I don’t get to the movies much. (Okay, so I’ll confess to having gone to see Captain Underpants with my boys, to celebrate their cousin’s 7th birthday…but I don’t get to grown-up movies much.) But I finally made it out to the movie theater last week. My husband and I schedule two annual planning and “retreat” days per year. One is for end-of-year planning in December. The other is for some mid-year checking in and self-care in July. This year, we built into our July retreat day plan a trip to the movies to see Wonder Woman.
No joke, and no exaggeration: I was completely blown away.
I went into it knowing extremely little about this superhero we call Wonder Woman. Sure, “wonder woman” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the working mama world, but I didn’t know the background, plot, why she wears those gold things on her forearms…any of it. If anything, I was half expecting to see a stereotypical “superhero saves non-descript city from annihilation” action movie. But was thrilled to find it a brilliant combination of Greek mythology, historical fiction, love story, witty writing, wonderful acting, amazing costumes, and cool special effects.
Given I’m a sensitive reader and viewer (as I mentioned in my 2016 summer book list for working moms, what I am reading and watching has a deep impact on how I feel and go about my day), it’s perhaps not surprising that I’m still reverberating from this movie a few days after the fact.
I left with the sense of having just witnessed something incredibly powerful. Something I wanted to see again. Here are the top 5 things I loved about Wonder Woman that I think can inspire us as working moms:
5 Wonder Woman Traits We Should Channel as Working Mothers
- Calm confidence. Wow, this woman has nerves of steel. And she has power. Strength. Kindness. And beauty. I’d never see women warriors portrayed before – and in a beautiful, empowering, and amazing way that was all about protection, defending what mattered, and love. The movie reminded me of the importance of having women role models in positions of power. And how we, mamas, can be those role models.Are you going into a salary or schedule negotiation soon at work? Wondering how you’ll survive a 4-month sleep regression? Or intimidated by an upcoming work trip away from your family? Watch this movie and KNOW you can say with certainty, “I got this.” No, we may not have armor on our wrists that can deflect bullets, but we do have it within our power to deflect the judgments of others, criticisms, and our own negative self-talk.
- Good posture and power poses. Remember the Amy Cuddy Ted Talk about how our body language literally changes our biology – and in turn, affects our behaviors? You’ll walk out of Wonder Woman with a whole new arsenal of power poses, mama. I had to give a (two-hour) talk at a conference this past weekend after having seen the movie and yes, I struck a few of her fist-in-front-of-the-body moves in the bathroom before having to get up and speak. If nothing else, it made me smile, calm down, and think of Diana (Wonder Woman’s name in the movie).
- Complete devotion to values and convictions. Throughout the movie, Wonder Woman knew what she believed. And never wavered in her determination to act in accordance with her values. She didn’t overthink or overanalyze; she just acted. She didn’t sit on the sidelines. “If not me, then who?” was her mantra. And she reminded us of the dangers of apathy.
- A fresh perspective on the world. Okay, okay, so she had a bit of an advantage: coming fresh off a remote island that had no exposure to the modern world (or to men) does give one the ability to look at things with a child-like wonder. But I challenge us to do this, too. Are there things to which we say “oh, that’s just the way it is” that we could look at differently? Can you try to see your workplace, or your relationship with your child or partner, with new eyes? What if you’d never seen this world before? What would you think?
- Belief in the power of love. It’s what this whole being alive thing is all about anyway, right? One example: I hear from new working moms all the time that they fear a caregiver will replace them, or that their little one will somehow forget them if they go to work during the day or have to travel for work. Wonder Woman reminds us that love isn’t a zero sum game. And that fierce love and devotion matters. There is NO ONE quite like mama in our babies’ lives. And we have an opportunity to be passionate in our commitment to loving our families wholeheartedly, no matter what our career path is.
This is definitely a movie I want to watch again.
While I was sitting at a meeting this week, I thought “Diana” to myself…and my shoulders instantly dropped two inches. I sat up straighter in my chair. And the negative chatter in my head got quieter. You’ve got this working mama thing. I promise. And if you need a reminder, give the Wonder Woman movie a look. It’s spectacular on the big screen.
Heading back to work after maternity leave soon and not feeling much like Wonder Woman? Join a supportive community and get your confidence up by joining the next session of Mindful Return.