The Lollipop Principle: Having it All

Mary Henry of Henry Bros. Circus, 1940s
Mary Henry of Henry Bros. Circus, 1940s

I told my husband before we got married that I wanted it all.  However, 10 years later, I still struggle with balance.

My personal experience with motherhood is this: It is the toughest job I have ever done and I was totally shocked to learn this, despite other parents passing on this gem that seemed more like a cliché than reality.  Motherhood has also made me have more compassion, organization, patience, tolerance, and an overall expanded perspective on life.

We all know that becoming a mom affects us.  I have had the same job pre- and post-mom, and I can tell you I am much more efficient now at work, out of necessity.  And no matter which way you slice it, whether you are a stay at home mom, a trying to enter-into-working-outside-the-home mom, or working outside the home mom, it is a challenging job.

It seems that I am always on a quest to find balance.  Many have researched the phenomenon of having it all and keeping those plates spinning.  And Richmondmom’s own Rebecca Suder offers, “…while I can’t have it all at one time, I see no reason why I can’t have it all in one lifetime”.  I think perhaps she is on to something.  All I know is that for me, it comes down to the lollipop principle, which has become my anchor.

One day as I got dressed for work, I chose to wear my favorite jacket — a black brocade print, with tiny multi-colored flowers in my favorite hues.  I remembered that my jacket was in the car and I grabbed it to complete my ensemble as I ran off to give a presentation with an important follow-up meeting.  About 10 minutes into the presentation, I noticed something was uncomfortable.  As I moved in front of the screen, I could feel something sticking to my side and back.  I reached around and felt something sticky.  As I opened my jacket, reminiscent of an old fashioned salesman exhibiting his wares, I revealed a half-eaten green lollypop, stick and all, adhered to the inside of my jacket.   I was mortified.  But I kept going through my presentation without missing a beat, despite having the tacky confection adhered to me.  Now that is a new mommy-enhanced skill-set for me.

Half Eaten Lolly
Photo Credit: Kyle Slattery

Inevitably, there are some little things that get left by the wayside.  Lollipops are small.  The big stuff at home gets taken care of and I try very hard (sometimes unsuccessfully) not to sweat the small stuff.   A form might get turned into school late or the dry cleaning may wait just a bit too long.  And it still turns out alright, lollipops and all.

What is your most embarrassing moment that you have experienced from trying to balance your different life roles?  Do you feel more efficient as a parent?