My heart breaks when I have to leave for work, and my daughter is sick in bed. It is in these moments when the difficult choice whether to wear the hat of a mother or a career woman has never been more apparent, and even more agonizing 💔 #torn #workingmom
“But being a [stay at home] mom was the loneliest kind of lonely, in which she was always and never by herself”
~ Barbara Kingsolver
Today, I feel alone.
Like there’s no one I could talk to who can really understand how difficult it is. How some days are more difficult than others. How you manage to stay sane and keep a smile on your face despite all the pressures to perform and accomplish everything.
So I escape reality. I stare at a blank space. I do mundane things like candy crush. I drive aimlessly. Sometimes, I wish I could escape all my responsibilities all together. Because everyday, I really am walking a tightrope, trying not to fall on my face.
I cannot talk to anyone because no one really understands how draining it all is.
But I can only take a moment or two. To wallow in self-pity and to acknowledge that I am tired and ready to throw the towel.
But I cannot give up. I think of everyone who depends on me. I cry on the inside because I must find what little strength I have left to push myself.
So I take a deep breath. And then I move on.
I’m proud of myself today.
My biggest battle has always been internal.
It has always been against myself, and my inner demons.
I’ve tried to control them so I don’t lash out and hurt others with my harsh words and biting sarcasm.
Because after it’s been said and done, remorse washes over me like a tidal wave.
So today, even if my buttons were pushed..
… I chose to ignore the itch.
… I chose to turn away.
… I chose to take a deep breath.
… I chose another battle.
And after the calm, I smiled.
Today, at least, I celebrate being calm.
Today, I celebrate the small wins.
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. ” ~ Earl Nightingale
How do you juggle motherhood, career, marriage, friendships and ME time in a 24-hour workframe? Sometimes it seems so impossible. Some balls you are juggling are bound to fall off while you struggle to hold on to a couple or two.
When I was single, there were less responsibilities. I could always choose the fun route or the path of self-discovery. Of course travel and pampering were top of mind. I met my friends often and we’d go on soul-searching road trips or catch up on our blossoming love lives over drinks and all-nighters.
Everything changed after marriage. Much more when the bundle of joy arrived. Priorities did shift 360 (and more!) degrees. My shopping sprees were for baby stuff, and my after-work activity included storytelling and cooking at home. Sometimes, the choices are more difficult: birthday celebration with friends or family QT? Grocery shopping or Movie date? Office videoke or Nursing session? Arrive to work early but miss morning breakfast with family, or spend overtime in the office and miss saying goodnight to the LO?
Although I value all relationships in my life, the ultimate question will be: with whom do I choose to spend my limited time with?
Sometimes, I would like to think that I can balance everything. Sure, each choice would have a consequence, but I can compromise on the option I didn’t choose. Family comes first, but I would also give time for my friends and myself too. I can still catch up with friends, but less late night gimiks and maybe opt for weekend play dates instead with their kids too. Movie dates can be spent at home, watching Netflix while the kid is sleeping. Grocery shopping and cooking together can be our weekly, domesticated family bonding too. I would be in work mode the whole day (minus the office gossip, lunch outs and social media procrastination) so I can be more productive and go home earlier to have more time with my daughter.
Whatever we choose, and how we choose to do things, would be entirely up to us. We can ultimately “rotate” our time to also give importance to other facets of our lives–health, passions, colleagues, leisure and finances. What matters is that we recognize the value of our time and prioritize the activities and the relationships which matter most to us.
As an early millennial, I would recognize some wisdom to this new theory. The blend concept applies to more focus on outputs rather than hours spent, quality over quantity.
When technology connects everything, work hours and personal time clear delineations disappear as one big gray area. It doesn’t matter how much time you put in, but how much you are able to give at each aspect of your life. And in the modern setting where technology forces one to multitask, this work-life blend would be perfect for millennial moms who juggle different hats across a 24-hour time frame.
Read more about millennials and Work-Life Blend in this article.
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. “~ Maya Angelou
Back from my break, and I begin to write again. I needed the break to focus and fulfill my duties at home and at work. So much has happened over the past months that I forgot to write about them. Ups and downs, jubilations and confrontations, victories and sacrifices.
I did not write not because I didn’t have the time. But because I lacked the will to write. And now I discover that I need that extra will power, that extra push, to write down all that I can.
Because the lessons and life experiences are journeys worth sharing with similar minds and even strangers. And Because I want to remember the writer I once was, before I became a career woman and a wife and a mother.
And so here I am again. And now I write anew.