There is a new Sarah Jessica Parker movie entitled, I Don't Know How She Does It. The trailer portrays the madcap adventures of a working mom. While I am sure I can relate to some of the funny examples in the movie, I also know from experience lately that "She" does not do it all, or at least does not do it all well.
When I was a stay-at-home mom when my children were younger, I loved the motto used in the Stay at Home Mom vs. Working Mom debate that went something like, “You can have it all, just not all at the same time.” Well, when my sanity and the economy called me into action to take on a more demanding position at work, I have replaced that motto with strong feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
I recently decided to work late one evening and came home to discover my family had eaten dinner without me and I felt awful. Another night, I decided to help my son with a huge map project for school and didn’t go shopping for the staff meeting snacks, as I promised I would. I have not attended any of my daughter’s golf matches this season. I cross my fingers behind my back when my co-workers debate which weeknight to schedule a meeting that will last until 6pm, hoping and praying it won’t be the same night I promised my husband that I could pick-up the kids promptly at 5pm. The dog recently had a dinner that consisted of 3 milk bones. And, on a day I had two important meetings at work, I sent my son to school with a nasty cough.
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So, as a working mom, I’m not doing well as either a mother or an employee. And I’m not exactly sure what to do about it except to keep trying. Luckily, my son’s cough cleared-up quickly, my co-workers have a great deal of patience with me, and the dog inexplicably continues to thrive. My daughter is learning self-reliance and my husband is taking on a larger role at home. And we are surviving. It is not often pretty or smooth, but we are making it.
I wonder if a stranger would ever see me dropping my kids off at school or walking to a meeting at work and think, “I don’t know how she does it?” Well, it's doubtful a stranger would ever think that since I am rarely, if ever, as put together as SJP. And anyone who knows me also knows that my working mom adventures are more mad than madcap. Thus, there is no need to wonder about me and how I do it all - I don’t!