Perfectly Imperfect Mother and First Lady
Imagine taking the helm of a large organization. There will naturally be an overwhelming feeling of the power of your position and the weight of your responsibility. Yet, you are encouraged by the profound culmination of unique life circumstances that have prepared you for the tasks.
Like most who have reached such a renown platform, you want others to share in your joys and triumphs of the path less traveled. A path distinctly defined by womanhood. You are the consummate mother, daughter, wife, and professional. What greater joy than to share your story of struggle and celebration, so that others who have walked a similar path may also be encouraged. It is a scary thought to share your deepest thoughts, regrets, and joys with the rest of the world. But you share anyway. Soon, your candid reflections become public fodder as the headline reads that you are a bad mother.
Chirlane McCray is taking the helm as the first lady of a major metropolitan city. She is the second African-American woman to serve as first lady of New York City. As one half of the De Blasio team, McCray has a unique background that suits her style. She is a mother, wife, daughter, and professional paving the way one day at a time.
In a lengthy yet candid New Yorker article, McCray reveals the challenges that many women face when raising children and families while trying to retain a sense of personal identity.
“I was 40 years old. I had a life. Especially with Chiara—will we feel guilt forever more? Of course, yes. But the truth is, I could not spend every day with her. I didn’t want to do that. I looked for all kinds of reason not to do it. I love her. I have thousands of photos of her—every 1-month birthday, 2-month birthday. But I’ve been working since I was 14, and that part of me is me. It took a long time for me to get into ‘I’m taking care of kids,’ and what that means.”
Working mothers often experience the same guilt that McCray expresses. A headline can’t begin to depict the true dilemma for women at similar crossroads. Her accounts are a testament to the tenacity and strength of every mother who is tormented with the guilt of securing a firm sense of professional, emotional, and spiritual self-worth. It is a perplexing position, but one aptly warranted for a resilient spirit such as McCray.
If McCray is a bad mother, then I am also a bad mother. Imperfectly perfect as I attempt to create unique life experiences to satisfy my spirit, while nurturing my family’s experiences to satisfy my soul. Her life is a worthy tale – one for all of the bad and imperfect mothers who will be perfectly fine.