Can moms have it all? One mom asks the real question

Can moms have it all? One mom asks the real question Cover Image

Playground duty, work calls, feeding the baby, answering a million questions from a toddler- One mom talks about her ‘normal’ day.

Can moms have it all? We’ve all been plagued by this question ever since we took up the mantle of motherhood. With my daughter in my left arm, and my son jumping next to me, pleading with me to fasten his ninja turtle mask, I toggle among three windows on my laptop.

One is an urgent mail from a colleague (the subject literally has “urgent” in it, talk about unnecessary anxiety!); the other is a subscribe-and-save offer on diapers from Amazon and I’m trying to figure out if the savings are for real. The third is a Tata Sky recharge window which is showing an inordinately high monthly charge causing me to re-jig our channels bouquet.

Suddenly a fourth window pops up on screen—a reminder that my work call is about to start in 15 minutes. Is that enough time to feed the baby? I wonder as I look out of the window to a very thunderous sky. I ask the nanny to take the baby but today she only wants mama and what baby wants, she gets.

I fix my son’s ninja turtle mask, try and answer his questions on how turtles can talk, and shift my laptop to the dining table. If baby is eating, she’ll be quiet and I can start my call and then quickly switch the microphone to mute. I pray the Wi-Fi doesn’t trouble me again; which reminds me, I need to call and complain to Airtel.

Damn! The call is for an hour, not 30 minutes, as I’d earlier thought. I’d promised my son I’d take him to the park immediately after the call. He’s not going to keep playing by himself for so long. I’ll just have to put him in front of the TV, I think miserably.

Please god, keep the rain away for a couple of hours otherwise all our plans will go down the drain. Time for the park. Socks for baby, water bottle for son, thick layers of odomos on both, an umbrella in case it rains, keys, phone, wallet, and we’re off. I send an email to a colleague to let her know i’m stepping out for a bit and to call me on my phone in case there’s anything urgent.

Moms in the park discuss this fun new children’s activity taking place nearby. Oh great, maybe I can enroll my son. Turns out the Saturday batch is already full but there’s a slot open in the Thursday morning batch. My heart sinks.

Even with my work-from-home privileges, can I commit to an hour every Thursday for the next 10 weeks? Probably not. I drag the kids home. Son is exhausted but doesn’t want to leave. Baby is sleepy and wants to go home. I’m panicking because I just realised my phone is on silent and I’ve missed 3 calls from office. I make vague promises of chocolate to my son to get him to get out of the sand and head home.

The nanny is waiting at home to take the kids while I rush to my laptop. She’s such a godsend. What will I do when she goes on leave? And what if she doesn’t come back? My heart freezes at the thought and I banish it to my mental folder marked “We’ll deal with it when we get to it”. The folder is bulging and some items are screaming to be dealt with. But first, I need to tackle my inbox.

Bed time. At last. Dinner went smoothly, mostly because my husband gave in and fed our son with his hands. Now both the kids are sleeping and I’m also ready to crash. I was supposed to surf the net for birthday gift ideas for my husband’s friend but I just don’t have the energy now.

Maybe I’ll watch a little Netflix to unwind. I scroll through their entire library. Everything looks either too dark or too dull. I give up and watch some funny Ellen clips on YouTube. Then I set my alarm for 6:00 am, hoping to get an hour’s work done before I wake up my son for school.

Tomorrow morning’s yoga class? I’ll just have to skip it. I’ll just face the wrath of the yoga teacher when I see her next, whenever that is. And if she gets too angry, I’ll just tell her to breathe in and breathe out five times. Groan. I’m too tired to even crack a good joke. As I close my eyes feeling like a fraud at work, a failure as a parent, and in desperate need to resuscitate my social life, a thought enters my head.

As modern women, we’re programmed to ask the question, can moms have it all? But as exhausted human beings, perhaps the question we should really be asking is, do we really want to have it all?

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