So I, along with millions others, have read Ann-Marie Slaughter’s piece in the Atlantic entitled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” I’m not going to pontificate on whether indeed we can have it all. (That hearty exchange is on my Facebook page.)

I will say though today felt like a struggle to juggle it all. The day was by no means bad, it was just tough. Not single-mother-working-three-jobs-to-feed-her-kids tough, but it also wasn’t a walk in the park. Here’s a day in the life of a mom, journalist, wife, daughter and friend.

It all has to start with the night before, I mean, we all know sleep is important, so I stayed up after midnight. I’d love to say I was watching a great movie, but no, it was emailing a source and a client. (They both initially wrote me at 11 p.m.!)

But yes, I went to bed around 12:30 a.m. Then, at 2 a.m. Logan, my 4 year old, starts to shriek. I don’t remember the mad dash to his bedside, because by the time my brain cleared I was glowering over him. He and his brother share a room, so I’m always worried one’s shrieks will wake the other.

Anyway, I brought him back to bed with us. Then at 4 a.m. my youngest woke. He’s teething and is out of sorts.

I honestly can’t tell you what happened between 4 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. I’m thinking I might have slept. Regardless, both kids were in the bed so I had a foot wedged between my 6th and 7th rib, Hubby had slipped downstairs to get some sleep on the couch and by 5:33 a.m., Ethan, my 18 month old, was incessantly pleading for a “nana” which loosely translated means: Banana.

Here’s the rest of the day:

5:34 a.m. Get the requested banana. Play and eat with Ethan.

6:45 a.m. Husband emerges from downstairs. He’s saying something to me, but I’m still in a mental fog, so I nod, smile and hope it wasn’t important.

7 a.m. Logan shrieks again, this time it’s clear he’s up for good.

7:16 a.m. Hubby and I talk about a wrinkle in the story I’m working on. We flesh out the problem, I’m sure that I’ve made him miss his train to work, but it’s better to bounce ideas off him instead of Logan.

7:30 a.m. Hubby leaves. The kids get breakfast. It’s Tasteeos. Just like Cheerios, but cheaper. I look at the laundry list of things to do today and consider taking a 5 hour energy shot… My sister turned me on to those a couple weeks ago. I’ve taken it once before, should I do it again?

8:14 a.m. I am emailing back-and-forth with a client and a source on two different projects. Meanwhile I’ve given the kids carplache in ToyLand, the area previously known as the living room.

8:30 a.m. I take a shower. Many moms forgo this, but it’s important for my well being to at least take a moment to get clean. I usually just tell my kids not to do anything that will get themselves killed.

8:36 a.m. The shower is over and I really, really think I should take that 5 hour energy shot.

9:15 a.m. I take the 5 hour energy shot like I used to do jello shots in college.

9:17a.m. I dress the kids. Start rewriting a story, emailing a client and texting my mom and my hairdresser.

10:45 a.m. I need to get lunch packed. We are going to a concert in the park and I’ve told my friends we’d get there early and could save seats. I’m not sure why I say such lies.

11:15 a.m. We leave the house for the concert, which starts in 15 minutes. Though still miles away, I shake a fist of fury at all of the perfectly coifed suburban moms who I am sure have already staked their perfectly shaded spot.

11:28 a.m. We grab the last patch of shade as Rick Kelley begins to perform.

12:30 p.m. Concert is over, the kids have eaten, I’ve half-caught up with my friends. Though they are giving me looks of concern because I’m obviously frazzled. I’m worried about making my deadline. Ethan has bonked some poor girl on the head as I get an email from a source that I’ve been waiting for. I separate Ethan and the girl. The source says he can talk today at 2 p.m. What to do with the kids? Nothing says professional journalist like screaming kids in the background.

12:35 p.m. I make an appointment at the gym’s daycare. The kids love it there and I can work in peace.

12:45 p.m. I drop off our enrollment papers at what will soon be our new daycare. We hang out in the classrooms for awhile with hopes it’ll feel less foreign when the boys begin in August.

1:28 p.m. We are at the gym and I kiss the kids goodbye so I can hit the elliptical Internet. Researching, writing, emailing, writing, fact-checking.

2 p.m. Interview source

3:30 p.m. has come way too soon. We leave the gym and get ready for Tee-ball. It’s hot as Hell, I hope it’s canceled.

4 p.m. Dinner tonight is brought to you by Subway. It’s cheap and a healthy alternative to Happy Meals. Plus this one is near the train station, so the kids can watch the trains roll by.

5 p.m. Subs devoured, we head to Tee-ball, I’m sad to find it wasn’t canceled. The next 45 minutes are spent vascillating between clapping for Logan in the bleachers to pushing Ethan in the swings at the nearby park.

6:15 p.m. Just as the heat strokes begin to settle in, Tee-ball is over.

6:45 p.m. Everyone is tired, hot and cranky. I start getting Ethan ready for bed when Hubby comes in. “Hi! How was your day? What are you having for dinner?” That’s his nice way of saying “Hi honey! What’s for dinner?” He feels that by asking about my food choice takes away some of the 1950s-era expectation for dinner.

6:46 p.m. I’m grumpy and give him a “Die Bitch” look. He responds with an “Okidoki.”

7 p.m. Pajamas are on, teeth are brushed and Ethan is in bed. One down,  one to go. Since Hubby and Logan are watching TV downstairs, I crack open my laptop again. There’s more researching, writing, emailing, writing, fact-checking.

8:30 p.m. Pajamas are on, teeth are brushed and Logan is in bed. Now I hopefully can put the final touches on my story.

9:13 p.m. I emailed my editor my piece. I hope he likes it.

After taking a moment to breathe, I feel good about today. We went on a picnic, played with friends, did tee-ball and even went to the gym. (I suppose it doesn’t count as exercise though since I worked instead of worked out.)

Was the day easy? No. Was it rewarding? Yes. I think back to the article in the Atlantic, and really, I don’t believe we can always have it “All.” None of my friends, female or male, feel that they do, but some of us come closer than others. I know that I’m much closer than I was a year ago, and I plan to say the same next year. What can I say other than I’m evolving in the work/life struggle/juggle.

I suppose I could navel-gaze on this more, but I’d rather go spend some quality time with Hubby, especially since the “Die Bitch” look was a tad harsh. 😀


Comments

A Snapshot from This Woman Trying To Juggle It All — 10 Comments

  1. This is the second post I’ve read on having it all this week. I think is an ever evolving process. Our lives are in constant flux. Some days go as planned, but many don’t. I think many of us are like you. We all have hectic days. However, if we reflect on them, we’ve made through and accomplish something. If we can think back and realize most days are like that, it’s possible we already have it all and just don’t realize it.

    • I can totally see where you’re coming from. We’ve already got it all, but we can’t really see the forest from the trees. One of my closest friends was inspired by her MIL to realize that we can have it all, just not all at once. She has made a To Do list so that she has targeted efforts on important things she wants to have in her life and I find that very inspiring. I think I need to start working on my list!

  2. Sounds like you are doing a pretty good job of “having it all” to me. I think the secret is not that all of it is perfect at once. The secret is focusing on what needs the most attention at any given time, and it sound like you are doing that. (Except for yourself. Get some sleep girl. I know hard and important it is from experience.)

  3. I think you’re wrong — you did work out. Wow, I remember those days. Little ones keep you hopping.

    I’m glad you mentioned men in your have-it-all thoughts. None of us have it all. Why do we get caught up in thinking we should? If we could let go of the idea of having it all and spend a little more time deciding what we really want, I think we’d all be a lot healthier.

    I hope you got some good sleep after that crazy, full day.

    Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from SITS. Have a great weekend. Try to take time to breathe a little.

    • Inhale. Exhale. There does that count as taking time to breathe? 😉 Your comment made me think about a conversation I had with my dad when I was little. I was upset about something and whined that life wasn’t fair. He laughed and asked me: What makes you think that it’s supposed to be? It rattled me. I remember being surprised that possibly life *wasn’t* supposed to be fair. I think that what you said is similar. Why do we think that we’re supposed to have it all? Aren’t we supposed to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have? Hmmm, good food for thought for sure. Thank you!

  4. Great post! I can just picture you nodding at your hubby and hoping that whatever he says wasn’t important. I also put great stock in a daily shower .. I can probably count on one hand the days I haven’t showered since my preschooler was born. It’s a minor accomplishment, but … hey, it’s something. I think you did amazing balancing everything during your hectic day, especially without much sleep. Tell me more about those energy shots …

    • Ohhhhh Tara the energy shots. I try to use them sparingly, not sure why it just seems wrong that something so small can make me feel so awake and coherent. And on the showers, I know we have that in common, somehow it’s just one of my sanity savers, ya know? Much love lady.

  5. All I can say is, Wow. You clearly don’t have to be a white house exec to face this dilemma. And you are doing it, girl. Your honesty, non-defensiveness, your courage and your incredible love for your family are inspiring. So is your commitment to hanging on to your own goals and dreams. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us all.

    • Inspiring?? Um, OK. I don’t see how, but that is amazingly sweet of you, so thank you! I think it’s easy to drive myself crazy thinking about all the things I want to do with my life. I feel like I can do whatever I want, I just need to continue to focus myself on doing what I want to do, what makes me happy and contributes to the greater good. Speaking of greater good, we gotta connect sometime soon about that project. I’ll email ya! Thanks again for the lovely comment!

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