You Can’t Do It All: Ten Clone Personas Every Woman Needs

img_2084My mom once told me that she wasn’t sure what I looked liked standing still or without multiple bags hanging off me. That was over 17 years ago, when I’d first graduated college and was living at home to save money from my first job as an editorial assistant at a small lifestyle magazine in Atlanta. Today I’m still running, most days in heels and still with the multiple bags (though thankfully one is my beloved Neverfull). Sometimes the sight includes two smallish people in tow, and they learned at an early age that two to three little shuffles can match one loping, weary mama-stride.

I really do love my life. I love my husband, my kids, my work , my church, my friends and my community. But sometimes I don’t love the fact that I feel it all hurling towards me, blasting me with demands – one on top of the next until I feel depleted and bitter. I mean, given ONE of the job descriptions we as women are expected to fill, I could  totally rock it. Give me two, and I am still surviving. Three or more and it’s a total free-for-all of missed deadlines, apologies and a feeling that I am always forgetting something. That got me thinking. If only I could clone myself! It’s way easier than delegating (no training or explanations needed), and you get to take the time to do it all and do it all right! So, here is a proposal for my Clone-Me App , and the top ten clones I am convinced every woman needs.

1. The SuperMom: Let’s get this big dog out of the way first. Call on this clone when you have a major presentation on the same day your kindergartner is debuting as a hermit crab in the school play. She will show up on time, take pictures, and even make sure the microwave box costume shell is painted a pearlescent pink and not covered with the Kenmore logo. She will not forget to apply sunscreen before Field Day and you will never again recieve the “look” when you wheel in late for pick up. Also enlist her to navigate friend drama and explain to your  nine year old for the fourteenth time that she cannot download Music-ly because you are pretty sure it connects somehow to some creepy app called Stalker-ly. Note- you will need one SuperMom Clone per kid. If you have no children, you may select two from the below personas.

2. The Altruist: This Clone is available to handle Sunday School duty and will round up all the supplies for the Empty Tomb craft. She will attend and participate in your nonprofit boards and chairty committments so you will not have to leave work early and slink home late after a three hour brainstorming session on whether the gala should be black tie or snappy casual. She is more than capable of chairing a mean silent auction and keeps track of who not to overtap for contributions. She will drop off the snacks for Vacation Bible School on the way to grab that casserole for Mrs. Dubney on your street who just broke her leg. Done and done.

3. The Wife of the Year: I know, I know. You love your person more than anything in the world but lets face it – you are *tired*.  Well, this Clone is for you.  Her expertise shines weeknights after 10pm and during those times when your hubs is just a wee bit intoxicated. She is also fab at making sure his Yeti cup is clean and filled with coffee in the morning and can be relied upon to plan his surprise birthday weekend golf trip for him and three of his buddies at that hard-to-get-on course three states away. She interfaces well with our next clone, The Workout Wonder.

4. The Workout Wonder: You may struggle to make your 5am workout class because a small person was vomiting all night. But since SuperMom Clone was doing all that sheet washing and forehead dabbing, Workout Wonder is well rested and ready for leg day. And since that is All She Has To Do, she will squeeze in a six mile cardio sesh then linger over a kale smoothie with your gym bestie. You reap the benefits.

5. The Presenter: This clone is always prepared for a sound bite, board meeting, presentation,  close up, or interview. Think about it – she has all of your knowledge on the topic at hand but is also not looking at her Apple Watch worrying about missing missing pickup or cursing herself for not dropping off that casserole. She also has a closet full of perfectly- tailored pencil skirts in the season’s most covetable colors and they fit awesome because of that amazing six mile run you didn’t have to do…

6. The Maid to Order: Keeping a floor crumb free and enough clean underwear available for your people for the week should not be as hard as it is. And bonus if said clean underwear is folded in a drawer instead of at the bottom of three baskets of laundry at the foot of your bed. 💯 This is why you will be so happy to incorporate the Maid to Order Clone. She  will not only install that lightbulb that has been burned out in your kitchen for six weeks but she will also go and Purchase It For You. And she does toilets. She’s a keeper.

7. The Bossistant: Think of this clone as your personal assistsnt but she does it like a boss. Like YOU would. Your Venmo payments are scheduled and correct for teacher appreciation and your co -worker’s baby shower. And she didn’t mix up the  babysitter’s graduation gift with your mom’s Mother’s Day necklace. She plays the Tetris that is your iCalendar with gusto.

8. The Online Ingenue: If only you could sit at your desk all day and answer all the emails. It’s like the freaking holy grail. Her emails are not only eloquent, but witty, timely and nice! And since she is sitting in your office all day she will take those walk ins and be nice to them, too! No more huffy breaths when the receptionist tells you your appointment has arrived just a wee bit early but you have not yet finished the proposal you are writing. (The Presenter has the proposal done and has already submitted it, so yes, please send them on back!) And she will keep your social  media reciprocity etiquitte in check, liking the appropriate posts, sharing the amazing ones and scrolling though your phone for Insta-wothy photos so it will look  like you post more than once a month. How ’bout that cute one of the Hermit crab costume thanks to SuperMom Clone?? Yaaas.

9. The SocialHeavy: Let’s face it, SocialLite will no longer do it. Everybody knows if you turn down three invites in a row you are blacklisted, so she will be there for margaritas with the girls after work and head straight to mom’s night out afterwards. She will spend her days at local boutiques searching  for the perfect outfits for the above occurrances and also that gala (The  Altruist convinced them to go black tie).

10. The Gourmet: All of these things make a girl hungry and who better to enlist than the Gourmet. She will shop for and prep your meals, cut up tiny pieces of fruit for snack day (not that there is anything wrooong with the Lays multi pack) and will make sure you have Some Kind of Salad with Avocado delivered to your desk at 11:45 so you don’t wait too long and order the large cheeseburger from Five Guys at 2:45 when you’re Dyyyyying from working through. She will also introduce your children to the Vege-ta-ble.

Yeah, yeah. The Clone-Me App is a pipe dream, and would probably have so many bugs that you’d delete it from your phone after giving it a one star rating (“great concept, terrible execution…”). But the bottom line is none of us can do it all, so just laugh it off and keep on asking that seemingly disheveled, distracted and elusive girl to join you for mom’s night out and for those margaritas after work. I promise one day she’ll come.

Kelly Barbrey has long traded in magazine journalism for destination marketing  for Experience Columbia SC (google it), but rest assured it is just as much fun and also requires running in heels while carrying multiple bags.







8 Comments Add yours

  1. Merritt says:

    Love this! Reminiscent of a conversation we had not too long ago about the pressures of working moms to “do it all”. I think you keep it all together beautifully. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, girl! We have to stick together!


  2. Lynsey Kmetz says:

    I’ve always known you were talented but this is incredible! Can’t wait to read more. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol Frigon says:

    Literary genius, and best big sister ever! Only person in the world I need to call when one of my bags gets a little heavy or heaven forbid I drop one. You get it like no one else does. Love u and I mean it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. B Craven says:

    loved this read! It’s oh so true😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tracie B says:

    This is so, so terrific. So many relatable moments in here. I’m already feeling that margarita and it’s only 10am!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nikki says:

    Well done, Kelly! Sometimes, something’s gotta give.happy (almost!) summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Harper James says:

    You nailed it Kelly! So PROUD of you! It’s certainly the way every mom feels but can’t express it the perfect way you did!

    Liked by 1 person

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