I hear some version of, "I don't know how you do it!" at least 3 times each week. Whether it's from a young, single colleague at work, a full-time working mom in my industry or part-time working mom at the morning drop off, the question comes in various shapes and sizes:
- I read about all of these things that you're doing and I think, "Wow! I want to be like that"
- I don't know how you moms with two kids make it. I can barely handle just one!
- You're like Superwoman! You really CAN do it all
- I can barely get my daughter out the door fully dressed and I only work part-time. How do you do it with 2 kids AND a full-time job?
Behind all of these questions lurks the same fear that all mother's have (whether we've come to admit it or not). The fear that we're not good enough. Not worthy. It's as if the fact that someone else appears to be doing it more/better/more smoothly than we are proves that we are just not cut out for this mommy-gig. That if we could only do more, be more, plan more, play more, work more, we would finally deserve the title of MOM.
Well, The BadAssMama is here to tell you that you ARE worthy simply because you ARE A MOM. You love your kids and you give your all every day. That is enough. YOU are enough. Right now. Period. End of sentence.
I'll let you in on another little secret. Don't believe the hype - I may call myself The BadAssMama, but I am just as much of a hot mess as the next gal. On any given day, I fail myself and my family in numerous ways:
- I yell at my kids on a near-daily basis (this morning, case in point...)
- I hide in the bathroom when I'm feeling overwhelmed
- I treat my husband like an underpaid assistant
- I plan more than play
- I work so much that my kids have learned to say, "I can't right now, I'm busy" from watching me
- I've been known to fall asleep in the bathroom stall at work...and not realize it until 20 minutes later
- I haven't had a regular date night since Clinton was in office
- I question my abilities as a mom on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis
- Even after rising to the top of my field, I still wonder when someone will figure out that I really have no idea what I'm doing
- I use this blog as therapy, to supplement the actual therapy that I'm pretty much mortgaging my future to pay for
I do not have all the answers. Hell, I don't even know half of the questions! But I am learning to trust myself as a parent, as a wife and as a woman. After thirty-some-odd-years on this planet, I am finally learning to feel comfortable in my own skin and to own my story - warts and all.
I am able to exercise regularly and build up some momentum professionally because my kids are FINALLY starting to sleep past 5am (hallelujah!). As they become more self-sufficient (they can brush their teeth, put on their clothes, play with each other for roughly a 20 minute stretch before the screaming begins), I'm starting to have some semblance of a "normal" life again (whatever that means).
This was NOT the case when my boys were babies. In those early years, it was all about survival. Can I make it through the morning meeting without falling asleep? Can I subsist on a diet of apples and Cheerios (the only things that did not give my boys gas and GERD during the nursing months)? How long can I survive on less than 3 hours of sleep each night (the answer -roughly 5 years....)?
Having kids is a tough job. Having kids and working is harder. Hell, having kids and trying to do ANYTHING else can be crazy-making. But none of us has the magic bullet, ladies. None of us know what the hell we're doing. We're all just trying to hang on, learn from our mistakes and keep it moving day-after-day.
I keep it real on this blog because so many times, I've felt "less than" when comparing myself to other mothers who seemingly have it all together. Then I learned the secret - I was comparing my blooper tapes to their highlight reel.
Behind the scenes, we're all a hot mess.