Monday, May 10, 2010

You CAN have it all…just not all at once

I can honestly say that I “have it all.”

I have a wonderful husband, two precious children, a great job, a beautiful home, and a loving extended family.

When you “have it all” you sometimes “get more” than you bargained for…such as an additional layer of dirt on the windows, a stack of unread self-help books on the nightstand, a DVR full of unviewed television programs, and a healthy crop of dandelions growing in the yard.

Oh yes…I have it all and then some.

I have husband who is so helpful around the house that I can’t find anything in my kitchen after he unloads the dishwasher. Apparently 12 years of marriage doesn’t automatically mean we think alike when it comes to which cupboard so obviously holds the cheese grater.

It’s true that by having a two-income household our financial situation is a little more comfortable than if we just had one paycheck to live on. However, our comfort isn’t at a level where we have a nanny, a housekeeper, and/or paid yard care. My husband and I are the homework checkers, the carpool drivers, the laundry folders, the bathtub scrubbers, the garden weeders, and the lawn mowers at our home.

The kids come first, so that means the house and the yard aren’t always up to my standards. (My husband really doesn't have standards so I must impose mine upon him.)

I used to be a great housekeeper…I only wish I had taken photos to prove it! And my well-groomed rose bushes could have won awards! That was in my B.C. (Before Children) lifetime.

Now I have two kids, a somewhat demanding yet rewarding career, and a commute from the city to our semi-rural hometown. It’s our A.D. lifetime (After Daughters) and some items have fallen down on my priority list.

Now I’m not saying that Niecy Nash from “Clean House” is on her way over to our address. However,
Good Housekeeping magazine won’t be sending me their seal of approval any time soon.

The dirt level in our house falls someplace in between “you-can-write-your-name-with-your-finger-on-the-bookshelf” and “is-that-the-cat-or-an-enormous-dust-ball-in-the-corner?”

You CAN have it all…just not all at once.

If you’re a mom + career woman, something has got to give. The “give” list for me includes less time sleeping, cleaning the house, working in the yard, and nurturing hobbies. Reading and watching TV are luxuries. My golf game is beyond hope.

They are trade-offs I’m more than happy to make to give our daughters the love, attention, and support they need. Because for me, “having it all” means nothing if I’m not “giving my all” to my family.


Camille said...

Well put! I love this perspective and so true - there is always give and take. And I'm with you: the first thing that goes in my world is the sleep since late at night is when I try to "catch up" on things. But we always seem to make it work in the end. How fun to find another working mom to connect with about finding that balance and (yikes!) sanity! :)

Snickerdoodle said...

This is a favorite little poem of mine.
The cleaning and scrubbing
will wait till tomorrow,
for Children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep......
Martha deHoop

Camille said...

love your blog, great perspective!

Melinda said...

Great attitude! That is how I feel too. You are a good mommy!

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