I want it all.
There, I’ve said it. Call me greedy, call me selfish, call me irresponsible – but I want it all.
I want to be home with my children for every special moment. I want to go to work so I can be around adults, have a hot cup of coffee and an uninterrupted meal.
I want to see their first steps, their first smile and coo, their first stripe earned in karate class. I want to take a business trip to the other side of the world, staying in famous hotels and dining at fancy restaurants. When my customer asks if I can visit Asia with them, I want to say yes without any hesitations.
I want the awesome features of a sensible minivan, and I want to take the train into the city for date night with my husband.
I want to be at pick-up every day, so I can see my child’s face and expressions -- that tell me, without words, what happened during his school day. I want this because I know that face and those expressions change dramatically between pick-up and bedtime.
I want the early morning snuggles when my three-year-old wakes up before the sun, loudly opens my bedroom door and asks in his playground voice, “Can I wake up now?” I want to sleep past 7am, read a Sunday paper, and watch my shows on DVR (which I’m guessing someone has deleted to make room for more Nick Jr shows).
Is it a big deal that I want it all? Am I greedy? Yes. Am I selfish? Maybe. Am I irresponsible? Not at all.
I may not be home with my children as often as I would like, but then I am able to be with adults and have the hot cup of coffee and enjoy some Minecraft-free conversations.
No, I didn’t see all of my children’s “firsts”, but I’ve learned to celebrate the first time I have seen their first. It might not be the first time they rolled over or took a step, but we celebrated, jumped for joy, took tons of pictures the first time I witnessed their milestones.
No, I’m not taking a tour of Asia. I’ve realized taking short flights on three-day business trips make me feel like I’m a world traveler.
No, I don’t have a minivan. I’m driving a sensible station wagon that drives just fast enough to catch the eye of the local patrol, and it fits perfectly in a small spot at the local train station so we can go on a date night in New York.
No, I’m not at pick-up every day for but I try my best. I carve out special time in other parts of the evenings to try to find out the best and worst parts of their days.
No, I’m not there every morning when they wake up but I always kiss them before I leave. Sometimes their sleepy faces are smiling and waving from the front window as I pull away, and that is a nice view that I never knew I wanted.
No, I’m not watching TV as much as I could but that’s OK because our own reality is definitely more entertaining than whatever is on Bravo. Who needs TV when it’s a variety show of homework, laundry, and baths every night after dinner?
As moms, we may always want it all. We want the best for our children and we want them to grow into happy and healthy human beings. Wanting to be with them and share each special moment is wonderful, but sometimes being away from them and continuing to be ourselves as adults teaches our children how to find a balance within our lives. We owe it to ourselves and to our families to take care of our wants and to feed each of them a little bit so that we feel like whole people.
Yes, I want it all and I’m smart enough to see that I can have it all – little by little and moment by moment. It’s certainly not all at the same time, but I’ll take it - all of it.