Can You Have it All?

This week has been rough. I’m feeling a little overextended. A little out of it. A little homesick. A little lost. Definitely not on top of things like my usual self. (Sorry I didn’t realize you had a school schedule change today, Wito! I swear I wrote it down somewhere….)

This always happens when I return home from Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, family takes precedence. Grandparents, parents, sisters, brothers, cousins…time with them is paramount. Swimming, barbecues, sitting around and actually TALKING to one another. I’m pretty good at putting everything else on hold because it’s my family. Family is the trump card.

The minute I step off the plane in California, things change. We have our little family, but not much of an extended one. Careers take precedence. We want to buy our dream house someday. We need to do more, more, more. Work, work, work. Save, save, save. I have so much shit on my plate that even the most mundane requests from my children make me feel like I might explode. I’m lucky, though. We have a nanny that helps three days a week. My kids call me her name, though. It stings.

Our little family takes the hit, it seems.

We don’t have that family anchor to pull us back down and say, “Hey. What matters most?” Basically, to keep us from a complete tailspin. I always joke with D that “I’m an island.” Don’t need anyone! Perfectly fine being the world’s greatest taskmaster! Who needs family and friends around? Pshaw.

It’s just hard, you know?

I want my family to be a constant presence in our life.

But I want to live in California.

I want my kids to feel like I’m there for them every minute of the day.

But I want to work.

I want to be able to put my blog/online endeavors on the back burner once in awhile.

But I want the opportunities and new experiences that this blog is giving to me.

I want to never complain about my life. To be completely cognizant of how lucky/blessed/whatever you call it I am.

But from the looks of this post, I can’t.

I want it all. Can you have it all?

Thanks for visiting Complaints City! We’ll return to posts about lip gloss and accessories very soon. And I promise not to have a nervous breakdown.

  1. berlin hair baby

    June 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Oh, I adore this post and understand completely – you articulated it so well. I know many amazing women struggling with this same issue. My very best friend (also a ‘sarah’ :-) has her own business and is so talented yet craves more time with her daughter and family. So just a virtual hug to say you’re not alone xo bhb

    • bishop stu tu

      June 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

      whOOrl gOOrl,

      Whether itsa’ Blue Bird Day or a Stormy Monday (tuesday’s just the same…bobby blue bland)…we all are stand square dab behind you, all the way, each and every day.

      Having you home is probably all the heaven this ol’papa gets. I’ll take it, thank you muchly.

      Anyhoo…not every person can do what you do…not that they need to…but hey wouldn’t it be loverlee if family-type support was always there from all around you. But, in its stead, should be the knowledge that your rootage’ will always be there standing behind you…forever applauding.

      da bishop

      • Torrie @ a place to share...

        June 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

        his comment got me all tear-eyed.

        i understand what you’re going through… on so many, many levels.

        the battle between working & staying home… rising to the ‘top’ (where i seemed to be trying to go in my old life) & staying put. near family or away… living at the location of your dreams & compromising (or settling)… staying on top of it all (url-wise) at the sake of ignoring husband, kids, home, gym……. feeling happy & grateful & feeling like a big (or many small) change is in order… more kids & no more kids… all battles that i deal with on a daily basis or have in the past.

        may sound over-simplistic (or “oprah” :)), but what helps me is this… deep inside i know what i need to be doing (where i need to place my focus/energy) at any given moment. when i stick to that (“inner compass”), i **eventually get to the place that i need to be- or at least back on track and heading in that direction. … and the answers (if i’m in need of them in relation to any of the above “battles”) eventually come.


      • whoorl

        June 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm

        I couldn’t have asked for a better dad. So proud to call da Bishop mine!

        • narmalie

          June 18, 2012 at 8:16 am

          Your dad is such a great cheerleader. :) I’m a fan of da bishop. And I hear you on this post. I don’t really know whether it’s possible to have it all… but the older I get, and as far from my parents as I am, the more I want to move closer to where they are. I really want that for my kids, and, selfishly, for myself. I’m more grounded when I’m with family. It really seems to balance everything to have them close.

  2. Jen

    June 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Always always feeling you on the “I want to live in California, but I don’t want to miss out on raising my baby by both of us having to work so damn hard to afford even a simple life.” So grateful for all I have, but definitely wanting more down time. More us time. More family time. I don’t think it will ever feel enough.

  3. Caroline Cohenour

    June 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

    You, my dear, have a flair for writing. Such a great post. I adore you!

  4. Caroline

    June 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I don’t have kids yet, and my family is only 3 hours away, but I understand what you’re feeling. My family lives down the same dirt road, for Pete’s sake, so I’m constantly dealing with feeling a little left out of their day-to-day activities. And I miss living in the country, with the slow pace and emphasis on the people around you. But I LOVE Austin, I love my friend family, I love having easy access to a really interesting city.

    So, anyway, I feel ya.

  5. Sarah

    June 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    As my mother – who retired, just yesterday, from a 30+ year nursing career – once told me, “Yes, you can have it all, but never all at the same time.”

    The post-visit letdown is tough. Hang in there. Wallow, even! I promise to send help if you start pinning flannel shirts and Toast of New York lipstick on your Pinterest boards. :)

  6. Kate

    June 15, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I actually prefer these posts to ones on accessories, beauty etc. because they remind me of your first blog posts ages ago–and as you/your blog always look so perfect, it just makes you feel more real:) For my part, whenever I have mama angst, I buy a new cookbook thinking that will transform my entire work/family balance. Right now I am reading Dinner: A Love Story. It never quite does the trick, but I have a nice cookbook collection.

  7. rosie @ rosalicious

    June 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I so know what you mean! We recently made the choice to give up our cushy jobs and a cute house we owned in Colorado to move back east to be close to family and have a baby. At the time it felt like we were “giving up” so much, but now that we’re here, I realize we didn’t have to really give anything up… we just put some of it (the jobs, the house) on hold. I don’t think we can have it all, but it’s OK if we don’t!

  8. Ally

    June 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a day, but you have already touched my heart (& my purse with that texturising spray!).

    Although it seems so hard right now, it will be worth it. Your children are going to grow up to respect you as your own person….not just as mum (mom to you). You ARE your own person, you are multi-faceted with talent in major doses. When they get your name wrong now, that will all be forgetten when they are in their 20’s and realising that you are an amazing role model to them.

    Keep reaching high, it’s what you were born to do xxx

  9. Linda

    June 15, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I think it’s hard no matter where you are in life or what stage of adulthood you’re in. I’m 31, single, no kids. I work full-time and have a hard time balancing professional obligations, {quality} friend and family time, and carving out a little “me” time. I’m constantly asking myself if I’m doing enough: Enough work, preparing, saving for the future. Enough to be there for my friends when they need me. Enough to develop adult relationships with my siblings. Enough. All we can really do though is be present in today and now. And know that that is, in fact, enough.

  10. Lacey McDonald

    June 15, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for the honesty and transparency. Being a woman & a mother can basically suck. We inherently have the guilt and the desire to break the glass ceiling and all that other crap. I’ve been where you are and can only leave you with something that inspired me to change my life. Someone told me that you’ll never regret taking the time to slow down and be fully present for your kids at a young age, but down the road you may regret the other choices you made that didn’t allow you to do it.

    I don’t know what that would look like in your life, but for me it was reducing our income by more than half (I was the bread winner) and simplifying and putting material dreams on hold for now. Honestly the first 8 months I hated it. I was still in stress mode trying to run my home like an empire, but I gradually figured it out. I’m not saying its all me, but people always comment on how my daughter is the best 3 year old they’ve ever seen. I feel like I really know my daughter and I’m not just her caretaker. We’re more content as a family and we don’t just look forward to quality time together on vacation days.

    Good luck in your quest and know you are not alone.

  11. linette

    June 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Certainly can relate. And when I get in that mode where I feel like I can’t stop complaining about one thing or another, I remember this quote: “Do not spoil what you currently have by desiring what you have not; remember what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Helps to put things in perspective and is really true.

  12. Brooke R.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Being in California has been hardest for me because of the distance from my family. I totally understand that and missing them isn’t something that ever goes away. I hope that your days become more rhythmic and that you are able to find a balance that works for you right now. Life is always changing. :)

  13. Jen

    June 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I’m a “stay-at-home” mom who homeschools (2 boys, 9 & 11), so I can’t speak exactly to your situation, but I can offer this: if the majority of the time (85-90%) you feel that things are going well in your world, then you can probably just consider this day part of the 10-15% flukey stuff. I believe that every mom has difficult/doubt-inducing days from time to time. Sometimes it’s because something really needs attention, and sometimes it’s because, well, some days are just crappy. You obviously care and are aware enough to discern the difference. I hope you are feeling back to center soon!

  14. Raluca | WhatWouldGwynethDo

    June 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Ah…I know it well. We are headed back home on Tuesday for a week-long visit and the EXACT same emotions always come up. I don’t even have much to say about it, just know you’re not the only one in that boat. xx

  15. Leslie

    June 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Hey, it’s ok to fall apart sometimes, to drop a ball. Sometimes things are not in balance and yes, you can have it all, but not all at once. It’s the ebb and flow of life. I heard once that balance is less like a see saw and more like a gyroscope. We are just rotating around the center of what we think is the perfect life and sometimes we hit it, but mostly we are just spinning from one thing to another. It’s ok. That’s the fun of it. Also – I have family far away too and I know that my relationship is what it is because of that distance. When we visit, everyone drops everything and we are all together for a blissful week. If we lived there, it would be very different. It’s more intense this way, but it’s also more special. I used to fantasize about moving back, but I know I wouldn’t be happy. I have my home here in NY now.