Momfessional #50: Me, me, me

Nurse. Teacher. Friend. Professional. Sister. Daughter. Judge and jury. Cruise director. Housekeeper. Cook. Policewoman. Accountant. Interior decorator. Party planner. Veterinarian. Travel agent. Wife. Sex symbol. Bank machine. Commuter. Businesswoman. Blogger. Tailor. Laundromat. Organizer. Secretary. Mediator. Psychologist. Dictionary. Hairdresser. Doctor. Career woman. Student. Moral compass. Landscaper. Dietitian. Mom.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about who I really am. Maybe it’s because it is the most depressing time of the year, or maybe I’m having an early mid-life crisis, but either way I can’t stop thinking about ME. As in, what makes me happy? What am I good at? Can I really have it all? And if so, what does that even mean? I’m not just talking about a career, either. But life in general. What is the f**ing point of it all?

I’ll spare you the philosophizing. Suffice it to say that I have had some pretty deep thoughts running through my head recently (thankfully, I have watched enough episodes of the Real Housewives this week to balance out all that cerebral activity). And I know I am not alone. Fellow mommy bloggers and friends Not the Only Mama and Average Working Mom both posted recently about similar topics. While one mom asked herself if she’d ever feel on top of her game, and in control of her life again, the other wondered if she should be more career-oriented and focused on her job. But I think the thing that they were both really asking was the same thing that has been bothering me: am I doing enough?

Why do we beat ourselves up over that question? Why do we feel that we have to be everything to everyone? And to make matters worse, why, while we are carefully juggling about a thousand different labels —from cook, to career woman, to wife, to mother— do we stop and think, “shouldn’t I be doing MORE, or doing it BETTER, or making it more MEANINGFUL?” Why can’t we just accept that this life, right now, is the best life there is?

Maybe it is the curse of our generation. We were raised to believe that we could do anything we wanted; we had options like never before. We didn’t have to stay home and raise our children; we could have an education, high-powered careers, a husband that was also a hands-on dad. As fabulous as that all is, it is also incredibly unsatisfying. Because I never really feel like I am fully committed to one thing. Instead, I split myself into teeny, tiny pieces (one for my company, one for my husband, one for my family, one for my kids, one for my friends…) in an attempt to “have it all”. Only the more I think about it, the more I realize that “having it all” might actually be an unachievable myth.

I’d like to say that I am going to let it all go, and decide to live in the moment and never wonder if what I am doing is enough. But, I don’t think that is realistic. I may never feel totally satisfied about where I am in my life, and I might always wonder if I could do more. But, at least I know that I am not alone, and that there are moms just like me out there having the very same thoughts every day.

So this one goes out to you, fellow philosophical, overachieving moms. You might think too much, and you’re certainly all a little nuts. But you’re also all awesome and absolutely perfect, just the way you are.

So go open a bottle of wine and turn on some reality TV. The laundry will still be there tomorrow.


Momfession #49: The phone call

mom on phoneThis evening, I had to make a quick business call from home. Thankfully, it isn’t something I have to do often any more (once, I had a psycho boss that would call my cell at all times of day or night just to “chat”). I knew it would only take a minute, and the kids were playing relatively quietly in the living room, so I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. “Hey guys,” I said, to both kids and the hubster who was playing on his iPod, “I’m just going to make a quick call for work…can you just keep it down?” They all seemed to acknowledge that they heard my request, so I dialled the number.

Not two rings in, something happened. My kids instantly went from playing with each other and speaking in normal tones, to running around me in circles, screaming. They became possessed beings, laughing maniacally and chasing me while I ran from room to room, laptop in one hand, cell phone wedged between my shoulder and ear. I apologized profusely to the person on the other end of the line, who certainly must have thought I had 10 kids instead of two, and tried desperately to sound light hearted and playful, while mouthing “STOP IT” and putting on my best mean mom face. I ended up in the only room in our house with a lock on the door: the bathroom. As I attempted to finish my call, with my laptop balanced on the sink, my two lovely children screamed and pounded on the door. And where, you might ask, was my husband this entire time? In the living room, still playing on his iPod.

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