"The View's" Sherri Shepherd wants women to know when to give themselves "a permission slip" to take it easy. Her new book tackles the many of the obstacles women face daily, from sex to children, from men to thighs.
After reading the excerpt below, head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.
Shepherd will appear at a book signing at New York's Barnes and Noble on Broadway and 66th Street Saturday 3 p.m.
I wish someone would have sat me down when I was a little girl and told me, "Sherri, you can't do anything right."
Hold on--I can explain.
We women are trapped by our circumstances in a way that men are not. We are bound to our families. Our connections to our loved ones are intricate and profound. We stand in the center of a deep pond, surrounded by our children, husbands, boyfriends, parents, siblings, co-workers, and friends. Every move we make has a ripple effect on the people in our pond. If we make a small move, we create a small wave. Big move, big wave. The bottom line is, even if you're doing the right thing, you're making a wave. And that means somebody in your pond is going to get wet.
How many times have you left the house at 8 am, only to be haunted by competing cries as you shut the door?
"Mommy, I don't want you to go to work!" "Baby, you gonna put in a few more hours this week so we can pay the cable bill?"
When I say we can't do anything right, I mean that we can't win. I'm not implying that men aren't bound to their families, or that their actions don't matter. In fact, men live the same way we do. The only difference is, they don't notice as much if someonegets wet.
That's a huge difference.
Most men lead astonishingly guilt-free lives. I would love to be a man for one day, just so I could enjoy twenty-four hours of not being responsible for anyone else's pain.
My wife's mad at me? Well, she should stop being so emotional.
My dad's disappointed in me? Well, his expectations are too high.
I'm broke? Stupid economy.
That sounds like heaven. But if men don't take enough responsibility, women take on too much. Have you ever sat with your husband at a parent–teacher day-care conference, only to get chewed out by the teacher? "You need to bring your son to school by 8 am. When he's late, he misses out on the first art project of the day."
If you're Mom, you're instantly stricken with "bad mother" guilt. But Dad, who thinks he deserves a medal for (a) getting his child to school before noon, and (b) even being at the meeting, will get insulted.
I envy men. And while I don't believe we women can rewire ourselves to be like them, we must learn to forgive ourselves as much as we forgive others.
Remember: Every time we women make a "right" decision, half the people in our lives will think it's the "wrong" decision. And when they start squawking, we are deluged by guilt. So to feel better, we start judging other women. And that old adage--When we point our finger, three more are pointing back at us--proves true, because we save the harshest judgments for ourselves.
I never met a man who obsessed about being a perfect husband, but I know plenty of women who want to be perfect wives. It ain't happening. We women have to start accepting that no matter what we do, someone's always gonna be cranky about it.