It’s kind of like “having it all.”
As a WAMH, I’ve been told that I’m living the dream: I work at home, I take care of my child – no need for daycare. No need to pump during lunch breaks because I can just pick up Judah from his lounger or swing and feed him on-demand (and boy howdy, does he demand!). After all these years of stressing about my job, when I used to work in a very toxic office environment, I’m finally having it all. Move over Melissa Meyer and Sheryl Sandberg… Mama’s leanin’ in.
But it’s really not having it all. It’s having some things, some of the time.
New motherhood is a juggling act, competing attentions and responsibilities constantly flying up into the air as you desperately rotate them between your hands: tossing, falling, catching, tossing, falling, catching. Sometimes you drop a couple but the show must go on, right? And some mornings, you really just don’t feel like juggling at all.
My juggling balls have labels like Judah,Work (one for each writing contract – Disney Baby, Answers.com, NBC/Universal), Larry, Friends, Family, Social Media for Work, Social Media for Fun, Naps, Personal Hygiene, House Chores, Health, Blogging…*
*In a lot of ways, I wrote this list randomly but upon review, seems to be pretty much how I’ve got everything prioritized at the moment.
Have I mentioned I’m terrible at juggling?
(Although, truth be told… I can juggle gauze scarves really well. That’s like, step 1 in learning how to juggle all those years ago at theatre camp.)
I used to be about having it all: the career (not just the “job”), the husband, the house, the car, the kids – the works. But in the reality of it, I would probably rent instead of buy if given the opportunity to do it over again and besides, the schools are crap where we live; the Jetta is alright… but I’m looking forward to the end of the least next year. And while I love the work I do, it would be nice if 75% of my paychecks didn’t go directly towards paying 100% of our health insurance premiums, as I’m the primary subscriber for our family. Not having a commute is glorious, but not having an employer pay part/all of my premiums is also kind of a bummer.
Husband and child? Wouldn’t change a thing, ‘natch.
In caring for a baby that came early, taking us all by surprise – a baby who’s gone from severe reflux to colic and now to teething(!) with nary a break in between each (fussy/cranky/at times miserable) stage, I’ve pretty much given up on having it all right now.
I will setting for having some things, some of the time. Because having it all is a damn near impossibility, at least right now.
So, I might drop some balls (hello first post since the middle of July). But so long as I’ve always got my handle on those labeled Judah and Larry, I will figure out the rest.
Speaking of Judah, our little peanut is almost 4 months old already. And yes, he’s begun teething. He’s also smiling and cooing and gooing and still barfing, but the pain associated with his reflux seems to finally be at bay with the help of some medicine.
We’re back to exclusively breastfeeding, too, for two solid weeks as of today. No more formula supplementation… for now. (We need to see how is weight gain goes in the next week before making that determination again.) It has been exhausting, but his overall change in temperament and reduction in spit-up has made the transition back to EBF worth it. He’s barely had any bottles the past two weeks, save for Monday, when I went on a 6-hour fishing trip in Gloucester. Thankfully, Nana was here to serve him up some pumped bottles while I was gone.
The house will get clean when it needs to be cleaned.
I’ll make my deadlines, however last-minute and sleep-deprived as they may be.
Because right now, I don’t need to have it all.
I have my son and my husband, and that’s enough for me right now.