When all my friends were having children (in their 20s and 30s) I often looked on in awe at how they juggled mommy duties, wifely obligations, work commitments, and just doing something every once in a while for themselves, although that always seemed to be the last thing on their lists. I’ll be honest, while I was often envious they had happy marriages and children, I was almost never envious of their hectic schedules and seemingly mundane routines. And like most people who are single and have nothing but time to themselves, I often thought if and when my time came to have their life I’d certainly do it differently. And then my time finally came.
I’ve never been one to do things in the traditional sense. I think the only thing I did early in life was talk. So it was no surprise that marriage and children became part of my plan while my friends of the same age (and younger) were celebrating 10-15 years of marriage and helping their kids study for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and pre-college exams. But that didn’t matter because while they were building a home, I was building a career. I always thought how great my life was that no matter how tough a time I had at the office at least I didn’t have to be responsible for anyone but me at the end of the day. Selfish, right? But like most things, even that can become dull and routine.
Now that I’ve added wife and mother to my previously exclusive title of career woman my list of responsibilities have increased tenfold. To cope I find myself drawing upon what I know best, just getting things done. And living in New York City adds a whole new twist to things, starting with getting around town. It never fails, when you’re faced with a day that includes before and after school activities, it’s always raining. No problem if you have the safety of being in your car, but when your main mode of transportation includes your feet, an umbrella and a stroller, let’s just say it gives new meaning to a bad hair day. Add into the mix client obligations for work, personal errands and making dinner, well now you have a real party! But I digress.
Whether at work or home, women are born multi-taskers; it’s in our DNA. We can’t help ourselves. We’re constantly finding new ways to devise plans to get things done, and get them done in the most timely, effective manner.
So now I have the life of running around to school, play dates, birthday parties and swim classes while managing a career and home. I haven’t lost that single girl fantasy of doing things differently, however. Experience is my wisdom…okay, some may call it my age, but whatever it’s called it works! I don’t wake up and create a to do list and put projected hours next to each task, but I definitely have a strategy or plan of attack to each day. When I was in full career mode I was always resistant to change. It terrified me. The good thing about my plans today is that I’ve learned to punt when things change, which is pretty much an everyday occurrence!
I’ve always found the phrase, “You can have it all” so cliché when talking about a woman having a husband, career and family. I mean would you settle for anything less than having it all? Not likely. And what does having it all mean anyway? Today change no longer scares me; bring it on! Some days it may not be pretty, but because it’s no longer just about me, I now have no choice but to just get it done!