I am a Survivor fan… I have watched every single season. Watching the new season’s first episode of all winners really struck a nerve. Amber a mom of four young daughters said the very thing I thought to myself many moons ago… when I was filling in my application for the show. “Being back on Survivor will be a vacation, no kids, no laundry, no wondering what to cook for dinner”.
I think my kids were 6 and 8 when I decided to apply. I filled out the form (which includes a box you check that they are not liable if you die), I storyboarded my video concept (a day in the life of a mom… working full time, class parent for two kids, Sunday school teacher, Girl Scout leader of eighteen… my video would show that being on Survivor would be a walk in the park, a vacation). I was ready to take the plunge. When I expressed this plan at dinner the excitement was over the top, the kids were thrilled, mom would be on TV! Thrilled until one of them asked if I could tell them all what happened each night at dinner… they thought I would be coming home nightly after my “Survivor work”. You know, traveling back from Fiji each evening to make dinner and chat about my day. Needless to say, after explaining that I will be gone for 45 days, and after witnessing the flood of tears flowing onto their dinner plates, I did not apply.
My generation of moms made these kind of decisions all the time. Being one of the first working mom generations, we still insisted on doing everything for our families ourselves, and in doing so we missed out on some opportunities. When I watched this young mom of four little girls say she would be “on vacation” as she prepared to race, starve, climb, solve puzzles, hunt for idols, and basically live off the earth, I got a bit teared up. I am so proud of these super moms… they know it is ok to hire cleaning people, exercise daily, get groceries delivered… and even leave their families for a bit. It is dreamy that they can afford these things, two high paying jobs needed to do so, but there is no shame in outsourcing and enjoying your life if you can afford it. It is ok to follow your dreams. I am thrilled for Amber’s little girls who get to see their mom win physical challenges and try and outsmart competitors. I am impressed that these young moms have the strength to get out there (in bikinis), and kick some ass. And (spoiler alert) if they get voted off the main island, they can show their kids what it is like to fight their way back… because it isn’t over til it’s over. Teaching their kids that if they get tossed aside, to walk away holding their head high while figuring out a plan b. Grit, self preservation, me time. All I can say is swoon…you go girls. I bow down to you.