There’s a dollhouse in our living room that exudes a certain lifestyle and image. Almost every day, our little girl voids the rooms of it’s plastic furnishings, painstakingly lines up the characters, tables, and tea saucers, then perfectly places them all back into their small space. It’s a constant reminder of how she views her world.
I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not perfect. As much as I try to harbor the scintillating negative thoughts and emotions that invade my day, occasionally I slip up. This morning, after thrashing through bedsheets and pillows and piles of toys, I cried out in a wallop of stress and frustration when I couldn’t locate big girl monkey. Rhea was scared, and I callowed in guilt. The last kind of mother I ever wanted to be was one who lashed out with impatience. Yet here I am.
Sometimes, the balance seems unbearable; being everything to everyone can take a toll on your mind and your heart. I keep telling the sommelier I need a date night, and it’s not because I think he doesn’t appreciate me, but because I just need a break. A break from the responsibility of planning and structuring, a break from the schedules of dance class and breakfast meetings and lunch meetings and teleconferences…then cleaning the clutter and making dinners and feeding dogs and giving baths….And I don’t want to give the impression that I have absolutely no help… because that’s not true.
I’m very fortunate to have a loving husband who cooks and picks up and stays home when I’m out of town on business. And parents and sisters and in-laws who have all done their fair share of child rearing for us. But it’s hard, y’all.
Somedays I wish I had a less challenging job, then I could spend all my free time focused on my daughter. Instead, because I actually do love what I do, most nights I find myself sending emails or doing reports after she’s in bed, or multitasking if I have deadlines to meet. Then the chores lose themselves in the chaos. And the clutter. And then I’m in the chaos. It’s a never ending cycle.
So, needless to say, Hatha yoga has been my friend. And recently, I’ve joined my sisters at an extremely early morning boot camp. But some nights, what I really look forward to… is a bourbon concoction that warms my belly and stays my fears. Personally, my standard homemade concoction is Bulleit Rye Whiskey on the rocks with a splash of Campari, angostura bitters, ginger ale or ginger beer, and muddled orange. For those unaware to the world of Kentucky Bourbon, Bulleit has been making headway in small batch distilleries for 150 years. Using straight rye, the snarky, spicy structure of the bourbon exudes character, while the finish is smooth with a touch of vanilla and oak. I kind of feel like I’m in an episode of Madmen when I sip it.
It’s delicious. And balanced. And while not as satisfying as a deep hug from my beautiful, sweet daughter, it does the job. And so will I. Because as a working mother, that’s the commitment I’ve made to myself, my little girl, and my husband. We will prevail, as a family.
Cheers, y’all. Live life with balance.