The Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes and Motherhood

January 24, 2016

Self Help, Thriving Mom

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Year of Yes. Photo by Monick HalmThe first entry on my “10 Books to Read in 2016” Checklist is Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person.  I just finished the book.  Check. [Goodness, is there a nicer feeling than checking off an item on a checklist?  You know, other than the obvious good feeling thing that helped make us mothers?]

So I knew the basics of this book before I picked it up – it’s about what happens to Shonda Rhimes  when she decides to say YES to everything that scared her.  Rhimes is famous for being the creator of shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you probably know who she is and that she now owns Thursday night television.

What I didn’t know or expect is that Shonda Rhimes talks a lot about motherhood in this book.  She’s the single mother of 3 and as part of her Year of Yes, she decided to get very real and very honest about this process.  She writes:

“I don’t know about you, but the mistakes and missteps I have made since becoming a mother … before kids, my confidence could not be dented.  Now it’s shattered on a daily basis.   I don’t know what I’m doing.  There is no manual.  There’s no checklist.  There was no one to give lessons.”

Shonda Rhimes. Photo courtesy of Disney | ABC Television Group

Shonda Rhimes. Photo courtesy of Disney | ABC Television Group

She writes how in EVERY INTERVIEW she’s done, she gets asked about being a working mother.  The interviewer invariable asks “How do you manage work and home?”   She says that though no one wants to admit it, but powerful working women have help at home.

“We’ve all been taught to shame and be ashamed.  And why wouldn’t we feel ashamed?  How could we not feel ashamed?

We’re not supposed to have any help.  We’re supposed to do it all ourselves.  Even if we are working.  So if you have kids and you get help to care for them?”  [You get shamed.]

Rhimes advocates for shame-free mothering – for an end to the Mom Wars.  As moms, we must stop shaming each other for how we take care of their kids.  We have to stop shaming moms who work.  We have to stop shaming moms who stay at home to care for their kids – or moms who stay home and ALSO have help.

I agree with Ms. Shonda.  Can’t we stop judging one another already?  Mothering is hard enough without the added burden of other mothers telling you, implicitly or explicitly, that you’re doing it wrong.

I’ve learned that it definitely takes a village to raise a child.  I don’t have a nanny but I have the blessing of being able to work from home and having a helpful husband who also works from home. Also I have great parents who live 5 minutes away and love to help care for their grandchildren.

I’m not sure how to survive as a mom without delegating some of the responsibilities.  That’s why teaching moms how to easily and effectively delegate is such a big part of the Peace of Mind On the Checklist Training that we are offering to help moms find 3+ extra hours of guilt-free, stress-free, drama-free time for themselves and their families.

How do you manage with child care and/or having help at home?  Let me know in the comments.  You’ll get no judgment or shame here.

FYI: The link above for Year of Yes is NOT an affiliate link.

 

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