Once upon a time... I believed. I really did believe that as a mom, I could have it all. But you know what happened to that dream? It died. Got flushed down the toilet with the flushable potty-training-wipees they say won't clog your drains! (I don't think they're any less thick, by the way. Do you?)...
Anyway.. I'm talking about the kids, the husband and marriage, the house, the job, the social life... You know what I'm mean, right? The life we always dreamed of? Ahhhhh... that perfect life.
Well, dont' mean to trash-talk. But that perfect life? Doesn't exist.
In fact, I just interviewed my friend, the editor of an award-winning parenting publication, who also sighed deeply just before our shoot. I said cheerfully, "now that doesn't sound like the happy sigh I was hoping to hear from the woman who has it all!"
To which I was given the Tsk-Tsk. Yeah right, she said. Then, she rattled off her laundry list (gosh, don't we all have one?). How little girl starts soccer today but doesn't have cleats, pads, etc. How mama hops a flight to D.C. in the morning for a business meeting and hasn't yet packed. On and on and on....
But this friend of mine.. She's so beautiful. Has a lovely family. Wonderful husband. Edits a fabulous magazine. She doesn't have it all?
And me... don't I have it all? Constantly, people are saying I've got it made-in-the-shade. Two beautiful little ones. A TV job that rocks. A handsome-doctor-husband. A fun social life. (all their words, not mine). I guess on paper, it looks like I have it all. So, then, why is it I feel I DON'T?
Maybe because of this and this alone: this balancing act leaves you feeling like you do everything-all-at-once and nothing very well. I don't feel like I love my kids well enough because, afterall, I'm never there to pick them up from preschool. Rarely there for lunch and naptime. Definitely not there for family dinner. I miss their afternoons, their prime play-time. I don't get to see their sweet faces gleaming with joy, screaming "moooooommmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" when I drive up to their school to get them.
My TV station is great. I work fewer hours to accomodate this madness of raising children and maintaining a home. So of course, I feel like I do less then my colleagues, can't say "yes" to all the charities I'd like to help, and am constantly late and missing meetings.
My husband is next on the list. And I know he feels neglected. No question about that!
My household? We have two dogs and a cat (two of whom are elderly), and they are begging for love...
I'm exhausted constantly. Always struggling to keep my head above water. Repeatedly questioning my sanity... Is this the "all" I was dreaming of?
The question begs: Can you really have it all?
I don't think so. I do think what I have is enough, though. But it's hard. And it's sure not the "all," "the dream" I once thought existed. But maybe it's just enough. Enough to be thankful for each day.
(If you do have it all, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to air your story!)