You see her. You know the one. The mom who does everything, keeps everything organized, and looks like she stepped out of the pages of a J Crew catalog. You know that she’s come from a PTO meeting, made a five course dinner, and is at the top of her work. (Okay, maybe the last one was a little much, but you get the drift.) It bugs you, annoys you, because you can’t even contemplate doing more than making hot dogs for dinner and your kids haven’t bathed in a few days, let alone the time you don’t have to do anything for yourself, including drink your coffee while it’s hot. Christ. How DOES she do it?
The funny thing is, I know I do things that make people wonder the same thing, but it seems like nothing to me. I had a 2 year old, was pregnant with my second child when I was finishing up my second master’s degree. I completed an internship while my youngest went through hell with ear infections, took a required professional development course, and continued with my full time job. It was a challenge, but I survived, and I lived to tell about it.
On any given day, I could have many things going on at once. Take today, for example. I received an email first thing this morning that the project I was heading was going a different route, so the financial and organizational support I had would no longer be there; it would have to be internal. I met with several outside groups in the morning, back to back, and then had to monitor presentations all day. In addition to that, the non-profit I am a treasurer for is trying to re-do their logo in time for a conference. We just got the new work up and we have to have it ready in two weeks, so I had to put the pressure on our designer. I didn’t get any of my own work done at work because of all of the other things that popped up, and in the midst of it, I received an email from daycare that my youngest bit another child (amazing). Picked my two up from daycare, asking one of their teachers if she could watch the kids on Friday because we were invited to a last minute Halloween costume party on our street, and since we still don’t know our new neighbors, we really want to go. I then headed home to make dinner, wash linens (my eldest had another accident at naptime), and find out that my husband wouldn’t be home to help with dinner or bedtime. Once my two go to bed, I have to sit down to do my own work and continue to sort out the project, as well as finish up some other things as well before I stop and give myself my “me” time to read for a bit before I go to sleep. I barely had time to breathe today.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it so that we can get the notoriety of being the “it” mom, the one who does everything? I don’t think so. Some of it is out of necessity, other parts are because we want to. In addition, it bothers me that we always want something else, something more for ourselves and our children. We want to look the part, when most times, we don’t even realize that we do right now. We are doing the best we can, and we “do it” everyday. So I guess when we ask, “how does she do it?” we should be looking in the mirror, right? No matter where you are in mommyhood, it’s a challenge. Sometimes it’s even a challenge to get out of bed in the morning. But we do it, everyday. And we may not be the mom who makes the five course meal or looks like we stepped out of a J Crew catalog, but we do survive all of the things that come our way. It might be just barely squeaking by, but it’s better than nothing.