A good enough life
I answered the phone with my baby in my arms. And soon into the phone call, my son - maybe 9 months old - spit up. For some reason, I decided it would be better to catch the milky stuff than allow it to hit the bedroom carpet.
The call was from an editor - someone hired while I was on my extended maternity leave - and the topic was my planned return to full-time work.
So I had that conversation while jostling the baby on my hip, cramming the phone between my shoulder and my ear and cradling spit up in my palm.
I tried my best to sound professional, on top of things, like I was ready and excited to return to work. Never mind the evidence to the contrary and the strong desire to just hang up and go wash my hands.
Fourteen years later I still remember the absurdity of the moment. Fourteen years later, I think it was perfect foreshadowing of all the crazy juggling that was to come.
Working and mothering are the norm for most women these days, and the dual roles sometimes mesh smoothly and sometimes leave us with spit up slipping between our fingers just as we need to sound oh-so-career minded.
There's been lots of discussion about the balance lately, thanks to high-profile stories and books that suggest we "can't have it all," or we can, if we just "lean in" more.
Author Elsa Walsh in a Washington Post piece published recently has another take: Women should embrace a "good enough" life, pursuing careers but maybe "dialing back" when they have kids because "motherhood is not a job. It's a joy."
Read the original post here.
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