A friend of mine and I have a discussion quite frequently about why working mothers cannot come close to having it all.
She believes that it’s true. When you work, you lose out on your children’s day-to-day activities that are as precious as losing a tooth or as simple as having an “aha moment” while doing one’s homework.
It wasn’t long after I had my precious Cynthia when I noticed trips out of town on wine excursions didn’t seem as exciting or as fun as usual. Most of the time I spent away from home was time spent wondering about how she was adjusting to a one-parent circus ring.
No doubt about it, my travel is much more limited to what it used to be, but I still feel like I have plenty to do and more than enough places to be.
One side job I picked up for part of my Autumn was teaching a six-week wine class at Edgecombe Community College. The class ended up being better than I could have ever imagined all in thanks to the students in the class.
Everyone who attended was excited and energetic and inquisitive, and I learned more in these past six weeks than I had in quite a while due to the interaction and the generous contribution from each and every student.
What could be more satisfying than teaching? Teaching people who are into it.
I would say that’s a pretty big high, and I have been riding that high since the first Tuesday in October.
So now I have to play Devil’s Advocate and be on the same side as my friend who says one can never have it all.
The past six Tuesdays have coincided with my children’s soccer games.
As you probably have guessed, this means I did not make it to one of the games. Not a single one.
I didn’t get to say Go Team or Go Cynthia or Go Away. I wasn’t there. Not once.
But my husband was. He was there to take them to the field, to find the shinguards, to feed them dinner, to give them pep talks.
While I was tasting and talking about wine with wine enthusiasts, my soccer-hating husband was with my two children watching what he calls “herding butterflies.”
Life’s a ball.
And then I get home tonight.
I pull into the carport and all the car doors of our other car are wide open.
That’s unusual, I think.
Real translation: These idiots don’t know how to shut the doors, what in the world is wrong with them?
I walk into the house and see a small trophy on the kitchen table naming Stephen’s team Soccer Champions.
My heart swells and then my heart hurts. I wasn’t there. I missed it.
As my head tries to reason with my heart, I turn to my husband who is cooking dinner and ask him why every door on the car is open.
“I can’t do it,” he says. “I really can’t do it.”
“Do what?” I ask.
“Go in the bathroom.”
I leave the kitchen as little Stephen runs past me buck naked, and walk into the worst smelling bathroom of all time.
I’m going to say right now I don’t usually post potty humor or anything of the like, but I cannot help but finding the irony in this situation. Here I am, at 8:45 p.m. on a Tuesday night, missing the fun stuff yet coming home to the poo. Literally, the poo. Can not all mothers find humor in that? We are the ones who not only clean it up but also deal with it on a day-to-day basis. We most certainly have it all because we have the good, the bad and the in-between, regardless of what we do or what we do not do.
Of course, my heart swells with pride as I go into the bathroom and find that my Bath & Body Works-loving daughter Cynthia who hasn’t tried to clean up the mess but instead has lit two aromatic candles trying their best to make a dent in the stench. There is poo smeared from one end of the bathroom to the other.
“Oh my God. This is absolutely disgusting.”
I walk back into the kitchen to ask Stephen what happened.
“He couldn’t hold it. I really cannot deal with this. Sorry, it’s all you.”
In thanks to the candles and being able to hold my breath for a small amount of time, I get the mess cleaned up in about 10-12 minutes.
Who says we can’t have it all?
I got it all tonight, and then some.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.