I am a superhero! The revelation just hit me…I’m Superman!
Except that I can’t fly. And I don’t have the 6-pack. And I don’t have the cape or the outy undies…okay so I’m not really superman. But I can magically transform into my alto ego in the blink of an eye!
Just last week I was conferencing out of town, being all efficient and networky and smart when, just like cinders at the strike of midnight, I turned into cool-but-elegant-jeans-and-flats-wearing-swimming-gala-supporter-mother. I did have to slip off into the convention center loos to perform the transformation, but what a spectacular transformation it was, and all executed in a 1x1m cubicle ta-da! And, just like that, in my mommy disguise, I could slip out completely unnoticed…past my conference attending colleagues and be whisked off by my waiting Uber to the airport and home – just in time to dutifully yell and cheer my sons team on. (They came last but hey I was there!)
As modern women and working moms we all have these superhero transformations continuously. Mine are completely defined by my shoes: black heels – bankinggirl; sparkly flats – classmomgirl; riducously uncomfortable red stilletos – superwife; pink nikes – healthnutwoman…you get the picture.
Of course I’m being completely flippant, but there is something incredibly valuable in this “shezophrenia” that we experience every day. If I think about the variety of personas that one short day can arouse, I realize that the diversity of experiences that lives inside each one of us working mothers is incredibly deep. We are problem solving and nurturing and empathizing and governing and planning on so many levels; and it’s exactly that wealth of experience we need in our teams. Its exactly that diversity of personality that makes women so valuable in the workplace.
I’m not taking anything away from my colleagues who are not working moms. I work with some of the most incredible thinkers, people with brains so beautiful there should be a way to bottle them. Many of my colleagues are so smart it completely freaks me out (well it used to, but now I’m Superman). I may not be a mathematical genius and I may not be able to do many of the brain-bending challenges my colleagues can, but I do have a thought process that is completely different, one that has been refined by my multiple personas, and one that can challenge the group think that so often creeps in to our decision making forums.
I want to encourage all of you working moms out there to embrace your multiple personalities, and to cherish this blessing that we’ve all been given. I want to encourage you to rock your inner superhero and to recognize the diversity that your thinking can bring. Most of all I want to encourage you to be brave and to use your voices. Don’t let your difference make you feel uncertain or inferior, recognize the powerful gift that you have at your disposal, recognize the incredible diversity that you can bring to your team and to your business. Recognize that the business world is desperately in need of multiple personality superheros.
“Superman? You’ll never be Superman. Because you have no idea what it means to be Superman. It’s not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. It’s about what you do… it’s about action.” – Infinite Crisis