Katherine Keller
Posted on March 8, 2018 by Katherine on Blog

I AM PERFECT…MY THERAPIST SAYS SO

“How is it that your life is so perfect all of the time?” a fellow Mom-friend(ish) asked me.

“Uhhh….what?” I was shocked. Really if you know me all that well you would never put the words “your life” and “perfect” in the same sentence.

“You know….your kids, you, your life. It’s like the single Mom version of “Leave It To Beaver”

Me:


{Sidebar: If there was a single Mom version of “Leave It to Beaver” I would totally watch it. It would only last approximately 5 1/2 episodes before June cracked under the perfection umbrella, she started buying boxed wine, and the show took a dark, mid-western “Housewives of Mayfield” twist, IMHO}

“Well, at least on Facebook your life seems perfect,” she said, while looking at me out of the corner of her eye to catch my reaction.

“That’s…..that’s….my life on Facebook,” I stuttered, completely confused why I’m having to have this conversation with a 40 something year old woman.

“OH…..so you’re one of those FAKE people on social media,” she said while laughing with that type of sinister laugh that people use when they are being truthful but want to be able to say “I was just joking” if you blow a gasket.

Me:

Afterwards, I came home and immediately scrolled through my Facebook feed. Sure enough, she was right. I was a perfect Mom….on Facebook. My posts all started with things like,

  • “So proud of this kiddo today”
  • “Look who made breakfast for me this morning”
  • “College recruitment letters are rolling in”
  • “Another win in the books for this team”
  • “I love his/her dedication”
  • “Another year of 4.0 G.P.A’s for these kids”
  • “Big brother and little sister playing a duet together this year”
  • “Baking cookies together for the fall party”

Barf.  🤢

Raise the white flag. I surrender. I was the single Mom version of “Leave It To Beaver.”

If I put all of my thoughts/days on Facebook it would include things like,

  • “Looking for Recommendations: Needing someone to adopt my daughter. Anyone know of some good parents in the area?”
  • “My son just memorized an entire military manual but can’t remember to take out the trash every Monday.”
  • “Praying the weather gets worse so tonight’s game is cancelled. #TooTiredToAdult”
  • “Calling the therapist today to get another appointment #ImBroken”
  • “Today, I’m pretty sure I screwed up my kids for life. #MotherOfTheYear”
  • “Today’s poll: How many of you sneak wine into your child’s sporting events?🍷 Asking for a friend.”

I was being judged for being “fake” on social media.

Am I A Fake?

No.

Never have I said my life is perfect. I have never suggested that I don’t struggle. Nor have I judged people for having really sh*tty days and sharing it on social media.

On my website, in the countless interviews I have done, and the number of podcasts I have been on I have been very clear about my depression, my suicidal thoughts, and the many struggles that plague female entrepreneurs…in particular, single Mom entrepreneurs.

I have people I turn to, close friends who are there for me, life coaches, family, and if all else fails…a loyal dog and the entire series of Sex in the City.

I don’t need to vent, share bad news, talk about my struggles on social media to feel better about my day, my life, my parenting skills (or lack thereof).

and…..

I certainly don’t need to share negative things on social media so that other women can feel better about themselves.

{Mic. Drop.}

Social Media: The Breeding Ground for Women Judging Women

Women are judging women who go on a “Facebook rant” about their day, their life, their job, their kids, their partner.

We judge them for sharing their emotions, their fears, their insecurities, their anger on a public platform, saying things like, “Social media is not the place to be venting about things like that.”

When we see one of our frenemies Facebook rants pop up on the screen and we roll our eyes, “Ugh….this woman needs a therapist.” {and then we click the ‘sad’ button anyway}

But then, women are judging women who never give a “Facebook rant.” Who only share the positive aspects of their life. Who want to share the moments they are proud of and not turn to a public platform to vomit all of their dark sides.

We see one of our frenemies Facebook #gratitude posts pop up on the screen and we roll our eyes, “Ugh….I hate her and her perfect/fake life.” {and then we click the ‘love’ button anyway}.

International Women’s Day

I have been planning to write this post for a few weeks. It’s ironic that after I decided to post it today I found out that it’s International Women’s Day.

Today is a day about celebrating women.

But sadly, one of our biggest challenges as women….is that we are being torn down, berated, and judged by other women.

In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In” she share the story of one of the first women to join the U.S. Submarine Force as one of its first female officers. A year after joining the woman wrote to Sandberg:

“Truthfully I was prepared for opposition and the possibility of being discounted,” she wrote. “But it did not happen. I was respected the moment I stepped on board and I can truly say that I am a valued part of the crew.” Unfortunately, she told me that she encountered resentment from another source – the navy wives. At an onshore “welcome” dinner, the wives of her colleagues pounced and accused her of being a “bra-burning feminist out to prove a point.” They forced her to defend her career choice, reputation, and personal life. “I was shocked! Talk about uncomfortable!” she wrote. “I did my best to answer their questions and stand my ground. Eventually they backed off and started in on my husband!”

Let Me Be Clear

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of many women in my life.

But I can honestly say, with 100% certainty, that the majority of haters, judgers, and people who have tried to tear me down in my life….were females.

I was judged for being a stay-at-home mom, judged when I went back to work,  judged when I divorced. I have been judged for taking the risk to start my own business as a single Mom.

Welcome To 2018, Ladies

Full disclosure: I have made some stupid, STUPID, mistakes in my life. I mean, ‘could be adapted into a Lifetime movie screenplay’ kind of stupid.

However, why is it 2018 and women are still being judged for the career path they choose, the number of children they do or don’t have, and what they do or don’t post on social media???

In 2012, Barnard president, Debora Spar, wrote:

[Women] have been subtly striving all our lives to prove that we have picked up the torch that feminism provided. That we haven’t failed the mothers and grandmothers who made our ambitions possible. And yet, in a deep and profound way, we are failing. Because feminism wasn’t supposed to make us feel guilty, or prod us into constant competitions over who is raising children better, organizing more cooperative marriages, or getting less sleep. It was supposed to make us free – to give us not only choices but the ability to make these choices without constantly feeling that we’d somehow gotten it wrong.

Let’s stop with the judgements and tearing each other apart. Let’s stop with the eye rolling and the “ugh…she’s so fake.”

Stanford professor Deborah Gruenfeld said, “We need to look out for one another, work together, and act more like a coalition. As individuals, we have relatively low levels of power. Working together, we are fifty percent of the population and therefore have real power.”

Challenge:

I think that women judging other women has become so engrained in our culture we don’t even realize how often we do it.

In the comments below, share some of the less obvious ways that women judge other women. Let’s bring awareness to it so that we can begin to put an end to it.

Perfect International Women's Day Katherine Keller

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Reply

    April

    March 11, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Mom, “I just couldn’t homeschool my kids.” Me,”I didn’t say you should”

    “If you were your husbands biggest cheerleader it would change your marriage.” (Insert eyeroll from me)

    “Your shouldn’t co-sleep, its dangerous.” Me, ” Didn’t you just say how well behaved my kids are? Why should I change what I’m doing?”

    “Why can’t you just get a normal job?”

    “Don’t you know what causes that?” (Refering to my pregnancy) Me, “Yes, it’s fun, you should try it sometime.”

  • Reply

    April

    March 11, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Mom, “I just couldn’t homeschool my kids.” Me,”I didn’t say you should”

    “If you were your husbands biggest cheerleader it would change your marriage.” (Insert eyeroll from me)

    “Your shouldn’t co-sleep, its dangerous.” Me, ” Didn’t you just say how well behaved my kids are? Why should I change what I’m doing?”

    “Why can’t you just get a normal job?”

    “Don’t you know what causes that?” (Refering to my pregnancy) Me, “Yes, it’s fun, you should try it sometime.”

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