This Post is Somewhat Prettier
A quick follow-up to last week’s Lizard Queen post to calm the nerves of those co-workers who are now convinced that I’m a) in deep psychic pain or b) on a crazed blogger tear that will destroy my/our agency’s reputation or c) both.
Here’s what I would like you to know: lizards can be tamed. The beauty of giving your dark side a voice is that it eventually pipes down and lets you get back to the business of living your life — no matter what your gig. My mom used to tell me this great thing about what to do with negative thoughts — imagine that each one is a piece of tissue floating by, then choose either to grab it or not. The power in that image is that it separates the person from the thought.
Kind of like personifying one’s evil inner monologue as a bitchy lizard. People, please. If the Lizard Queen had taken up permanent residence in my brain, trust me — you’d know. Right now she looks like this:
Here’s the other thing I’d like you to know, especially those of you who are young women on the rise in your careers and wondering what to make of this whole “having it all” discussion. The last thing I want to do is discourage you from pursuing both your career and motherhood. As much as I rant, I can’t imagine my life without this job. It’s as much a part of my identity as being a mom. I would be a horrible, horrible stay at home mom. I have infinite depths of respect for the women I know who tackle that challenge every single day. But doing both is not easy and I will continue to speak out honestly about the choices and yes, the trade-offs, doing both requires.
Look, there are days I leave this office feeling like a goddess! A striding gigantrix of the PR industry! After we win new business, or kill with a client presentation, or say that one right thing to a client that helps them tackle a business challenge differently. I love, love, love those moments. There are also stretches when I don’t see my son for three days because I get home after bedtime and am up and commuting the next day before he wakes up. That stinks, why sugar-coat it? I read a beautiful comment at Jessica Gottlieb’s blog this morning that compared missing your kids to feeling phantom pain in a missing limb. I get it. And I know I’m not alone. The ties that bind us to our kids are visceral as well as emotional and sometimes it physically hurts not to be with them.
So there it is. The agony and the ecstasy of the working mom. The day the agony outweighs the ecstasy, time to reassess. But for now, the lizard and me — we’re good.