You don’t have to be “Super Woman” to be super exhausted, stressed out, or challenged by your life.
In fact, Super Girl/Woman has it easy. Stop a bank robber? Dispatch a thug? That’s a snap compared to raising children, managing a household, and trying to save the world – most of which we’re doing without the benefit of a long cape or knee-high red boots.
I remember how exhausted I was when my two kids were young, I was working full time, managing the house, running my daughter and son around to play dates and music lessons, and nurturing my marriage. I averaged about 5 hours of sleep a night at best, so little that every time I dropped my children off for soccer or dance, I’d stay in the car and immediately sink into a deep slumber that only ended when I heard their impatient fingers tapping on the window while they crowed, “Time’s up!”
That’s not a sustainable way to live for so many reasons.
Rein in toxic chemicals, reduce air pollution, put the brakes on climate change – these are all tough issues, and victories come few and far between. And yet… I couldn’t give it up. I didn’t just want to do it all – I felt like I had to do it all, both for my kids’ sake and for the sake of this extraordinary planet. If not me, who? If not now, when?
Today, my life is easier. In large part, that’s because my children are grown, out of college, and working themselves. They no longer need my care and attention 24/7.
But I recently read The Sleep Revolution, the book Arianna Huffington wrote once she realized she was completely sleep deprived and burned out, and it made me wonder how today’s moms with young children are handling the stress of trying to protect and juggling life. At the suggestion of Moms Clean Air Force’s editor, Ronnie Citron-Fink, I decided to ask a few of the women who work with Moms Clean Air Force as field organizers how they cope with all they do.
Their answers inspired me, and perhaps they will do the same for you. I’ve captured their thoughts and experiences in a two-part series I invite you not only to read, but also to comment on. Part 1, Why Our Moms Make Such Great Activists, illuminates the challenges these busy and devoted women face, but also why they do what they do. Perhaps you’ll see your own life reflected in theirs. Part 2, Our Mom Activists Balance Kids, Play and Saving the Planet, shares their ideas and strategies for coping.
I experienced a few “A ha!” moments when I heard how the Moms team members work their magic. I bet you will, too.
Please join this conversation. Share your own struggles and successes. Let us know why you’re passionate about protecting our world. But don’t leave it at that. Tell us how you cope, too. Maybe what works for you will work for someone else.
Here are the amazing moms I interviewed:
Kelly Nichols, Illinois
Terra Pascarosa, Virginia
Christine Dolle, Pennsylvania
Trisha Sheehan, New Jersey
Rebecca Whitley, New Hampshire
Gretchen Dahlkemper, Philadelphia