Sunday, March 17, 2013

I don't know how she does it.

My husband was out of town this weekend, so I spent my alone time as I usually do by eating way too much Chinese food, clearing out the DVR and renting a cheesy chick flick that he would never watch with me. Or at least not without some serious cajoling on my part. I decided to rent I Don't Know How She Does It starring Sarah Jessica Parker, the always adorable Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan. It was incredibly predictable but had a Carrie Bradshawesque voiceover that only SJP can pull off.

SJP stars as Kate, a mother of two who works at a high powered investment firm. She's always trying to deal with her perceived shortcomings as a mom that exist because of the demands of her career. She describes herself as a juggler being forced to juggle family, job and everything that comes with both.

 I think we all have one of those friends (maybe you are one of those people) who has it all together. There are lists upon lists, trying to cram tasks into every free minute of every day. Her house is spotless, her children are impeccably behaved, she's excelling at her job. She's just amazing. I aspire to be one of those women.

One year ago as we were finalizing our adoption paperwork our caseworker described me as "particular". She was using that word as a nice way of saying I'm insanely anal, I pack every minute of every day with some sort of task, and the word "relax" isn't in my vocabulary. In order to relax I have to schedule it in. True story.  Adopting is the ultimate in challenges for a person like me. I don't know when our baby will arrive, and I have no idea if we'll meet a birthmother in her third trimester or get a call from the hospital to come pick up a baby or some in between scenario.  I understand from all my friends that parenthood is completely unpredictable, and I keep thinking this waiting process is God's way of preparing me for the continued unpredictability of parenthood.

The movie had me thinking: can we really have it all? I don't have kids yet, and I know the baby will change everything. I have zero illusions that our life will change dramatically and irrevocably. This morning as I took off for an early run to try out my new shoes, I realized that I won't always have this flexibility. I won't be able to just run out the door without having to have someone to take care of the baby. At some point, maybe tomorrow or in six months, we will have a baby. And he or she will turn our world on its head.

My fab new shoes
I don't think I have it in me to stop being anal and to stop constantly cleaning up my house or filling every minute of every day completing the next task. I'm hoping my excellent time management will help me be less blindsided by motherhood, but I'm not overly optimistic. It's going to be a huge change, and as much as I am trying to prepare myself emotionally I know there's no real preparation.

Not to spoil the end of the movie if you haven't seen it and love a good B movie, but guess what she chooses at the end of the day: her family or her career? Like I said before - it was predictable. I'm not sure that women who are as ambitious and "particular" as I am can really have it all. And maybe that's okay. Maybe we don't have to have it all, and we'll always have to straddle the fence. And that will definitely be okay. This wait for the baby is preparing me for it. 


  1. It goes without saying that your world will be flipped upside down for a while. You don't have to abandon your time management skills and tendencies to have everything scheduled. Sure, things are unpredictable with an infant but with that unpredictability you will likely never feel more important. Here's to hoping you get your little Harkins soon so that when we are all together - yours and mine can occupy each other.
    Also, I have the same shoes. Stop copying me.

  2. Benjamin and baby Harkins can be BFF! Also stop harassing me!