The other day a much younger friend told me that she “wished she could juggle everything better… the way I did”. It was nice to hear. I work hard at my job, I try to be a good parent, and a good wife, and a good friend, and it was reassuring to be told that I at least look like I am keeping all the balls in the air.
That said, I think it is important for all of us “jugglers” to admit that it is hard to keep everything moving and that stuff occasionally falls. We need to show younger women that it’s good to try hard and aim high and that we can definitely “have it all”, just not necessarily at the same time! It’s okay to fail at a few things. It’s okay to lower that bar now and again. And there is no award given to those of us who simultaneously maintain a successful career, an impeccable home, and a flock of children with properly trimmed fingernails (although there should be).
So, in the interest of full disclosure, let me share a few Not-so-Fun Facts about my juggling act:
- My upstairs laundry hamper has been full since 2004
- I have had the same stack of books on my bedside table since last summer. I sometimes tell my family that I am going to bed early to read but I really watch episodes of Friends on my laptop
- There are currently 5 post its along the bottom of my computer monitor, each identifying something that I “must do” by March 13 (and yes… I know that it is March 29)
- A large piece of white Bristol board has been stretched out across my kitchen table for the past several days. I remember purchasing it and putting it there but I can’t remember why (Hoping that one of the children will eventually claim it and provide some school-project-related explanation for its existence)
- I get mad at my kids if they skip breakfast, but I can’t remember the last time I ate before noon (except on vacations) and I make up for it by snacking like a crazed fool at night, after my youngest has gone to sleep
- I have lost every single key to my house so I can’t even get more copies made… which means that I can only lock the door when I am IN the house
- I wear t-shirts to hot yoga because I can’t find time to shave my armpits
- There are orange “reminder stickers” stretching from April 1 – 14 on the family calendar but I can’t remember what they are supposed to be reminding me about
- I sometimes give myself pedicures during conference calls
- I sometimes clean the bathroom during conference calls
- I sometimes forget to dial in to conference calls entirely because I lose track of time while giving myself a pedicure or cleaning the bathroom
- The last time my middle child called requesting a “pick up” I had to steer the conversation a bit so that she would tell me where exactly she was (I actually thought she was already home and watching TV in the basement)
I don’t beat myself up about any of this stuff. At the end of the day, the things that must be done get done, the kids are all picked up from wherever they were, and at least some of the laundry works its way through the washer and the dryer (and into a laundry basket where it may live for another few days).
I AM a good juggler and I congratulate myself on that. We should all congratulate each other (and ourselves) because women rock!