Thursday, July 2, 2009

Harsh Reality (Warning: Brutally Honest and Raw)

I have had to come to terms with a harsh reality as of late:

I can't do everything.

It sucks. It really does. I mean, I know that is the nature of a "harsh reality" by definition, but I really have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I am not Alpha Mom, and I never will be.

Since finally becoming a paid writer, it has become glaringly obvious that people were not meant to work full time from home with children unless they have a nanny. I mean, seriously people, I have a hard enough time taking care of myself, the children, my husband, the house, and the dog, and then throwing on top of that a blog, two regular writing gigs, writing a book, and a part time editing job just basically makes me a flighty, chicken with her head cut off mess. I would like to say that I am putting my husband and children first all the time, but unfortunately I am not (most of the time, yes, but not all the time). And I am forgetting things, letting things go that I shouldn't, and definitely not showering as often as I should.

But the conundrum is: what do I let go of? We can't afford for me to quit any of my jobs, and I love what I am doing. Writing this book could be a huge turning point for our family, so I don't want to abandon that project. And I love my blog and all my readers and would never want to stop posting here. I have already cut back my showering as much as is hygienically practical, and I haven't been working out at all because I literally do not have the time. The only thing that I could do is stop my one hobby that I do to decompress and relax, and that is reading. But then, what am I left with for me?

Do I accept that at this point in my life there just is no place for "me" time? Do I suck it up and realize it is a sacrifice for my career and the well-being of my family? I don't know the answer to this question, and I am not asking for you all to solve it for me. I just need to send this problem out into the universe, with the hopes that it will knock something loose in my head to enlighten me.

Don't get me wrong, I am THRILLED with my professional success, and I love being at home with my kids; I wouldn't give it up for the world. But at what point do I realize that I am spread just a little too thin? God forbid, something really suffered because of it, and I would never be able to forgive myself. And I hate that my daughter, at 3 years old, doesn't understand that I don't want to have to say no when she asks me to play with her sometimes. I have been trying to get the kids out to do activities and fun things, but that just means that when I am at home, I have to basically be chained to my laptop.

Advice is welcome, but please no attacks on me being a terrible mother who needs to quit her jobs and spend more time with her children. This is a very honest post, very close to my heart, and I would appreciate some respect for the fact that this is the life that I chose, to work and be with my kids. And no, it isn't perfect, and no, I can't devote myself to them 100% of the time 100% of the day. But I am doing my best. And that's all I know how to do.