Work It Mama Ramblings: Can I have it all?

Can working moms really have it all?

I forgot a birthday this week.  The birthday of my first child.  I had to look into her beautiful little eyes and realize that I forgot her.

I did not even give my faithful companion for the last 8 years a special hug, a special treat or belly rub … Yep,  I forgot my dog’s birthday … I forgot my Sidney.

I am sorry my girl. I know you have no idea what a birthday is, but I do and I should not have missed it.

Why?  I can only guess that the past several weeks of life have pushed me to my mental limit.  Between work, family life, the busyness of Fall and trying to stay on my workout and eating well plan, at the end of the day – around 11 pm – I collapse in bed a big pile of mush.

I push through each day, I am there, I am keeping up (barely), but I have come to realize that I am not always there mentally.  Particularly at home.

Why?  Well here is a snapshot of what runs through my brain in a few minutes: “Did I get my to do list done for the day?  What did I miss?  Did I send that work e-mail?  Is the file done on time? Is lunch made for tomorrow?  Did the laundry get done?  Do I have my blogs lined up?  How many calories was that snack I grabbed this afternoon? …. Again, what am I missing on my to do list? …..”  My brain never stops.  I mean never.

What this leads to is weeks like this week — weeks where I am physically present but mentally gone.  For example — I am sitting there singing “Ittsy Bittsy Spider” with my munchkin but my brain is off somewhere else.  And, you know, I hate it.  My mental balance if off.  Way off.

Does this mean I want to ditch something over the side.  No, not at all.  I love working.  I find joy in volunteering, and, of course, cutting any family moments will never happen.

So, all this brain racing and this pushing has forced me to ask myself one very important question – Can I really have it all?

Can I have the career, the family, the health, the home, the supportive community, the time and the sanity that I so crave and look for every day of life?

I remember, shortly after munchkin was born, a very lovely and well-meaning older family friend telling me (I am paraphrasing): “You can not be a mom and have it all. So focus on being a mom.” I nodded and then though “she is crazy if she thinks I am not going to try and have it all.”

I do firmly believe that I am a mom, wife, sister and daughter first in life.  Family and my loving relationships are always first in my heart.  But, I honestly need work.  I need the brain stimulation that comes from work.  I need professional challenge. I need the parts of my life outside the home.

But, I also need mental balance.  I need not to be mush at the end of the day and mentally useless to my family.

So … alas … I still do think I can have it “all” … it is just the “all” has to be more “some” at times, not “all” at once.

How about you, do you think you can have it all? What do you define as your “all”?

– Julia

 

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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