Recently I had lunch with a girlfriend from college and we were talking about our lives and comparing now to what we wanted back then. We joked that many things did come to pass, but other things didn't or (I should say) haven't yet.
Both of us wanted to live in NYC and pretend to be Carrie Bradshaw. The funny thing is that when we were both living in NYC we were barely making enough money to pay our rent, but we were living our a location dream and we didn't care! We had friends and jobs and full lives.
Both of us had dream jobs in mind that never truly came to pass, but we both were able to finds jobs (or better yet) jobs that found us that we're deeply passionate about and love. It's funny how the universe works sometimes. I wanted to be a broadcast journalist and she wanted to be the head of a PR agency... we didn't end up in those specific roles, but we both are doing something very close to our original dreams.
Both of us wanted to get married and have kids. And I'm happy to say that we're both happily married with kids. My girlfriend said to me, "You always said you wanted to have a big family, it's no surprise you ended up having 5 of them!" We laughed and chatted about what it's like having a handful of kids, but then she asked me an innocent question that really made me STOP... "Are You The Mom You Thought You'd Be??"
My initial gut reaction was, "YES! OF COURSE! WHY WOULDN'T I BE?"
But I stopped for a second and really thought about the question.
Am I the mother I always thought I would be?
I'm definitely the best mother I can be. I love my kids more than life itself. I work hard for my kids every single day. I make sacrifices for my kids and don't stop for a second to think about it. I would fight lions and tigers and bears for my kids. I would swim the deepest oceans and climb the highest mountains. I would do anything for them. Anything.
What made me stop and pause was something I'm often afraid to even breathe and talk about because it's something that is just part of life for me. My busy schedule makes me not be the mother I always want to be for my kids and that makes me sad.
My mom was a teacher, so throughout my childhood she was home at 3:30PM every single day. She corrected papers and crafted lessons plans when I went to bed. She included me and my siblings at all of her school events. She was able to stay home with me when I was sick. She had the summers off with me.
She was always, always, always there.
I always thought it would be the exact same way for me with my kids.
I'm the ONLY one who can change that, but the path my mom took as a teacher was not the exact path I wanted to take. I decided to start my own business as a blogger, ironically so I could be home with my kids. I thought it would be amazing to write blog posts and take photos and create videos every single day, right from home. It started off that way, but as we all know with social media... it started to get bigger and bigger as the years went by. I started to grow my business by hosting events and working as a spokesperson for brands, which calls for travel. I'm the breadwinner in our family, so when there's work... I must go. I don't have the luxury to say, "No." As much as I love my job and feel blessed to have this as my profession in life, it also keeps me very busy.
Busy can be an ugly word.
And truthfully everyone's definition of busy is different.
My responsibility it to my family and to provide for my family. It's plain and simple. I just wish that I had more time to BE with my kids. In a perfect world I would be able to "turn off" work at 3PM and not look back till 9AM the next day. In a perfect world I would be able to take a few weeks off in the summer and spend the days with my kids on adventures and just hanging out. In a perfect world I would be able to go on vacation without worrying about missing emails and deadlines. In a perfect world I would be able to know what it's like to not have to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders day after day. As much as that feeling right there fuels me to work harder for my family, it's also the same feeling that makes me wish I had a team of 20! It's literally me, myself and I.
I know every working mom out there feels the struggle of making it all work. I know every stay at home mom feels the struggle of making it all work. We ARE all in this together. I wish more women shared their struggles and were honest about how tough it can be to balance it all. I wish more women stood up and said, "Yes... I feel like I failed at the mom thing today." I know a majority of us feel it, and so... I'm saying it loud and proud today.
It's not easy.
It's not for the faint of heart.
It's not a cakewalk.
Motherhood is my #1 priority in my life, I will continue to do every single thing I can for my kids to protect them and care for them. I hope they know I'm trying the very best I possibly can for them. That's my only wish. My only dream.
I hope I'm the kind of mom that they wanted ME to be.