My dream is having it all- career, family, good relationships, travel and free time (and the money to do it all.) I’m living the dream right now, but it’s a crazy balance on a very thin high-wire.
My nightmare is having to give up everything to be a “good” mom. There are so many definitions of what it means to be a good mom out there. Some define being a good mom as being 100% physically and emotionally available (no matter what sacrifice you have to personally make). My personal definition of being a good mom is being emotionally and physically available to your child to ensure their well-being while teaching them self-sufficiency and independence. The litmus test for this is obviously your child. Is your child happy, healthy, and fulfilled? It clearly depends on your child.
So Friday, when ten minutes before an important deposition, my child’s school called to tell me that he threw up and needed to be picked up immediately, I panicked. I had opposing counsel, a court reporter and my client in my office all just waiting for me to get started. Cancelling the deposition would mean that my client’s case would be delayed and of course it’s “unprofessional” to cancel anything last minute.
I immediately called my mother (not available), my husband (not available) and the doctor. My son’s school is two minutes away so I was able to retrieve him, console him and get him back to my office within 5 minutes. What next?!
Divine intervention seemed to be involved. My son was begging for his “jammies” and I happened to have pajamas in the car. Why? No idea. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus.
We get into the office, and let’s be honest, he is adorable. We say “hello” to all of the ladies in the office, and I just shuffle him into my staff’s office. My paralegal and legal assistant follow me into the office. “Ok, I have to do this depo right now. I’ll pay you guy to watch him.” They both laughed, “you already pay us.” Duh.
We got his jammies on and Super Wings playing on my desktop. He seemed ok, so I went into the deposition. For the first hour, we hear him. We laugh here and there. The entire time, I’m just thankful that the toddler commentary stayed “cute” and didn’t get “annoying.” Then I hear him, on the move, searching… for me. I brace for the interruption, the need to apologize, et cetera. But just then, dad arrived the save the day!
My son bounced back from his bout of sickness, (and managed to get everyone else sick.) He’s perfect, hilarious and happy. I think I’m doing a good job. When I finally got home and reflected, I couldn’t help but feel super thankful to have a great team who lets me live the dream.
My staff, my husband, my law partner, my parents all help me keep the title of “working mom” and “not stay-at-home-mom.” I love working. I really do. I love accomplishing things at home and at the office. And I am personally a better mom because I cherish every moment with my son and I rarely get annoyed or frustrated with him. I know if I were home all day, I would resent being a mom and my fuse would be much shorter with my son. Plus, I carve out time at the office to manage household affairs like paying bills, and I get excited about the day-to-day domestic activities like laundry, and yard work.
For someone else, their team may do the exact opposite and give them the ability to stay home. Proclaim your mom dream and find your team then live your dream. You can do it.