Forget "Aim High" and "Be All You Can Be." This Army of One has a new motto: Aim Lower. For women today, whether at work or at home, the bar is set at a record high—and I'm determined to limbo under it.
Now, don't get the wrong idea. I think we're highly qualified to perform a dazzling array of tasks. But some of us have packed our schedules, overtaxed our talents, and gotten off track.
We scrapbook, work out, pick up, drop off, volunteer, decorate, renovate, Tweet, cook, clean, organize, reorganize, and hold down jobs. The mothers among us enroll our kids in art classes, sports teams, and language lessons. We buy books dedicated to painting birdhouses, arranging the flowers we grew in our gardens, or decorating cupcakes to resemble any animal, sporting good, or historical figure, living or dead. If it can be done, we do it—and I, for one, am exhausted.
While some women subscribe to worldly models of overachievement, others conform to a wrong-headed version of the Christian superwoman; she's the biblical Martha in overdrive. Sensitive to every need, she's able to whip up gourmet meals with a single phone call. Always available, she swoops in to save any church member or ministry in distress. Infinitely talented, she's always willing to lend a helping hand.
I was one of these women. My typical Sunday: church choir commitments for three worship services, starting at 7:45 a.m. and ending around noon. Small group Bible study (at my house, of course) from 4 to 6. Factor in parenting a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, straightening up the house, preparing beverages, shuttling kids to and from off-site baby-sitting—and you get the idea. Some "day of rest."1