The following post was inspired by an article my friend shared with me. As a fellow working mom, she feels the same pulls and thought this would be good blog fodder. And, I think it was. Thanks for the inspiration, Julia!
What’s the rudest question you can ask a mother? According to Tina Fey’s recent article in The New Yorker, it’s “How do you juggle it all?” As a working mom of two young kids, a baby on the way, a blogger and the daughter of an ailing father, I’m someone who gets asked this a lot.
My immediate answer is a flippant, “Not well.” Which usually results in a laugh and no follow up. Because let’s face it, this question comes in two forms. One implies, “Why on earth do you do so much and don’t those choices come at the expense of your kids and marriage?” The other implies, “I think you’re pretty amazing.” So I choose to believe that everyone who says it means that I’m a superhero. I accept the compliment (humbly, of course) and move on before I can discover it was really meant to insult me.
That being said, when I ask myself the question, there’s no doubt of the tone. It’s the day the preschool tells me they have no record Little being signed up for the fall (I swear I did it!). Or the day I show up for Kindergarten registration without three of the required documents because I scanned the paperwork too quickly and thought I needed one thing on the list, not everything on the list to prove that I do, indeed, live where I say I do. (Who knew I could fail Kindergarten before it even starts?!) Or the day I realize I haven’t called my dear friend to wish her sweet baby a Happy Birthday (then again, she’s not really a baby any more, which I’d know if I called more often—miss you, Aimee!).
Those days I can feel people watching me (darn you mean registration lady and your impatient eye roll). Those are the days I feel like my life is in charge of me, instead of the other way around.
Then I take a deep breath. I remember that I have made the choices that have led me to this place. (Mostly) good ones. And I can do it all. Some of it even well. Because I’m not alone.
I have a loving, supportive husband who is constantly looking out for our family and our future.
I have a couple of the most entertaining kids on the planet to shower me with hugs and laughter.
I have a baby girl on the way who will teach me to look at the world in a whole new way.
I have wonderful parents (as well as other family) who really do seem to think I’m that superhero.
I have dependable friends who love my children like their own when I’m being pulled in so many directions I’m about to be ripped in half.
I have a kind-hearted babysitter who ensures my boys are having fun, eating well (I could learn a thing or two from her!) and keeping so busy they barely notice I’m gone.
I have colleagues who encourage me with kindness to not only pursue my copywriting work to help them drive business, but to pursue my outside writing interests.
And I have you, my blog readers, who allow me to write about everything from cracked teeth to bruised egos—and even share your own stories and words of encouragement along the way.
Yep, that sure is a lot to juggle. (I’m pretty lucky, huh?)
Photo from Flickr by Renato Pequito.