When I grow up

I used to spend a lot of time imagining what my life would be like when I finally had a job that I liked and was good at.  Or when I could convince Craig to marry me.  Or when I did what I always thought I was put on this earth to do and had a baby.  In these early twenty-some fantasies I was ambitious and successful, I was a hot wife that made her husband weak in the knees, or I was the soccer mom in a gas guzzling SUV with 2.5 kids in the back seat laughing and getting their sticky hands on the windows.  I was easily breezing through life complete with great friends, happy hours, traveling and shopping.  Of course there would be shopping. 

It never occurred to me that to be really good at one might mean sacrificing at least one of the other two.  At work today we had our annual awards lunch and this year, I got an award for my dedication and commitment to developing our strategic plan and new brand identity.  Part of the nomination talked about how I spent time during maternity leave writing copy, participating in conference calls and working with our agency.  As I got up to accept the award, all I could think was “Well, this won’t be part of Munchkin’s baby book.” 

I like my job, I really do.  I finally feel like I have my shit together between 8 and 5.  I see a future.  I know my resume looks good.  I know that I’m good at what I do.  I worked hard for this and I feel damn proud to have gotten here.  But…. 

You see, there’s a but.  I never wanted to be that mom that checks email on her Blackberry while she feeds the baby.  Or the wife that can’t take a day off without taking the laptop home. I can’t blame the office or the boss.  It’s not a pressure that they’ve applied.  It’s a fear that if I stop working as hard as I have for the last 18 months or so, that I will lose the momentum that I’ve gained.  It’s a fear that behind closed doors or under his or her breath a person will mutter, “well, before she had the baby…” It’s not wanting to ever be bored and unnoticed at work again. 

It’s hard squeezing everything into a 24 hour day.  It’s hard finding a way to be the successful chick at work, the wonderful wife and the patient mother.  The only thing hot about me is the hot mess that I am when I come home, a half an hour later than I wanted to with no plans for dinner.  I drip with envy over those women that have it all figured out and I beg them to send me their secrets.  Please.

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One Response

  1. What an honest, interesting post…and how heart-wrenching as well. Would you welcome some unsolicited advice? Email me and we can talk, if you’d like. I’ve been pretty much right where you are….

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