It was never my intention to be the mother who tried to do it all. I grew up watching working mothers of the 80s burn themselves out before the age of 40. But slowly over the last year my consulting practice has grown and I have become a full time working mother who has one child still home every afternoon. Most days I function in denial about how it really isn’t possible to get it all done and I get up at 5am or continue working after the kids go to bed. My goal over the last 6 months has been to pass in the world as part time working mother who is still able to orient her focus to be mainly on her children while managing some big contracts and projects. Sprinkle over that some community volunteerism and life looks balanced, rewarding, and just full enough.
But the truth is…I wake up at 5am or earlier everyday…drink a pot of coffee (or more) by 9am…have more to do lists then pages in war and peace…and some days give the best of myself to my job and end up asleep by 8pm.
I am not going to lie down on the couch and give you all the explanations for how this come to be. I can attribute it to a childhood pact I made with myself, social pressures, and how I am wired. Normally it all goes sort of smoothly, mainly due to the supportive and family-focused man I married, a great set of friends and little sleep. Except in December….
Going on 3 years now, try as I might, December is the month that brings me to my knees. At least once a week the tears come and I silently scream – FUCK! I really cannot do it all. This December is no different. December is the month where work open houses fall at the same time as school sing-alongs, book club get-togethers happen on the same night as piano recitals, and even in the midst of all the festivities companies still need consulting.
Today I was leaving the school after volunteering for the schools Holiday Emporium and I saw a mother in a mini-van speeding towards the school. Driving faster than the school zone speed limit she pulls up 20 minutes late for school, her kids jump out, she throws them a kiss and her head falls to the steering wheel and I imagine she’s either sleeping or crying. I think to myself – THAT IS ME. That is my metaphor for motherhood in December.
So, I raise a toast to all you over committed mothers trying to do it all in December. Please know you are not alone. January will be here soon.