In my almost five years of being a mother, one thing I have learned is that the Art of Motherhood is like walking a tightrope – it’s all about balance. Having children, especially under the age of 6, can be so consuming – you could spend a whole day or week easily focusing only on them and meeting their needs and wants. But I know, at least for me, I have to also make time for myself. A happy Momma is a good Momma, I like to say.
Five years in, I feel like I have mastered the art of carving out time for myself to write, get some exercise and help Siigo out with his landscaping business (the kids are in school/daycare two to three days a week). As long as my needs can fit nicely in the space of 10 am to 5 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays, there doesn’t seem to be a problem. That is what is known in Mom circles as “The Window,” that precious but limited window of opportunity when you have the chance to get things done without kids around. I could wax on for hours about The Window – like the time a few weeks ago when I hired a babysitter to watch my kids so I could go to a much-loved yoga class and the yoga teacher didn’t show. I shouted, “Nooooo! I have a Window!”
Lately, my career aspirations have had trouble finding The Window. They seem, instead, to keep hitting The Wall. A few weeks ago, right after I decided to start this blog and was getting very excited about it, a colleague told me about a day-long blog conference being held at the University of Nevada, Reno’s School of Journalism. It was about WordPress, which hosts this site, only cost $25 and was close by. Great news! Then I looked at the date, and felt my head hit brick. It was scheduled for the same weekend we had planned a family get-away to Sonoma, where Siig also had some work. The age-old question that women have been struggling with since they first burnt their bras then bubbled up in my head: family, or career, first?
Oh, such a hard, hard decision. But, in the end, I put family first and went to Sonoma and had a fabulous weekend. Then yesterday, that same colleague (dam you, Lis!), informed me of another WordPress conference, this time in San Francisco. It sounded fabulous. All the cool bloggers would be there. I would learn so much, make so many connections, come to understand what an RSS feed really is. Plus, there is going to be a WordPress sixth anniversary party. I could just see myself rubbing shoulders next to the hip techie crowd. Sounded fun.
I checked the date. Suddenly, the room got darker. The window was closing.
The conference is the same day as the big party/fundraiser for Kaiden’s preschool, where all parents are required to volunteer a few hours. I’m signed up for face-painting. Merde!
What to do, what to do? Why do my professional goals seem to keep clashing with my family ones? Or does that just come with the territory of being a part-time working mom? I haven’t yet made my final decision, but I have a feeling that on May 30th you will find me at the park painting hearts on little girls’ fresh faces and skeletons on the rosy cheeks of boys. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wish I was somewhere else.