I hear it often. “You’re so lucky, you have the perfect family! You really have it all, don’t you?”
I know the people who say this don’t mean it to be offensive. But I’m not going to lie–sometimes, it rubs me the wrong way.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I definitely feel very fortunate to be blessed with such an amazing family. I have an awesome hubby, three great kids, and an amazing support system.
But let me tell you, having it all, isn’t always easy.
In fact, it can be downright exhausting at times.
For me, having it all means being a working full time mom. It’s getting up at 3:30 every morning, getting myself (and sometimes the baby) ready, packing lunches, and writing sticky notes to my husband of what he needs to know for the morning. It’s not being able to see my babies in the mornings, because I have to choose to either take them to school, or be able to pick them up in the afternoons. As a working mom, I don’t have the luxury of doing both.
Having it all means working 9 hour days, and coming home to deal with tired and cranky children. There’s homework that needs to be done, snacks being requested every 20 minutes, and dinner that needs to be made (just so the tiny humans can refuse to eat it). There’s laundry that needs to be done, floors that need to be vacuumed, and dishes that need to be washed. There are checkbooks to balance, forms to return to school, and spelling words to practice. There are children that need to be bathed, jammies that need to be put on, and bedtime stories that need to be read. And of course, there are kids that need to be tucked in at least 47 times.
By the time everyone is actually asleep, I’m completely exhausted. And not just physically, but I’m mentally drained as well. In my head, I know I should go to bed and catch some shut eye, (especially before the baby wakes up in an hour or so). But I choose the hour of me time over the extra hour of sleep, more and more lately. As tired as I am, and as inviting as my pillow and bed may sound, I choose my free time. It might be an hour of writing, an hour in the bath, or 5 minutes of hiding while I eat the chocolate bar I stashed away 2 weeks ago. But whatever I do, and for however long, it helps me to re-charge and get ready for tomorrow.
Because the reality is, that having it all can sometimes feel like quite the opposite. In order to have all the things I do, I am being pulled in a million different directions. I don’t always get to chaperone the field trips, or go to the school assemblies. I don’t always remember who has hot lunch that day and sometimes I forget to sign the take home folder. I don’t usually have time to make a dozen cookies for the bake sale, or to make hand written Valentines for 23 kids.
There are days when I feel like Supermom. When the stars align and I am able to juggle work, kids, extra-curricular activities, house work, and everything else. Days when I can check off of almost everything on my ‘To-Do-List’.
And then there are the days where I feel like I’m constantly dropping the ball. When I have to work late, when I forget to check the homework, when I don’t have time to cook dinner, and when my patience runs thin.
But I brush those bad days off as quickly as I can, because I know that in the big scheme of things, I’m doing a damn good job.
Is it always easy? Heck no.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Yes, my days and my schedules are full. But with that, comes a full house and a full heart as well.
So yes, you could say I have it all. In many ways, I do. But it’s not without sacrifice, hard work, and a whole lot of love for my family. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Cassie is a working mother of three small kiddos. She works on maintaining the delicate balance of work/mommy/wife life, and making sure she doesn’t run out of wine before payday. She enjoys writing in her free time and chronicling the adventures of being a mom. She has contributed to sites such as The Huffington Post, Her View From Home, Scary Mommy and Sammiches & Psych Meds. You can follow her on Facebook. She’s also on Twitter and Instagram, and you can visit her website at www.cassiehilt.com.