I looked at the clock, it read 9:45am and I thought, I am tapped out, how in the world am I going to make it through the rest of today? I had nothing left to give and yet it just kept coming at me like a runaway train.
It peaked with a fight over a green golf ball, progressed into hysteria that I wouldn’t let both of them sit on my lap while I was trying to address an issue with work, morphed into another fight over a red ball, moving on to someone peeing on the floor within a seconds of the other one falling and smashing his face on the ground and the dog hysterical that his ball was stuck under the bed. I was trying to console the injured twin, while cleaning an exorbitant amount of urine that was all over the bedroom floor all the while hearing my phone buzz with texts and emails from work. The anxiety was rising at a rapid pace and there was not a thing I could do to stop it. It often seems like if I am succeeding in one area that means I am failing in another. Not a great feeling. What is worse, is that I worry that feeling, of letting everyone down, is probably not going to go away any time soon, if ever.
This is hard. I mean really hard. Right now I am a parent first, but I am also so much more. I want to be everything my boys need, especially now, because they really need me. And I want to be successful in my work. I have had to completely rebuild my profession to be a stay at home mom, knowing there will be a time when they don’t need (want) me around as much, therefore, hopefully laying the groundwork for a career after my time at home.
My husband probably wonders if he still has a wife and my house is in constant chaos, everyone needs some sort of appointment that I keep forgetting to make, my blog is floating in the abyss of the internet, I haven’t worked out in months and I still have to figure out Halloween, and those are just a few things. These are my choices, I know, but man, there are still days when the feeling of failure completely overwhelms any inkling of making it.
One night, over many glasses of wine, my friends and I were talking about trying to balance motherhood, with work, with relationships, with life, I said there is no such thing as balance. It was like someone suddenly knew the meaning of life. We could breathe a collective sigh of relief in the knowing that when you are a mom, balance is unattainable.
Understanding this doesn’t make it any easier, the guilt isn’t erased but there is comfort in knowing that, at the very least, a small circle of my close friends, are feeling just as crazed as I am. In a world of Instagram, Facebook, we are fooled into thinking other people seem to have it together and I don’t. The truth is, we may all be doing it differently, yet we all feel the same – someone, something, gets less and it is dependent on the day, what or who that is.
I feel like we need to stop asking women “how do you balance it all?” We don’t. So stop asking, because by just asking that question you are reminding us that we are not able to create a harmonious day to day existence. Maybe instead of asking Zoe Saldana how she balances her career with twins, ask her if she feels like some days she is running in circles like the rest of us. And hopefully, instead of feeling pressure to have a perfect image, she and every other mom who also feels that pressure, will give an honest answer of, yes. And knowing that we are not alone is more helpful than anything else.
So, as today is ending, the boys and I lay on their floor before bed, looking at the stars on their ceiling, both hugging me fiercely, I had to let it go. The house still looks like a natural disaster swept through it, I forgot to make the Dr’s appointment, still haven’t sorted out Halloween, (but I did think about it so that is progression),miraculously, most of what I really needed to do for work, got done and I have lived to tell another day.