A Day in the Life of a Power Mom

Amanda Steinberg, whose Daily Worth email recently featured one of my USA Today op-eds, has another post from a few days ago about how she spends her time, called “A Day in the Life of a Power Mom.”

The message? By focusing her time at work, hiring good people (who don’t have to be micro-managed), and splitting her shifts (working after the kids go to bed), she is managing to run two businesses and sleep eight hours a night while raising two small children. And she doesn’t feel particularly overwhelmed, which is a theme I heard from several of the busiest people I interviewed for 168 Hours. They maintained that they could fit more into their lives if they wanted — a refreshing break from the usual complaints that there’s just no time!

2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a Power Mom

  1. I hope you didn’t ignore the last paragraph in her post because it didn’t fit your thesis. This is a person with way-above-average ambitions for her work, and the health/relationship costs are significant (probably more than she knows):

    “You have to take into consideration my manic, tightly-wound character. I’m more work-obsessed than your average mom. I love my companies and have very ambitious financial goals for myself (tens of millions, thank you). I don’t exercise. I’m generally not eating proper lunches (note above: no lunch break). I do experience exhaustion. I wish I had more time to just be with my husband.”

    I suspect that her experience does not translate to people who want to have good/fun/strong marriages. They’ve perfected the childcare hand-off, don’t mind having other people take care of their children, and been willing to sacrifice health (exercise, eating, occasional sleep) to set up a very intense lifestyle that doesn’t sound that attractive to many of us.

    These stories probably sell well, because they perpetuate the myth that we can have it all — you too, can be a great mom, successful businessperson, loving wife, attentive friend, creative soul and all the other things you aspire to. Except that nobody actually can succeed in all areas at once — maybe pick two out of that list to do well, and prepare to do the rest of it half-assed, if at all.

  2. Hi Jeremy, how wild it is to talk about me in the 3rd person!

    Perhaps you’re right – I’d bet a lot of people don’t want my life: I spend a large majority of it working. But the reality is I just love work — it’s full of excitement, brilliant teammates, positive thinkers and change makers.

    I know my relationship with my husband could be stronger and more intimate, but we have a lot of together — we spend every weekend with our kids and friends, and since neither of us commutes, have until 9am every morning and post 4pm every day together. Your perception is a tad off in how dark my life seems and the relationships that I have.

    For me, I have the 2 things I want most in my life right now, at this moment in time: To be there for my kids (I was raised by a single mom who was always working or dating – love her though) and to provide myself with the financial freedom I’ve dreamed of (again, very related to the above) — I really want to make the money myself. Part of freedom to me means never having to ask for permission.

    So I appreciate your concern for my well being, and the “sell” of my article. I’m not claiming perfection. I am totally proud of myself for having the businesses that I have (soapbxx.com, dailyworth.com) AND the relationship with my kids. No, I’m not a stay at home (love my friends who are) but I am full of energy, confidence, enthusiasm and love when we I am with my kids, which is far more than my mom was ever with me.

    No need to argue finer points. I just wanted to shed some light on your perception of far more darkness than I think exists over here.

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