My Mother and Oprah are liars. They told me that I “could have it all”,
and, well . . .
I can’t have “my cake and eat it too”. I can barely have cake without my thighs revolting.
I can’t have a shower the same day I workout.
I can’t have a nap in the middle of the day.
I can’t easily transition back into the “working world” after being home for ten years raising children.
I can’t sleep solidly at night, ever. Someone always calls for me.
I can’t have a wicked party evening without feeling like I want to die the next morning when the kids scream for Lucky Charms.
I can’t live without guilt when I am away from my kids.
I can’t have a career without having a nanny to help raise my family.
I can’t be skinny and drink wine every night.
I can’t wear those Lululemon shorts that I love.
I can’t enjoy the “terrible twos” without wanting to scream into a pillow.
I can’t just “let it go”. Do you know what happens to laundry rooms when you just “let things go”?
I can’t feel sexy when I’ve been thrown up on.
I can’t feel sexy when I don’t feel sexy.
I can’t be a great friend because I can’t travel and I can’t talk on the phone.
I can’t grow a garden, I don’t have time for that.
I can’t volunteer for every activity without going stark raving mad.
I can’t make homemade dinners every night in heels.
I can’t even make dinner.
I can’t be at four different practices at once.
I can’t carpool across town in five minutes.
I can’t give up gluten.
I can’t do that awesome side braid that everyone else is pulling off.
I can’t do that report for my boss with a sick child at home.
I can’t get sick.
I can’t understand a fourth grade math problem.
I can’t bake that many cupcakes in a single night.
I can’t do it all . . .
Damn Oprah for telling me otherwise. Damn my mom for making me feel like I can do anything. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t do anything. Why should I? A moms job description is brutal. Inmates have better schedules. It is impossible to “do it all” and the sooner we realize that simple fact, the happier we will be.
I’d love to pen an open letter to Oprah telling her how much I love her magazine. It really is insightful and she often puts moms on a pedestal. Yet her articles reminds us constantly that we can achieve more and be better. It’s tough to feel like can raise a family, have a career, be a great friend, tend to a garden, make passionate love to your husband, read the latest books, bake, dress in fashion and start a charity. You can’t. No one really can.
Additionally, I’d love pen my mom and beg her to tell me why she lied about how hard being a mother is. I’d love to ask her why she didn’t give me fair warning. I forgive her though, they really don’t make “baby shower cards” that layout the good and the ugly of raising young children. I respect her ability to make me believe that being a mom is so sparkly, yet she knew the truth the entire time.
I’d love write them both, but I can’t. I can’t even find a pen in my house and I have four dozen cupcake to bake. But, I CAN love my children unconditionally. I CAN strive for small moments of greatness. And, sometimes that is all the achievement I need.
awesome – I say the same thing all. the time.
Great article Krista! You have a way with words.
The first moment this truth ever occurred to me was after leaving my four week old at home , when I was forced to rent a USAir club conference room at the Boston airport . All I needed before my flight out to Charlotte for an interview was to find a private clean place to pump. Public restroom stalls were unacceptable! Zipping my postpartum hips in to my suit wihle carrying an oversized “travel pump” that morning turned out to be the easier challenge. When I begged the ladies at the front counter of the usair club to use their bathroom for 5 mins to pump and dump, they suggested I purchase a day club pass for $75, as I was not a member. What?!?! The cheaper alternative was to rent the conference room for $35/hr, so I coughed it up while muttering under my breath! If men had to breastfeed in public every 2 hours to keep up their supply, there would be little private pumping stations with leather recliners, remote controls and wifi in every airport, shopping mall, and office building!!!
It was then I realized my mom was right. I could have it all. A happy husband, size 6 waist for my Brooks Brothers suit, thriving , antibody- filled, nursefed babies and a growing medical career! BUT I would always have to pay more for it than a man!!!! Right ,Oprah?!?