I recently watched the movie, “I Don't Know How She Does It.” I sat there and, through the emotional tugs at my heart from sadness and sentiment and blended in laughs, with my tears and laughter I nodded my head in pure understanding. Not only could I relate to Kate- the professional mother and her struggles and antics that this movie revolved around, but I WAS, AM, this character. Professional mother? Mother of profession? I am certainly not either, but every day I strive to balance it all- some days I succeed in my balance, and some days fall nothing short of epic failures.
Kate is a motivated, self-driven, sexy vixen of a professional woman. In one of the best scenes, she sits in front of a business big wig, trying to close a huge business deal, and while at a glance she appears to be well put together and the epitome of a professional, every time her business counterpart looks away, she is frantically scratching her severely tossled mane of hair due to an aggressive infestation of head lice that she gotten from her preschooler. He looks up. She immediately stops scratching and gives a smile and a seemingly attentive nod of understanding. He glances back down to his documents. She scratches with fury for relief.
Wow…That sucks…That’s hilarious…That’s totally me.
Yesterday, running ever so slightly behind schedule (something I cannot honestly say is not my norm), I walk into Ethan’s classroom to drop him off. As we are saying goodbye, one of his classmates- a teeny petite little red-head girl, comes up to me, says, “Hi Ethan’s mom,” and wraps her arms around my leg, burying her face into my leg to give me a big squeeze. I smile and then hurriedly rush off. Minutes later, as I walk into work, Adria in her infant carrier slung on one arm and my iPad and iPhone in the other hand, I happen to glance down and notice a green, quarter-sized glob of snot on my brand new, gray dress pants. I flash back to that cute little ginger, burying her face into my leg to give me love, and I cringe knowing that some kid’s snot is dangling from my pants. Bleh. Gag. Yucky, Honey. And so, not wanting to walk into the office with such bedazzlement, not having any tissue or extra hands to properly clean myself up, I bend down and flick the ginormous gooey booger onto the ground. Mental note to self: go wash hands. I walk to the sink, wash my hands and scurry about my day.
Fast forward through the day: paperwork, phone calls, client/patient appointments, midwifery schoolwork, picking kids up from school, and being the ultimate ring master- I am, once again, running late for a very important dinner meeting. I’m driving, attempting to put on my lip gloss, and I’m wondering to myself, “What the HELL is that smell? I seriously have the permanent smell of baby crap on me.” I park, check my teeth in the mirror, adjust my boobs, and jump out of the car, all but running into the restaurant. As I’m approaching the door I look down to my pants and see that while I did indeed get the glob of booger from earlier, I seemed to have missed cleaning up the trailing snot smear that was left behind. Crap. Dammit. I lick my fingers to get them wet and try to rub it off as I walk through the door. I get a waft of air and simultaneously think to myself again, “What IS that smell?!!” I look down into my $1,000 leather Louis Vuitton and see the answer. A dirty cloth diaper that I tied in a grocery bag and stuck in my purse the previous day. Oh nice. I am on a roll. I am a sensuous, aromatic wave of Flora by Gucci a la baby crap. But I don’t skip a beat. I smile and introduce myself to the OB recruiter we are dining with. As I shake his hand I contemplate vocalizing the words in my head, “Oh hello, nice to meet you. Don’t mind the breastmilk on my shirt, the mucous on my dress pants, and the aroma of baby poop that I brought in with me. It’s just the dirty diaper I’m carrying around in my purse. No worries. This is normal. All normal. I promise.”
My point? I’m honestly not sure. Maybe just to tell all you women- stay at home or working- that perhaps “I Don't Know How She Does It” is right…are we just women? Just mothers? Midwives? Teachers? Students? Whatever titles or roles you may hold. No, perhaps the description most fitting is ‘Juggler.’ I am a juggler. Not the most skilled, and certainly not perfect, but I do try. And, if anything, I am usually quite entertaining.