A Balancing Act

by Cookie

I am usually a high energy, let’s get ‘er done kind of girl.  Always have something to do, somewhere to be.  But you know what?  I’m just not feeling it lately.

Feeling what?  Like doing anything. Ask Husband.  Usually, I am a self-admitted workaholic.  I like to work.  I like my job. And I think I’m pretty good at it.  But lately.  Oh lately.

Here’s the thing.  Before I had my daughter, I was really driven.  Hungry for success.  Hungry to maintain a full studio and support my students through all sorts of examinations and competitions, and it all took the priority in my life.  And now, with her to hang out with every day and #2 on the way, I’m having trouble finding motivation on the work front for the first time in my life.

Maybe it’s just hormones.  Maybe I’m just tired.  Maybe I’ve become lazy.  Maybe all of the above.  But it raise that old question about whether a woman can truly have it all.

Now before every working mom out there gets pissy, remember this is a discussion, and when you make your comments later, please act like a fucking lady 😉

So.  As a woman, can you?  Have it all, that is?  Without something suffering?  From my current experience, I vote no.

Please don’t misinterpret.  There are a lot of single moms out there who have absolutely no other choice.  They work full time.  They are excellent parents.  But doesn’t something get sacrificed along the way?  Maybe having time to treat yourself?  To take care of your own physical or emotional needs? And again, hats off to all of you.  But if given another choice, would you be doing exactly what you are doing?

Here’s what I think.  A woman can and usually still does put in the same effort that she used to while at the office.  But for me, personally, I cut way back on the amount of extras I used to do.  I don’t watch my students at every performance.  I don’t arrange extra recitals very often.  The amount of continuing training is difficult to arrange and hard to maintain.  I don’t practice as much as I used to.  I don’t go for lessons as much as I used to.  I don’t attend as many meetings or workshops as I used to. And I teach about 2/3 of the kids I used to.

So while I’m maintaining my high standards in every day studio life, I’m not in a position to grow as a teacher as much right now.  Part of that is logistical, but part of it is disinterest.  I would rather put all of that on hold so I can spend more time with my kid.  Ultimately, that’s where I want to be.

But what if nothing had changed for me work wise? Then my child would basically be raised by someone else.  Most moms I know who work full time are lucky to spend 2 hours with their child at the end of the day.  Factor in a desire to climb the ladder at work, and that time shrinks even more.  So in this scenario, the child is sacrificed, or at least time with the child.

Plan C involves barreling ahead with career while trying to be a Super Mom.  Guess who suffers here? Sleep.  Relaxation.  Health.  Sanity.  And if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.  Bad idea.

For me, the choice is a no brainer.  I will sacrifice some aspects of my career.  I kinda don’t care.   As long as the bills are paid, and we maintain a comfortable lifestyle, it will always come last.  These fucking hormones have made all my priorities shift.

Because I think that when we try to fool ourselves that we can have everything and give everything 100%, it will come back to bite us in the ass.  In terms of health, or a major fuck up, or missing out on something really awesome or really awful with regards to our children.

Don’t miss out.  Find a better balance.  Don’t sacrifice something you can never get back.