I have been seeing lots of posts and blog entries about whats-her-name, Melissa Mayer? The one that is now going to run Yahoo. And can she have it all.
Note I have been seeing them but not reading them. I prefer not to cloud my own blog posts and indeed, opinions, with the opinions of others, instead just spouting off whatever I think. But the other day I was on twitter for the second reason ever to use twitter (one: following Jeff Probst tweeting live while viewing Survivor. Two: following Howie Mandel since my kid wants to, during America’s Got Talent). All of the mommy bloggers who are associated with my twitter feed were all abuzz with can Melissa Mayer, in fact, have it all.
I’m sure no one cares about my opinion on this. However, I shall offer it nonetheless. I do remember being in Melissa’s shoes, SOMEWHAT…thinking that when I had my eldest I’d head straight back to work, and the nanny would watch her, and she’d come on trips, and it would be super duper fun. Then it all went to crap…first because I didn’t want to leave her, ever, second because the job just on its own went to crap.
So sort of in her shoes but hers are probably Christian Louboutin’s instead of NineWest, 5 years old. She doesn’t know what she can do till she has that baby, or what she’ll want to do, and she can say all she wants she’ll head back and then maybe that baby will smell super good and have cute fat thighs and she won’t want to go. Or maybe she’ll not want to go but realize she needs more dough, and have to go.
But what I started thinking is what is it really to have it all? What does that even mean? Who do I know that has it all? I have a couple of friends who by choice do not work, stay home with kids, are wonderful wives to their husbands (i.e., make dinner for them and it’s different sorts of dinners. I typically put some meat product that I don’t like to touch in a bowl of cold water to defrost and point to the grill.) I’m pretty sure these friends aren’t as shouty to their husbands as I am but I think they have less stress.
But you see I THINK THAT. I very well may be wrong. I know one’s worried a lot about how hard her husband works. So does she have it all, when part of what she has is that worry?
Other friends are more vocal about what they don’t have…time to relax. Time to go out without babysitter guilt. A better career. Any career. I think it’s all just a matter of grass is always greener. Because I think to myself, what does it mean to ME to have it all? What is the all I want?
I want to be in charge of a marketing department, for sure. I want my career to be more than marketing consulting. I want to really be IN CHARGE, driving strategy. But I also want to see my sweet Bee every day. I want to raise children who look others in the eye and answer them, who are thoughtful and think of people other than themselves. Who respond to “How are you?” with a solid answer, then ask a question back and listen to the answer.
I also want to be in really good shape and I am in ok shape, much better than I ever was, but my belly sticks out. I also want to eat cheese and drink wine so in those cases the wanting it all is directly antithetical. I want to read books all the time and sit around being lazy, AND want to be up to date on summer tv (I haven’t watched Royal Pains since I’ve been down here and I’m worried about those fellas), AND I want to feel like I accomplished something at the end of the day. I want to be inspired by my work but then also want to be able to do it while providing guidance to my kids.
Also I want to sleep.
So I want it all but it’s my all. And everyone’s definition of what their all is, is different. Yes? And I remember someone saying you CAN have it all. You just can’t have it all, at the same time. I TRIED to run a marketing department while being around my baby. It’s really, really tough to work full-time remotely with direct reports. I did it, but it’s really hard. And it all came tumbling down. Maybe I’ll get there sometime. Maybe having it all instead will mean kids who look people in the eye and get in to college as good kids and having “it all” will be a hot car, not a smelly crapmobile to drive 1000 people places.
Sometimes, my all is the feeling of satisfaction that there’s no one here for 3 hours, I got a BUNCH of work done, I don’t have blogs to post because I got them out, I’m ahead of projects…and I went to the gym. That is my having it all today and it is marked as well by NOT having my children up in my grill for those blessed 3 hours. And if I had them gone overnight to grandma’s I’d be missing them desperately.
My all will change…so will Melissa Mayer’s, I bet. I’m working on focusing on my all right now. And remembering the sign in my kitchen: no, no, not “Cafe“.
We may not have it all together. But together, we have it all.
And that is the end of my sermon for today.