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November 12, 2004



Years ago I decided that I wanted it all, just not all "right now." There will be time later to go back to my career. Being with my baby is a once in a lifetime opportunity, though. I want to make sure I take advantage of it.


I'm with the rest of you: there is no "having it all." All, for me, is putting off the laundry folding - again - so I can bake brownies. Turning off the computer (I work from home) for a couple of hours so I can go on a walk with Everett. Giving up social outings so I can go to Friday night yoga. Heck, "all" is being able to take a hot shower once a day, while ignoring how dirty the bathroom floor is. That's all the "all" I can get.


I "have it all" and some days just wish that I had more sleep. I went back to work when Kellan was 6 months old, as we felt that my career would suffer if I stayed home any longer (he's home with daddy now). I sometimes feel that its suffering more for having returned too soon, as a new mother, still trying to work out this brand new me. My focus isn't here, and even when it is, I'm not satisfied. Palynology will never be as exciting as watching my son figure out how to play "peek-a-boo" under the blanket for the first time, or listening to him laugh when I've done something funny, or nursing him to sleep for his mid-day naps. I have to give a seminar about my research on Wednesday, I'm not even finished putting it together yet, and what am I doing? Posting here. Focus, what focus?

Lisa Canter

I don't think we ever really can get it all and when someone appears to have it all - I don't envy them - I just wonder when the bomb will drop. I think it's crazy that we expect to have it all. I think it's important to understand and accept the compromises one chooses. Not having it all doesn't mean one doesn't have alot - it is more likely to mean one appreciated what one DOES have.

Robin P

I think you have to decide what "having it all" really means. Sometimes I just take a deep breath and carefully step over the clutter during the week while I rush around between working 2 mornings and 1 night during the week because I know Rich will clean while I am at work all weekend. We try to find little ways to bond as a family and we always make time to laugh.
Neither one of us is super human so we just do the best we can and we are happy with that.

Auntie M

Good luck with the new job. I'm sure you'll work things out between work and family. I don't work outside of the home, but I do volunteer for activities and I feel guilty about that. We all just need to figure out our balance points. I really believe if we are happy our kids will be happy.


ROFL. A career, a family AND a well-run household? I don't know any mother who works outside of the home and feels that all three things are going smoothly. Personally, my career is proceeding much slower than it would be without kids, and my household is not terribly well-run. But, either my husband or myself is taking care of our 2-year-old at all times, we both work enough to stay afloat, and our kid seems happy. So the clean laundry takes a while to get put away, and we use convenience food a bit more often than I'd like? That's OK.


Oh, Lord, hon, if you find the answer EMAIL ME! I'm a stay at home mom of a 4 yr old boy. My husband doesn't want me to work, but both of our mothers raised us as single women working. It's all I know. I want to work and do things but I love staying home with Thor. I've tried work-at-home things and haven't found a thing that works. Now I'm 7 weeks pregnant, my hubby gets laid off at the end of December and we have NO idea where the next job is or where we'll move to. If there's an easy solution to the problem, stay at home verses go to work and miss your baby, I sure don't know it. I sometimes wonder if I've done the right thing by staying home but I wouldn't take away the time I've had with Thor for anything.


Very carefully ;)

I'm finding I much more can deal with not seeing my kids for the 2 and a half hours once they return from school than when I was seeing them after school and then having to leave them. It was a nice balance to stumble upon, since I've always worked second shift jobs. Being on a 9-5 is awesome in this way. However...I now find I can't hold up the writing/photography part as well, but then again, I haven't adjusted yet, and neither have you. So give it time and be easy on yourself :)


I have the career, the family, not the well-run household. The okay run household maybe, but not well-run. My husband does a lot, which helps, but nothing is ever perfect. Most days, I feel pretty good. Every once in a while, still, after almost 10 years, there are days I wish I were at home.


In my experience you can have it all -- but not all at once. Some days I find tremendous satisfaction in my career, while I miss my family. Other days I enjoy fun with my family, but feel like I'm not being "productive" enough. And most days I'm willing to accept that my house is a mess, because that's low priority for us (we'd rather be together doing things other than cleaning). It's a very individual balance, and I have no doubt you'll find yours. Just be patient with yourself until you do.

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