CNN Anchor Campbell Brown Says Moms Just Can't Do it All

Filed under: Work Life, Celeb Parents, Mommy Wars, Breast-Feeding, Books for Parents

Campbell Brown

Campbell Brown says having it all is impossible. Credit: Getty Images

When she became a first-time mom during the 2008 presidential campaign, Campbell Brown's public persona went from CNN's savvy political analyst to supermom. Brown was a fascinating example of balancing high-level success and family life, towing her breast-pump to the 2008 Austin Presidential Debate.

But Brown, host of her eponymous news show, had a different message: "It's not possible" to do it all, she said. "There is no such thing as balance."

The journalist's realization came during her debate trip. A snowstorm held up the breast milk she shipped and it did not make it home for her newborn son, according to an interview she did with Julie Menin's Give and Take talk show. Brown, a first-time mom, cried over the news. Then, she laughed at herself for thinking everything could be perfect.

The story speaks volumes motherhood's impact on women in the workforce.

In her book "Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation," legendary journalist and mom Cokie Roberts tells the story of the women of American Revolution. In the absence of husbands, fathers, and brothers, these women helped build the great democratic experiment by starting civic groups, running businesses and tending farms, all the while fulfilling their duties as mothers. Engaging in life outside of motherhood was not a recipe for failure. Rather, it was expected and essential to the success of the country.

On another front, Cookie magazine recently explored the new phenomena of women neglecting their beauty in the name of motherhood. Previous generations never saw a correlation between plucking eyebrows and bad parenting.

Campbell Brown, now a mother of two, is an inspiration for women, especially because of her success in a male-dominated industry. But there is an air of failure in her story. Instead of measuring our success by the ounces of breast milk we pump, let's learn a lesson from our founding mothers and see the strength in our efforts. Motherhood is not the time to make yourself crazy by chasing the elusive balance. Nor is it a time to throw up your hands and say you can't do it. Motherhood is the time to recognize that it's never about perfection. Just like we tell our kids, we should pat ourselves on the back for doing the best we can.

Related: Salute to Women in the News.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.