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Having it all

DSC_0074 When I was pregnant, I remember sitting with a friend on her couch as we watched the baby inside my belly make its way from one side to the other.  As we were watching in awe -- this alien-like experience going on in my body-- I was sure that I was not going to change when I had my daughter.  I wasn’t going to sit still because I had a baby. 

Parts of my life have not changed. I’m still pretty social, actually more so now.  I go to concerts on a regular basis and travel.  Only now, I travel with my daughter, rock concerts require a baby sitter, and we’ve attended more gallery openings and festivals then my daughter probably cares to think about.  I don’t sit still, to a fault.  

Recently I had a small breakdown.  All my activities came to a head. I returned from a weeklong work trip, was finishing an art piece for group gallery show, organizing my daughter’s pre-school fundraiser, training to run my first 5K, and preparing to move our home, all while working full-time.  And, oh yeah, trying to raise a child.

My eye started twitching due to the stress.  I sat one night and cried because I couldn’t take it.  I did this to myself.   I felt that everything in my life was suffering because I was doing too much and doing it badly. I was physically exhausted. 

I haven’t halted after my revelation I was taking on too much. My previous commitments need to be filled, even if they are filled poorly.  I’ve noticed this seems to be a habit of most of the mothers I know.  We try to take on the world and raise kids at the same time. 

We are attempting to achieve the elusive “having it all” dream as we try to find the balance of doing all that we want: being a good parent, role model and actually being able to enjoy our lives.  Can we, as mothers, have it all?  I used to think I could have it all.  What I do have is… a messy house, a child who has an overly stressed mother that snaps at her, a job that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, as well as artwork that hasn’t been made.  So I’m running around like this because… why? 

Honestly, I believe we can have it all. We can have it after taking time and really thinking about what “having it all” is or means.  For me, soul searching is in order, as well as patience -- patience in knowing that not everything I want will happen right at this moment. And just because it doesn’t happen today, doesn’t mean that it will never happen. 

As the dust in my brain settles and everything is beginning to slow down, I think I would really like to sit in the sun with my daughter and laugh.  Right now that would feel like having it all. 

When Mollie isn't collapsing in exhausting, you can find her blogging over at Fish Food.  

This is an original post to Ohio Moms Blog.