Fellow working mommies have said to me recently that they don’t know how I find the time to do all the things that I do, but what I find funny is everyone who said this to me I thought the exact same of them. We as mommies tend to compare ourselves to other women without realizing we are all not that different. Some don’t understand how I have so much time to travel when I have a toddler. Well I don’t understand how they work out with kids at home.
I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this recently while traveling away from my daughter. How do I find time in the day to do everything? I tend to feel like I’m not getting anything done; that I’m letting others down because I’m not productive enough. But apparently my outershell tells a very different story.
When people ask how I am my favorite response is I’m a duck. I may look great on the top view but underneath I’m swimming like mad trying to keep afloat. I think that is how all moms are. We can make it look good but we all have this tendency to be doubting ourselves and swimming like mad. But maybe we don’t always have to be that crazy underwater. I was watching a few ducks swim the other day when I was traveling abroad with students and something hit me. While the ducks paddle to get where they need to go they also tuck their feet behind them and coast part of the way. If I’m always comparing myself to a duck then maybe I need to learn from this unexpected behavior. Maybe there are times when I need to coast and with both parts be smooth and cool.
We have to remember that it’s okay to leave work with something not done. It’s okay to get home and only focus on your baby. It’s okay to go to bed with the dishes in the sink, really it’s okay I haven’t swept the floor in two weeks. If my little one is clothed and happy and healthy nothing else matters. I think it’s the lesson all of us moms need to learn, especially my fellow peers in the academy. We always want to be paddling, but it is ok for us to hold our feet still and enjoy the ride. I’m going to stop beating myself up because I didn’t get the journal article in today. Stop worrying that students will be mad because I wasn’t able to be on campus this morning because I need time with my daughter.
I challenge all my friends to do the same. Let’s stop paddling like crazy and enjoy the view more. Because you know what; my duck friends still got across the pond.