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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Having Some

Toddler: "Where's Mommy?"

Nanny: "She's working now, but you'll see her after your nap."

Toddler: "Then I wanna nap now."

On big writing days, I spend a lot of time outside the house. Because if I were home, Toddler would sit on my lap the whole time and pound away on my keyboard. And that would be fun, but Laptop would probably break. And my blog posts and book chapters would look like this: gdfWJKLGFHJ SSGLSDJFNNNNNNNNNN which does not a career make. So, I leave Toddler and Baby and head to my Starbucks sanctuary where I write. And though I'm able to enter a freakish zone of focus even in the Macchiato mayhem, there is always something in the back of my mind. Two things, actually. My girls. 

Even though I see my girls all the time (and know there are countless women and men out there who are forced to spend the majority of their days and weeks away from their kids and I do not pretend to understand how hard this must be), even though I know my girls are mere blocks away and very happy, I miss them. And each and every day, I wonder if it's worth it. If it's worth pursuing goals that don't (directly) involve them, goals that necessarily take me away from them. And, at my little table in the back of that bustling and cliched coffee shop, I nod every time. Yes, it's worth it. Because I love writing. I'm happy when I write. And I'm a better mother when I'm writing and when I'm happy. So, it's both very worth it and very hard. 

And when I return home, Nanny usually has a litany of cute stories to tell me. And I love hearing them. Yes, even when they are stories about how much my girls miss me when I am gone.

No, we can't have it all. But we can have some. The challenge is to convince ourselves that some is indeed enough.

1 comment:

  1. A,
    What does it really mean to have it all? To the outsider, you and I seem to have it all, the intact healthy and adorable nuclear family, the fulfilling career, the means to have a comfortable life, a nice place to live etc. But having it all in my view is awareness of what we have and how lucky we are to have what we have. The people who are always looking for the next big thing fail to enjoy what they have in the here and now.
    For me anyway, having it all is about making the right trades. I know from both my six month long maternity leaves that I am a far better mother and happier person when I am working. My kids, now about to turn 8 and 5, are happy, kind souls who know that their parents love them and would do anything for them. As much as they might miss us when we are not together, they have never once expressed envy of a friends stay at home parents. I think that is because the choices my husband and I have made work for us and our particular situation. I think whatever choice you make, (wohm, sahm, joining the circus etc.) you must own it, and don't spend time imagining the alternate universe of the road not taken.


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