If ya’ll have been a long-time reader you already know that I am an H.B.B.Q – Has Been Beauty Queen. I know pageants get a bad rep, but it’s a title that I carry with great pride because it means that I belong to a sisterhood of brave, strong women.
I know (because I was always the underdog) that it may seem like pageant girls are the lucky ones with their toned, tanned bodies and Texas-sized hairdos. But the truth is, that’s not what sets a pageant girl apart. What makes a pageant girl so great is her ability to overcome, her ability to stare the odds straight in the face and defy them, and her ability to endure the road less traveled.
You see, beauty fades. It just does. After the babies come the hair deflates while the body inflates. Those glossy lips are replaced by swollen eyes from all-nighters, and those crowns get moved off of the shelf and into the attic as they are replaced by the new trophies of motherhood and framed pictures of milestones begin to fill their spots.
I am proud of those tarnished crowns in the attic, not because of what they symbolize from my past, but because of what they have helped me to become. You see, my Facebook feed is flooded with updates from friends from all walks of life, but it’s those pageant sisters who really stand out.
Some faces may be fuller and some bodies slightly rounder, but that special spark that once set them apart – it still shines through. That’s because these ladies – these women- are still choosing the road less traveled. I see women who are leaving their marks on the world. These are women who have followed their dreams and are excelling in the fields of business, marketing, entertainment, education and medicine while also raising their families and making their homes. These women who were once my competitors are now my heroes.
As the years go by, I am realizing that these brave and strong women aren’t just Has Been Beauty Queens. These women are me and you. I now belong to a new sisterhood, a sisterhood of working mothers.
We are brave and strong. We are walking a road that is littered with guilt, and worry, and the kind of busyness that depletes our energy every . single . day. We are women who can juggle grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, carpooling and classroom volunteering while also attending meetings, closing deals, and signing contracts.
We are women who work though lunch so that we can make it to the little league game and then stay up past midnight to make sure the uniform is clean for the next day. We are women who sign the homework log in car rider line at school and start the conference call on the cell phone in the minivan.
We are strong, brave women, and I am so very proud of this sisterhood of working mommas. I’m still proud of my pageant history, but I am more proud of the Working Mom club. And ya’ll, we have to stop being competitors. We have to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders.
No one except another working mom can say exactly the right words to the mother who dropped her six-week old baby off at daycare for the first time.
No one except another working mom can comfort the overwhelmed mother who has to miss the first quarter of the ballgame because the meeting went too long.
No one expect another working mom can understand the importance of keeping a straight face when breakfast leaves a grease spot on the shoulder of a business suite.
No one except another working mom knows the importance of having everyone’s menu choices memorized for at least FIVE fast food restaurants because sometimes a family dinner just isn’t in the cards.
No one expect another working mom understands that a messy house will test your sanity, but sometimes sleep trumps a clean toilet.
No one expect another working mom knows that ironing is optional and sometimes so is washing.
No one except another working mom knows that Murphy’s Law really means getting “the call” from school about the sick kid or the behavior issue– without fail – when you are in the conference room in the middle of the meeting that you “can NOT miss.”
No one expect a working mother can offer support without passing judgment. NO ONE!!!
We know that every mother’s situation is full of challenges and no one has perfect conditions. We value the stay-at-home mom, the work-from-home mom, and even the puppy mom. This role is hard no matter what one’s circumstances may be. We are all moms and that gives us all the most important responsibility on the planet; the responsibility of shaping the next generation. We are all in this together no matter what our working situation.
We understand that, but we are also part of a unique sisterhood. Some of us chose this sisterhood and others were thrown into it. Either way, we are strong. We are brave. We are navigating the road less traveled, and we are leaving our mark on the world. We are working moms.