I'm a mom. And I work. And I volunteer. And I fundraise. And, yes, I'm busy and overwhelmed.
I listened to (eavesdropped on) a mom at a birthday party today. She complained about how hard life was as a working mom. "That's the challenge of being a working mom." Something about selecting a jury after a piano recital. Evidently she was a lawyer. And very important, indeed. The mom she was talking to, a stay-at-home mom, said "Any mom," but the very-important-lawyer dismissed her and said, "I don't know." And on and on about her jury.
I immediately hoped I never sound like that. Then quickly realized, I do. Daily.
I complain to anyone who will listen. I catalog everything that has to be done and why nothing is accomplished. Excuses about housework. Homework. "Real" work. 12, 13, 14 hour days. Why dinner gets delivered by a man in greasy, red polo shirt. You know the man.
I've never picked a jury, but I've made an emergency c-section in a chihuahua sound like brain surgery. Want to hear about the schnauzer crashing from pancreatitis? What about the stray cat with a broken femur? Saving lives!
Really? Yes, I help pets. I do diagnose and treat illness and sometimes I save lives. But really. Let's not get carried away!
And it's fair to say that I'm busy and, lately, increasingly overwhelmed. But so is everyone else I know. Mom or otherwise.
And let's be honest, it's really, really hard to be a mom. But it's also really, really hard not to be a mom. Especially when you really want to be one. And your annoying, self-important mom-friends are complaining about how hard their lives are.
And it's hard to balance work and marriage. But it's also hard to be single when you want to find that special someone.
The truth is that I'm exhausted. And having a hard time staying on top of things - kids' homework and extracurriculars, the current big 5K fundraiser I'm organizing, my "Goofy" training schedule.
But I am so lucky to be able to do all of these things. To have a life so full of people I love, a career that is challenging and fulfilling, a passion for leukemia and childhood cancer fundraising and a community that supports it. Friends and relatives who will listen when I go on and on about how important and busy I am!
This morning I PR-ed my 5K and was the first place finisher in my age group. This is something I wouldn't have dreamed of a year ago. The rest of the day was spent helping kids with projects, birthday parties, hiking, and planning a huge fundraiser that will take place next week.
I'm lucky to have had the time to train for that 5K. I'm lucky to have kids who love school and want to spend their Sunday working on a project about Women's Equality Day. I'm lucky to have friends who invited both of my children to an amazing birthday party. And I'm really, really lucky to have a husband who cooked dinner at the end of all of that!
Yes, my schedule is overfull at the moment. But that's the last I'll say about it. I'm pledging not to complain for the next week. I will smile and move through each moment enjoying what I have and remembering those who are struggling through much worse. Who's joining me?
And if you prefer to complain, I'm here to listen. I probably owe you!