, but I know firsthand how hard it is to raise a child. To do that AND be a public figure engaged in government, running a company or changing the face of pop culture is pretty awe-inspiring. If I wore hats, I’d be doffing mine to all these ladies.
2. These moms are breaking a special glass ceiling. Next time I go into a job interview, I’ll be less afraid that my kids will cost me my shot at the job I want. Seeing moms in the spotlight, being famous and powerful for something other than their ability to produce and raise kids, makes all of us a little more powerful. It’s a step towards making motherhood a bit more like fatherhood: a precious and private part of family life, not the all-encompassing definition of who a woman is.
Photo: Mike Baird