Friday, February 10, 2012

Having it All

The first time she said it, it stung.

"Where am I going tomorrow, Mommy?"

I never thought my child would be wondering who she'd be spending the day with. It should be with me -- her Mommy -- shouldn't it? Shouldn't it?

When Jeff and I decided to start trying for a baby, we both agreed that me being at home was a priority. At the time, I was able to finagle an "at home" work arrangement that let me do my writing during nap time and at night, with a "big girl" trip into the office once a week. I admit, it was a good gig.

But then life threw us a few curve balls and work was no longer an "option" but a necessity. And as much as I feel blessed to be able to help provide for our family, there are days when I have to fight to not get angry. To not get jealous. To not get resentful.

I am just so flipping tired.

But then there are days when I love the fact that I can grab my cup of coffee, enter my "office," and stretch myself outside of these four walls. I get to research, talk to smart people, and create something that I am good at. And get paid for it. All the while, my girls are happy and being well cared for.

In a way, it's like having it all. I know this. But at night, I find myself wishing I could be like "everyone else" who gets to enjoy some downtime instead of psyching myself up for another long night of work. I want to go to bed before 12am. Just once.

On Mondays and Thursdays, when I hear Brooklyn laughing two rooms away, my heart wishes I was the one making her giggle. I want to trade in stressful deadlines for a round or two of Candy Land, where my only worry is to not pick up the dreaded gingerbread man when I am only two reds away from sweet candy bliss.

But I know all to well that Candy Land has its own set of stresses. I've had a taste of both sides of Mommyland, and neither one is easy. Being with them all day; leaving them with someone else. It's all hard. And exhausting.

And that's the part where I actually get encouraged. Not in a "misery loves company" kind of way, but I must say it is extremely healing to realize that you are not the only one struggling to find balance. There was a time in my life when I played the "I'm busier" game, and it's very lonely. The fact is that we are all busy and trying to figure out how to enjoy the life we have been given.

I admit that many days I have to work at finding the joy. It's a choice -- plain and simple. And although my head knows the "right" perspective, sometimes my heart is just not there. And, lately, my heart just so isn't there.

But I am working on it. I am trying to accept this season of my life and how it is shaping me. I could waste my days longing for "simpler" times when I didn't have to work so hard, or I could be thankful that Kendall can run into my "office" and give me one of her awesome hugs before rest time. Some days I have wasted, but many days I am thankful that I have a job that allows me to be near my children, even if I can't be with them every second.

Today, life forced me to trade deadlines for snuggles and sniffles, and let me tell you, I appreciated every one of those snuggles. And instead of a quick hug before rest time, I got to read about princesses and ballerinas under the covers.

Yes, I was exhausted at 8pm when I sat down to begin yet another late night, but as I settled in my chair, I couldn't help but appreciate my "day off." It wasn't easier, necessarily, but it was exactly what my heart needed in order to catch up with my head. Today, I felt like I had it all.

But the funny thing is, it will all still be there tomorrow.



Stefanie said...

Oh this hits so close to home. The neverending struggle between doing what you have to, what you want to, and what you should do...:-/

Kelly said...

I think you just read my mind:-)

Kelly B said...

Lisa, as usual your love for your family resonates. The. Ost important thing you've written is that some days you have to CHOOSE the joy. Being aware of that is so important....

I find myself in such a limbo right now. I was supposed to be going 'back to work' and enrolled my girls in preschool, which they are loving. Now, I've been laid off since October, and I can't just take them out because they love it so much. I feel very purposeless on many days. Not sure who I am at home without my girls there!

But, as with every season, God uses circumstances to show us why we need Him. I will keep choosing joy with you, long distance sister-mama :). Xoxo

Ange said...


I have been following your blog on and off for a while. I love the honest, heart felt posts you write. You hit more lives and help more than you probably are aware of. I go through this many days and think "what have I done/will I do/CAN I do?" Your post helps answer that! We are human and do what is best for our children to give them the best life possible, even if that means less time, more guilt. I went from being a stay home mom to filing for divorce, to single mom having to work to pay mortgage, to remarrying and due anytime now with my second child. I often wonder how life would have been if...but I am HAPPY now even though I have to helps define us away from being "mom and wife"--and we are's a great feeling...but lack of time with the family is not so great---your post here hits home and I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your honesty in your posts as it helps out in many aspects of my life and many others as well! You;re doing a great job and your girls are BEAUTIFUL!