I remember the first time I held my newborn daughter in my arms. I looked at her wrinkled, chubby, red face. She wasn't perfect, but to me she was. I was in awe of her and remain so, despite the fact she has wreaked havoc on my life and turned it upside down.
When it was time for me to go back to work, all I wanted was to crawl down beside her and never let her go. I hated my job, because it kept me away from her. I had a nagging feeling of guilt when I'd tuck her in at night, because I only got to spend a couple of hours with her and even those were tainted with me being overwhelmed at the amount of stuff I still had to do by the time I could finally fall dead asleep. I could count the number of words I exchanged with hubs on one hand, and they were all about our kid.
Nobody said it would be this hard. Growing up, I never thought women could have it all, I firmly believed they did. And here I was struggling to keep all the balls in the air and stop my world from crashing down. I tried having it all and it was destroying me -- the feeling of never being good enough. Something had to give, but I felt if it did, I'd be spitting in the face of all those women who fought for our rights to vote, work and be equal. I didn't want to be equal if it meant I'd go crazy in a week.
I wanted to quit my job, because how could I find the drive for it, when from the minute I saw my daughter she was my greatest achievement? Nothing would ever be as grand as she was and with every day remains to be. But deep down I knew I couldn't just be a Mom, no matter how great it is. I actually like to work, need to and I have something to give. Honestly it's too much pressure to just quit and fail. I wanted to be the role model who can change things within.
After the birth of my second daughter, I had to come up with a plan on how to handle it all, because I was never the one to settle with "it can't be done." I changed my job and I've cut down on my work hours so I get to spend the whole afternoon with my girls and by the time I now put them to sleep, I am thankful to get some respite. I don't fall asleep the minute the house quiets down, instead, I finally talk to hubs mostly about kids, but since I have quite an eventful day, I can sound very grown up as well.
But I don't have what you would describe a stunning career, nor am I the perfect mom who knows about every minute of their kids' day. Our relationship constantly requires work, while our house could always welcome professional cleaning service. I have, however, balanced things I like to do, sacrificing along the way. But right now, to me, it's worth it, because it all makes me be better. Better at work, when I know my kids are safe and I get to prove myself, because there are still things that inspire me. I am better at home, as I am excited to spend my time with my family and better with hubs because we are equal and in it together.
Perhaps I was wrong, women can't have it all, perhaps we can just have bits of it all, while something always has to give. It's up to every one of us to decide what.
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