I got a chance to attend a very special screening this week of the new movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It”. It was was extra special because Sarah Jessica Parker herself was there to talk to us for more than an hour after the movie. It was a screening full of moms and mom bloggers.
In the movie SJP plays a very busy working mom. She is trying to juggle long work days and business trips with her two kids and her husband! It’s a movie (and book) millions and millions of women can surely relate to. I know I did. I’ll admit, though, I have it pretty easy, as far as working moms go. I usually don’t have to work more than 8 hours a day and I only work out of the home three days a week (anchoring at NY1). The rest of my work (TV Chef related) is generally done from home, in my down time. Yes I’m one of the lucky mother’s who has down time because my Alexia sleeps like a champ (12 hours at night and couple hour+ naps during the day). With all that said I still related to so much in the movie and lots of the things us moms talked about with SJP and the author of the book the movie is based on Allison Pearson. Some of the messages I loved, that were either touched on in the movie or in the Q&A with SJP afterward were:
*You don’t have to be a perfect mom, just love your child & do what you can do. They’ll appreciate it!
*If you don’t get a lot of time with your child on a certain day, just try to be present when you are there. Hug them, play with them, talk to them. It’s quality sometimes, that matters over quantity.
*Sometimes it’s harder for you to be separated from your child, then it is for the child herself. Your child may stop crying a minute after you walk out of the door, but you may be left feeling sad about it all day.
*Get over the guilt. This is something I have been able to do easier than most moms I know. I don’t feel guilty for working, going on a vacation or having a dinner out with my husband because. When I do go out, I know Alexia is in good hands, with people she likes. Whether it’s her grandparents, friends or her nanny she is having fun and learning more about relationships. I love Alexia more than anyone in the world, but leaving her sometimes is okay. It doesn’t mean she is loved any less than a mom who spends 24/7 with their kids. I actually think it is a healthy part of life. You need to maintain some sense of self.
*While I may bring baked goods to school or home make things for Alexia’s party (after all I’m a Chef), it’s perfectly okay to bring something store bought!
*Don’t worry about what others think of how you parent. Honestly, when Alexia was born it was like a light switch. Do I take advice from other moms? Sure, but I still march to my own mothering beat. For example: I didn’t care if another mom said “don’t take her outside and expose her to germs”. Heck I took Alexia on the subway and all over NYC at an early age. She loved it, and knock on wood has never been sick. Of course as a vegetarian I get all the time “aren’t you going to feed her meat”? The answer is still no and I don’t care what you think of that. Is Alexia happy and healthy? Yep and that’s what matters. I don’t care what you feed your child, but Alexia eats meat-free and nothing you can say about that will bother me. I mean I’ve never been one to give into peer pressure, but it’s especially true now that I’m a mom. In the movie SJP seems to want other moms to be okay with how she parents. Of course there comes a turning point in the movie where you cheer her on when her opinion on this changes! You want to say “you go girl” (but of course you are in a movie so silence is golden).
*Stop with the lists. Lord knows with a baby there is always tons of things to do, but you know what? Everything isn’t going to get done and that’s okay! You’ll get to it when you need to and you shouldn’t let it stress you out. (Unless it’s the baby’s enriched rice milk and you need it right away and Whole Foods is out of it, but I digress!)
Anyway the bottom line is that if you are a working mom (or a stay at home mom) you should see this movie. If not for a little time away, then just for the simple fact that you are sure to relate to many of the things in the movie. Enjoy!