Happy New Year!
I’d like to extend a special New Year’s Day shout out to those working mothers out there who like me spent most of the December holidays ranting to their families about how stressful it is to try to relax…while trying to please children, partners, in-laws, extended families – while also simultaneously and radically increasing debt and waistline. Needless to say, over the holidays I was the picture of maternal virtue and an exemplar of the perfect balance – of having it all by giving my all…weren’t you?
It was but a week ago -- and just after a glutinous series of holiday feasts put on with regal pomp and splendor of which only the English are capable -- that I suffered what has become known in my familial circle as “Anna’s Annual Nervous Breakdown”.
This is the point at which a year’s worth of juggling motherhood with a progressive and demanding career; a horrible daily schedule; and a compulsive desire to succeed at everything spectacularly collides – oh so unfortunately -- in the presence of my in-laws while on our annual family sojourn across the pond to England.
England you see, is the point of origin of my long suffering husband Tim and the home of my sweet daughter Lilah’s paternal grandparents, uncles, aunts, and a broader cast and crew of very well-behaved and more importantly emotionally well-controlled English well-wishers. England is also the place where I lived and worked for nearly six years prior to coming back to Canada in 2009. It is the place where I constantly felt like my open effusive and sometimes intrusive personality was in direct opposition to the prevailing culture of stiff upper lips, resolute calm, and an unwillingness to bother anyone with your problems or to pry into the concerns of others. You see in England, I never quite fit.
So, it is of course in England, home of stoicism and “keeping calm and carrying on” that I unleash an inappropriate annual gush of pent up maternal angst, rage, resentment, and fatigue. And where this year I resolved in the form of New Year’s resolution no.1 to attempt to understand why I feel like this and whether anyone out there is coping better than me – or whether you also feel constantly like you are failing all of the time– and whether you have devised any clever ways of managing the insanity that is the life of a working mother who really really really loves her kid(s)..and her job, and her millions of unrequited entrepreneurial and creative ideas, and her husband, etc. etc. etc. Oh my God – can you help me help me?
Anyways – maybe you can help. I’m looking for working mothers to talk to – I want to write 365 blog posts in 2014 about individual working mothers and how you are choosing to cope with the perils, joys, and in-between of working motherhood – I’m interested equally in what you do at work and what you do at home – I would love to publish summaries of your schedules, your tips and tricks, and your responses to a series of 10 questions on how you strike your balance – or I think – what is more likely your un-balance.
Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be part of project WorkLifeMom!
With love and wishes for your sanity and mine! Can’t wait to hear from you! Please send this post on to your friends.