No, not “this” one. Another one, written by a writer local to me. The writer claimed that it would offer you the way to “have it all”. Kids, a fabulous job… the whole picture. The acclaim appeared on a local social media page directed towards local moms.
I clicked on the link with great excitement to find the formula. What have I been missing all these years? “What is the formula?” she asked, enticing me to click on that link.
There is no formula, she went on to say. (What a let down!) The way to have it all, is to simply have it all. If you have a high paying job, and a husband, and kids and a housekeeper/nanny and supportive family, you CAN have it all. She went on to write about her supportive husband who enables her to take extended business trips by holding down the home fort. The nanny cooks and cleans, and thankfully modern technology allows her to Skype with her children.
The article ended in a self satisfied way, followed by the praise of the other “Stepford-Moms” in my Community. Apparently, the way to “have it all”, is to have all of it. Now, why didn’t I think of that???
I had to sit on my hands to stop myself from placing my own comments beneath the others. I so desperately wanted to write about my own attempts to have it all. I did not want to hear about the skinny model offering me diet tricks. I wanted her to provide what she promised, the evasive formula for the perfectly balanced and happy life. Why was my husband not supportive? Why could I not get my husband to take my kids to McDonald’s, let alone maintain house and home for two weeks when I was gone? What happened to my housekeeper? Why did she abandon me? It must have been because I no longer had money to pay her. And my husband? Where did he go? Sometime after we agreed that I would be the one to stay home and raise the kids, he unilaterally broke the agreement. I became what he wanted me to be, but then abandoned our life for that very same reason. I was no longer exciting; I was “just” a boring stay at home mom.
I did not have the support described in that blog post. Was it something that I did wrong, or was it simply luck. Did I not set myself up for success by learning to be stronger and more vocal? Did I not choose the right man to be a part of my life? I sat back and stared at the blog and its comments for some time. I was trying to figure out how, if at all, this applied to me. Was there something that I could learn? After several more minutes of wasted time, I decided that it had absolutely nothing to offer me. Unfortunately, it made me have to deal with an emotion that I try to remove from my day to day life- jealousy.
My own relationship with jealousy has been challenging, but I have learned to deal with it in the following way- well sure, she is skinny with long legs, but I am ____________________, and I fill in the blank with something that I value within my self. Upon completion of that blog, I was only left with jealousy. I am very embarrassed to admit, that I once hoped to have it all too. This admission was not working well for my psyche.
Now, one week later, here is where I am. I don’t have “it all”, but my subset may too be enviable, and I would bet, if challenged, that the author of that blog might envy my ability to make “snow angels” in the middle of my king size bed, if I so choose. I no longer have to prove anything to anyone, and I am proud of the path I have walked. My divorce has been a lesson to my children. For my sons, it has been a lesson of what is appropriate behavior, and for my daughter, it has been a lesson in acceptable treatment. I would say, that it has been a fair trade.
I gave up a lot, including the perceived respectability of marriage, but I kept the control and my pride.