If you're ever feeling as if your ego is getting a little too large, or your level of self-importance is going off-the-charts, just hang out with a baby. They'll keep you grounded—and not only because you'll spend more time on the floor picking up all the stuff they've thrown on it than you thought any one human's back could handle in four lifetimes.
Babies—and the children they grow into—have the uncanny ability to render everything you thought you knew about yourself and what you are capable of totally useless. Priorities shift, focuses do a 180; how the kids go, so goes the mom.
It's telling that you don't see any lists of the most powerful dads, because most successful men aren't also associated with having children. Women who have children, on the other hand, are usually identified first as a mom, and then second by what she does (that is, if she gets paid to work outside the home). And if she's rich and/or famous and a mom, it's assumed she's a good mom because she's rich and/or famous. It's antiquated and, frankly, bizarre, but it is how it is.
Working Mother just came out with its annual list of the 50 Most Powerful Moms. It's no coincidence that most of the women on the list are rich and/or famous, including Reese Witherspoon, Chelsea Clinton, Kerry Washington, Ivanka Trump, and Sheryl Sandberg, plus top executives at places like YouTube, Uber, Google and some of the world's leading banks, plus Melinda Gates.
Wouldn't it be nice if a list of powerful moms also included those ... who can hold it all together when it seems like everything's falling apart?
The irony of a list such as this one is that many of these women are, indeed, powerful, but it's not necessarily clear if they are as strong in their roles at home as in the office. Ivanka Trump, for example, famously went back to work within days following the birth of each of her three children—something many women do, although usually not by choice like Trump, but out of financial necessity.
What is nice about the women who made the list, though, is that many of them are actively making changes for their employees so that paycheck equality and flexible schedules are more of a reality. Other women on the list are advocating for better education, healthcare and social justice.
Still, wouldn't it be nice if a list of powerful moms also included those who get no paycheck, or at least not one with lots of extra zeroes tacked on? Those who remember they forgot to pack a lunch and manage to get it to school while also juggling a packed schedule that seemingly hasn't a second to spare? Or the mom who's operating on no sleep and can't take a day off and still manages to care for her sick child and earn the money needed to buy groceries and pay the light bill? How about the mom who works full-time and manages to take off to chaperone a field trip? Or the mom who volunteers in the classroom or the school board? The mom who takes another mom's children after school so her friend can grocery shop or take a meeting without screaming tots interrupting every 4.9 seconds?
How about a mom who can't go above and beyond, but can hold it all together when it seems like everything's falling apart?
Now that's power.
All moms deserve recognition (especially in a publication called Working Moms). It would just be nice to see a few surprise on a list of powerful women—like you, or someone like you (and we don't mean Adele, although she's on this year's list, too).