Saturday, January 17, 2015

I am a Mother, a Writer, a Professor. Can I Find Time to Clean the House?

Balancing it all is an interesting concept. I've been reading a book lately, What Happy Working Mothers Know: How New Findings in Positive Psychology Can Lead to a Healthy and Happy Work/Life Balance.  One idea that it presents fairly early on is the idea that I can be the "CEO" of my family.  The idea of this is really attractive, right?  Picture it:

I wake up in the morning and immediately find time to wash up.  My boobs are not too full because they are used to my baby's eating habits. I put on a sports bra that fits well and work out without waking up the baby. I shower.  I wake the baby and feed her, get us both ready for the day before leaving for work.  At work, I am a model of success. When my husband or the caregiver texts in the middle of the day with a question about the baby, I have the answer immediately and without worry. I handle my job with the ease of a true professional, not a hair out of place. I commute home and the traffic does not stress me out. My evening is spent playing with, bathing and feeding my baby and she goes right to sleep when I put her down. I then get lunches and food ready for the next day and spend time with my husband watching a show we both like, speaking deeply on issues that matter to us and spending satisfying time together before falling off into a dreamless sleep. My baby doesn't wake me for hours. I am in charge of everything.

Sounds perfect, right? Full, but manageable, if not a bit glossed over. I mean, nothing is planned out perfectly. Routine is all well and good, but my baby may decide she wants to eat before I work out.  I haven't worked in time for personal pursuits like writing or learning Bengali and practicing the guitar. I haven't spoken honestly about how hard it is to pump in between the classes I teach at the university so I can continue to breastfeed my baby.  And when, exactly, does my house get cleaned, organized, sanitized for that little baby?

I am blessed with a husband who is willing to help with all of this, but he is busy as well. And there are only so many hours in the day.  So, while I continue to read books about being a successful working mother, managing my time effectively, remaining calm in the face of 103 degree fevers, messy diarrhea, complaining students and a sticky kitchen floor, I wonder if being this CEO is possible. Perhaps I should read a book on positive thinking next.

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