Have you seen this picture? It has been literally everywhere, spreading like wildfire on all media outlets. A picture of a mother/fitness blogger, her 6-pack, and her three kids posing the above question to the reader: “What’s Your Excuse?”
Many found the photo insulting, while others felt it was inspiring showcasing “what was possible” for women with children.
What was interesting is not so much the photo, but the very intense reaction from the public. After all, images of toned young women are not exactly uncommon these days. Clearly this post struck a chord. But why?
Fast forward to an exercise class I attended this past weekend. It was the day after Thanksgiving, my office was closed, and I went to a high-intensity circuit class. Halfway though, the instructor lost me. It wasn’t because of the very tough pace, it was what she said:
“Keep going, you can get there! Stop making excuses!”
So, within one week, I had two women I didn’t know imply that I was letting excuses prevent me from becoming my best self.
I know. Many of you PWM’s might think that I am blowing the scenarios way out of proportion. I probably am. The fitness blogger/mom never actually said “you must look like me” and the gym instructor was just trying to pump up the class. I get it, I really do (I am a VP of sales by trade, I cheer people along all day).
I think the reason both of these situations bothered me was the idea of striving towards someone else’s definition of perfection. As a working mother, this has been a life long quest and for me, it reaches well beyond fitness. I have stayed up too late on a school night making cookies for a bake sale, I have tried to sew a Halloween costume without knowing how to even sew on a button and I have attempted to attend every school conference, recital, and field trip when I had no vacation time left.
Why did I do these things? I was trying to be a “perfect working mother”. I know now, after many years of trying and failing, that there is no such thing. Please don’t roll your eyes- it’s true.
I believe the key to happiness is self-acceptance. It is appreciating who you are and striving for progress, not perfection- however you define it. For me, it doesn’t mean being a size 2, it means making time for my exercise class when I can and feeling good about that accomplishment.
So, after some thought, I am now ready to answer the question posed by the picture:
I don’t have an excuse. I don’t need one.
I am a Proud Working Mom.
Click here for the Keurig B60 Special Edition Brewing System
This is our Keurig B60 Review. For more information on the Keurig B60, click the link below:
Keurig B60 Special Edition Brewing System
It is no secret that here at Proud Working Mom, we love our coffee! I have been saying for months that caffeine is the official sponsor of working motherhood. We love coffee. We can’t live without it. So it makes sense that this week we would review a special kind of coffee maker, the Keurig B60.
Keurig B60 Review – What is it?
The Keurig B60 is a high quality coffee maker that uses the patented K-Cups – something that is very popular these days. With K-Cups, there is no messy grinding of coffee beans or using loose grounds (which usually spill all over my kitchen at 5 a.m.). This makes for an easy clean up as well. It comes standard with a removable 48-ounce water reservoir, a removable drip tray, 3 brew-size options and a two hour automatic shut off.
Keurig B60 Review – What I Liked
I know it is obvious but what I like the most is that I can drag my ass out of bed at 5 a.m. and make a cup of coffee without getting coffee grounds all over the kitchen. I also like that it doesn’t use filters and has 3 different brew-sizes: 5.25, 7.25, and 9.25 oz. It can also heat up water in 20 seconds. This means that you can make hot tea (there are K-Cups for Tea also) or you could even use it to make hot cocoa for the kids. The Keurig B60 can handle coffee, tea and cocoa!
If you are thinking about the Keurig B60, you’re most likely doing research and trying to decide between several different models. The Keurig line alone offers the B40, B50, and B60. They are all great models, however, out of the three, the Keurig B60 is the only model that brews 3 different sizes.
Keurig B60 Review – What I Didn’t Like
The only real disadvantage of the Keurig B60 is if you need massive quantities of coffee at any given time. This is a legitimate concern for those of us who consume mass quantities of coffee (although I am totally trying to cut down). Also, the K-Cups are more expensive than buying already ground bags of coffee at the grocery store. Lets be honest ladies – if you are spending $4 per day at a very well known and famous coffee house, then the Keurig B60 is actually the less expensive alternative!
Keurig B60 Review – Overall Thoughts
All in all, the Keurig B60 is a quick, versatile, and high quality coffee machine. It works great in households with different tastes. Everyone can have their own type of coffee, tea, or cocoa – everyone is happy! And the best part…no mess. There is literally no cleaning, except for your coffee cup. That is music to this Proud Working Mom’s ears! PWM approves of this product as a great investment and a necessary tool for all working moms!
Click here to check out the Keurig B60 Coffee Maker
In every job I have had, there has always been at least one woman, either supervisor or mentor, that I have been able to look up to. Not many, mind you, but I have always had the benefit of female leadership. I view female leadership as a very positive thing and believe that these leaders have an obligation to mentor younger women. I am not suggesting you have to be best buddies or give a woman anything that is not deserved, but women who have navigated the corporate (or other) ladder have a responsibility to younger women. This is my opinion. Unfortunately, I (and many other working women I have talked to) have encountered the occasional woman in a supervisory role, who does not embrace the sisterhood. In fact, this female supervisor actually acts in a way that stifles the growth or advancement of other women below her.
This woman is suffering from the Queen Bee Complex.
You are nodding your head, Proud Working Mom, because you know who I am talking about. It is the woman at work that surrounds herself completely with men. In meetings, a male’s opinion is valued over yours and she will always help a male colleague over you. She is not very friendly toward you, despite your efforts and you can’t figure it out. If she is a direct supervisor, you will never advance. She will make sure of that. This supervisor will not embrace your presence and your potential for greatness because she views you as a threat. Pure and simple. You are younger, prettier, and potentially smarter than she is and that is a problem for the Queen Bee.
As a young attorney, I fell prey to such a supervisor. I was so excited to be learning from an experienced female attorney and despite my best attempts, she never warmed up to me. Then it moved to her attacking me in meetings and criticizing everything I was doing. It was a no-win situation. I even remember clearly when she announced in front of some co-workers that she needed to see all of my files in her office, pronto. She made me drag my entire caseload (over 100 files) down to her office so she could review every, single, one. She could’ve easily come to my office to review these files but public humiliation in front of my colleagues was much more fun for her. At the time, I didn’t understand what was going on. As my supervisor, wasn’t her job to teach me the right things to do? I was new. Wasn’t her job to help me get better, instead of instilling fear? The only thing I accomplished in my year working under this woman was I managed not to let her see me cry. It was an awful experience and it took years for me to understand what was going on.
Are you in this space right now? Do you have a fellow PWM who is going through this? If so, here are some tips on how to deal with a Queen Bee:
- Do not let her see you CRY. You can go home at the end of the day and cry, or run into the bathroom if it cannot wait but whatever you do, never let the Queen Bee see you cry!
- Lean on your friends at work. Make sure you only share this work predicament with the people you trust. Go to these people for advice and counsel but be careful not to become an office gossip.
- Keep performing! I have said it before and I will say it again, if you are having a problem at work, you need to keep doing an awesome job, despite the problem person.
- Be graceful. If things don’t improve, you need to consider your next move. Do you want to stay in this job? If so, your next move is to talk to Human Resources about the problem. Ask if you can be reassigned to another supervisor. If you don’t want to stay, it is time to start setting up coffee and lunch dates with your professional network to see what else is out there. You can do it!
- Use your resources. If it is truly time to look for a new job, have no fear! Make sure you check out all the resources available to you. One great resource is Ladders.com. To start a new job search click below:
Find Your Next Great Job
Proud Working Moms, we are all in this together. Take a look around you and make sure you are supporting and embracing your fellow working women. Lets banish the Queen Bee!
photo credit: thegardenbuzz via photopin cc
I have a sign in my office that says:
“Keep Calm and Drink More Coffee; Get Stuff Done”
I love this saying, it speaks to me. After all, I am a working mother.
I love caffeine. It is the official sponsor of working motherhood. Specifically, I am addicted to coffee and diet sodas. On most work days, I am up around 5:30 a.m. and will often pound coffee straight through lunch. For the afternoon, I switch to diet soda. This has been my routine, and no, I DON’T think it is habit forming.
I just need it every day or I can’t function.
I saw my doctor last week for my annual well check (by the way, all of you PWM’s should make time to do this). She asked me all the usual questions and we ended up talking about caffeine. It went like this:
“Jennifer, I really think you should limit your caffeine intake to not more than 2 cups a day.” The wicked woman with the medical degree said.
“Absolutely. Not a problem.” I responded in my most confident business voice. When she left the room to order my bloodwork, I quickly mapped out a route to the nearest Starbucks. All this talk about caffeine really made me crave a cup of coffee.
Settle down, I only ordered a ‘tall’.
All kidding aside, I am a work in progress and taking baby steps to get healthier. Curbing my caffeine intake has been particularly hard to do without going completely insane. Is this sounding familiar?
PWMs, here are the top 9 signs that you are addicted to caffeine:
1. Before you begin the “Monday morning shuffle” you look like this:
2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For you, it looks like this:
3. This looks beautiful to you:
4. As you drive all over (home to school or daycare drop, school drop to work, work to school pick up, school pick up to evening activities, evening activities to home), your car looks like this:
5. You don’t think twice spending $4.50 every day on this:
6. At work, your desk looks like this (no judgement, so does mine):
7. Some days, there is no time to get a cup:
8. You wouldn’t mind working with this guy, as long as he shared:
Source: coffee archives
9. You conduct your own research (through Google) and learn that it is good for you. You knew it all along.
PWM’s…if you are looking for a great coffee maker, check out the Keurig B60, a great machine! I couldn’t live without it. Serious.
Click here for Keurig B60
top photo credit: jimforest via photopin cc
Back in the day, when my kids were younger, I was a busy working mom trying to balance all the things that came with motherhood. My weight was one of the things I struggled with the most. The pounds didn’t just melt off of me and instead, I held on to about 20 more than I wanted to. It was frustrating enough not being able to exercise, eat right, and lose the weight but compounding the situation was the number of people who would ask me if I was pregnant. I’m not talking about an occasional person that wanders up and whispers “Are you pregnant?” I am talking about all kinds of people approaching me in public places, asking loud and clear ”OOOOHHH, when are you due?”
If there was a Guinness Book of World Records for the category “Most Asked if She Was Pregnant When She Was Not” – I would hold the record.
I had people ask me at the store, in a crowded courtroom, in a packed elevator, and even on an airplane. Once the awkward silence passed, it was my job to let them down easy (while my cheeks flushed with embarrassment).
And if you think that it was only insensitive men asking these questions, you are wrong. It was men AND women!
After a few years, cracks started showing in my otherwise confident exterior. While on a small airplane with my 4-month-old son, an eighty-year-old man asked me (really loud) how it was possible that I could be pregnant again. My response “its not possible. I’m not pregnant” and I continued down the aisle with my crying baby. The last straw came the day after my 40th birthday. I was at the gym getting weights before the start of an exercise class and a woman came up to me and asked “When IS that baby due?” as if she had been waiting for the baby for months. In front of about 25 people I responded politely “I am not pregnant” and walked away. Instead of dropping it and feeling embarrassed, she boldly continued to follow me and insisted ”No, you are pregnant!” I ignored her and kept walking back to my place in the class with this woman still on my heels. She said one more time “You are definitely pregnant!” (as if I was and just didn’t know it yet) and that was it. I turned around with clenched teeth and with trembling hands and finally said what was on my mind:
No Bi*#& I’m NOT pregnant!
The good news is that she finally got the message (along with the 25 other people in the exercise class) but the bad news is that I left the class on the verge of tears and it ruined my week.
At the time, I swore that I would take this topic to the masses. To address this faux pas with both men and women. I needed to call Oprah. I didn’t have her number. I still don’t. Instead, I am writing this to publicly implore everyone: PLEASE STOP ASKING WOMEN IF THEY ARE PREGNANT!!!!
If you find yourself curious about a potentially pregnant woman, follow these 5 easy steps:
- Don’t ask her if she is pregnant.
- No, you can’t ask her “How are you feeling” while staring at her belly, it’s the same thing.
- Seriously, don’t ask her if she is pregnant. It’s none of your business anyway.
- You will regret it, I promise. Just drop it!
- Follow steps 1-4.
I am proud to say that I finally did get some results and my belly is definitely looking slimmer. Well, lets just say that no one has asked me if I am pregnant in a few years. I have had luck using something called Garcinia Cambogia and did a review on this blog a few weeks ago. Click here to see that review or go here to check out the product directly:
Garcinia Cambogia – Official Site