Thursday, October 23, 2014

Having It "All"

“No woman can have it all, and by using all as the standard of success, we are only condemning ourselves and our daughters to failure.”  - Debra Spar, “Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect”

I like this quote from an article that I recently re-read after being at this whole parent thing for half a year.  It’s a wise summary of what I've been feeling recently.

The other day, I excused myself from an all-day meeting being held at a local country club.  I lugged my trusty “black bag” to the restroom and set-up a now familiar scene.  I unpacked hoses and funnels and replaced batteries before exhaustively pumping.  I checked my handy “tot-report” while standing in the stall to better understand how No-Nap-Nora’s day was going.  I researched six-month baby schedules while simultaneously trying to read countless emails that I was already behind on answering.  Meanwhile, I heard someone in the restroom with me.  I honestly paid her no attention until she made the comment, “Is someone in there making liquid gold?!”

And, I cried.  The kind woman asked how old my baby is to which I proudly replied, “six months!”  She answered my exclamation with a kind you’re doing a great job!  

I never laid eyes on the woman. I wish I could have hugged her thanked her before I let myself succumb to my emotion.  

Here's what I know about motherhood so far. I have surrounded myself with a great “village.”  I read angry blog posts that are forwarded and re-posted all over the place about judging moms - working moms, stay-at-home moms, fun moms, boring moms, moms who love their cell-phones and moms who hate everything.  All of that judgement that has been discussed, it's been the minority of my experience.  More often, I’ve received ongoing support.  A kind look, a friendly nod or overt encouragement.  I’ve received this from stay-at-home moms, working moms, part-time working moms, and ladies who lunch at country clubs.

The person who has judged me?  Myself.  I am far too guilty of chasing the “all.”  So, that's my pledge for these next few months of parenting - to strive not for perfection, but for a stability that is sustainable.  I'll give-in to the dropped balls hitting the ground, and enjoy it.  For myself.  And, for No-Nap-Nora!

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