Working mom’s message about society’s expectations goes viral
For Sarah Friedberg and her family, life’s pretty sweet. But every parent has their day and last Thursday was it, for this working mom of three.
“There are some days you are not doing quite as great and your kid has a 45 minute tantrum about the kind of spaghetti that you made,” said Friedberg Wednesday. “And you’re trying to get them all to bed and he’s hungry now because he didn’t eat the spaghetti. And I sat down, I had all of these things that I was trying to keep and trying to remember to do and I just vented it out to my Facebook page.”
Unbeknownst to her, that stream of consciousness turned Facebook post struck like a raw nerve.
“Maintain a clean Pinterest worthy house. Take the Christmas lights down, recycle. Be Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, the poop doula; seriously when will all of this end,” Friedberg said.
Thirty thousand likes and shares later, the Needham mom’s message to society is being seen and heard around the country. One post reading: “this gave me anxiety and I don’t have kids.”
Another person writing: “You are my hero. Hit the nail on the head harder than it’s ever been hit. I feel guilty all of the time.”
The microbiologist says the overwhelming response has been cathartic and an example of the pressure women feel to meet society’s expectations.
“It’s great to feel that you are part of a similar experience and you’re not the only one but also we should talk more about how it’s hard to do everything. And if we all pretend like it’s easy to get everything done then everyone else feels isolated,” said Friedberg.
The working mom says she also wants to emphasize why engaged partners matter.
And that her way of “leaning out” doesn’t call for dad shaming.
“My husband is fantastic. He takes care of the kids just as much if not more than I do. He does at least 50% of the housework. It’s the expectation that the mom will be in the PTA and will come in to volunteer. If one of our kids gets sick the [doctor’s office] usually calls the mom to schedule things. It’s just sort of that expectation that you will do it all in your career and also do it all at home.”