The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Beth Anne Ballance.
I wish life were slower. Smoother. Less complicated and less absurdly rushed, torn between home and the office. My momAgenda planner is organized chaos of client appointments and pediatrician visits, play dates and due dates. Meal plans mixed in with sticky notes of to-do lists, all pointing me in one direction that differs from the hour before.
I wonder where to find the balance, where to find the moments where the files do not pile haphazardly and the chocolate chip cookies are not burned around the edges in my rush against a pre-heated oven. Mostly, I wonder where to find the emotional balance between mother and wife versus career woman and writer. (Writer? Do I dare say it?)
I stare at my planner for the week – I’ve had a pure craving for a cheeseburger from our local tap room, so my husband is meeting me and the boy at 5:15pm. To make it on time, I will need to leave work a few minutes early. Head ducked down, keys clenched in my fist so they do not rattle, I hurry out the back office door hoping not to be noticed.
I’m late on a freelance assignment, which means I will shove enchiladas in my mouth while tapping on a keyboard and editing pictures instead of relaxing, curled against my husband.
A sticky note reminds me to call a speech therapist for an evaluation. No, that will have to wait until I do not have a large event mid-week that commands my attention. I will be working long hours to make it all tie together.
A client calls, requesting a late evening appointment to work around her schedule. I bite my lip and risking the wrath of upper-management, I inform her that I am only available until 5pm on weekdays as I must pick up my toddler from the nanny. Silence follows and I brace myself against her pending fury, the one that comes so often from people who feel their schedule trumps mine, but thankfully she simply sighs and agrees to a lunch meeting next week.
I peek towards the weekend, hoping for a little time to relax and maybe get in some sewing. I flip to the weather and notice it’s supposed to rain on Saturday; I jot down a reminder to stop by the movie rental on Friday night for something new to entertain the family through the storms. There’s a barbeque for my sorority on Sunday which means planning something tasty to take. Maybe homemade macaroni and a dessert? Thankfully, I traded the on-call pager with a coworker so that this weekend is free of any office emergencies.
I know coworkers whisper behind doors that I shirk shared responsibility, ducking out of dinners to tuck a boy into bed, or handing a client over to a team member, knowing that I cannot meet his weekend demands when there are playgrounds to be explored. But do they notice the mornings when I rush in at 8am, skirt smeared with oatmeal from the goodbye kiss grabbed at the last moment? Do they realize how I work through lunch often to log extra hours?
I long for a moment when work and life slide cohesively together, rather than colliding with choices to be made as planners fill and hearts grow heavy.