I am woman, hear me … yawn. That’s my way of saying that, while I’m delighted with my working-mom-of-two lifestyle, I’m no superwoman (no matter what my endlessly wonderful husband might say). Like you, I’m just doing the best I can with what I have to work with.
What I have to work with is a humble house in the ‘burbs that always needs cleaning; two boys, 9 and 7, who also need a fair bit of cleaning; a husband who thankfully cleans himself as far as I know; and a career that’s been my abiding passion, as well as a pretty decent living, for more than 20 years (actually it’s inching close to 25, which I can’t say because then I’d have to say a quarter of a century, which is scary.)
I’ve been self-employed as a writer and editor since my Son #2 was born (in the words of Son #1: “Mommy works upstairs!”). Before that, I was a magazine editor, mostly at women’s and parenting magazines, and yes, it’s just like the movies. I got free makeup and went to photo shoots and on press junkets and wore black clothes and high heels all the time and said “fabulous” a lot. I’m not even kidding. That wasn’t all of it, of course. There was hard work and long hours sometimes, and there were annoying ad sales people and bad lighting. But I do miss it. For a couple years, I lived in London, working for a health and beauty magazine, which was a lot like working for American magazines except we drank a lot of tea (and a lot of wine, but only after the magazine closed), and did all the photo shoots and other magazine-y things with cooler accents and a lot more irony.
I now hardly wear makeup (my collection has dwindled to a sad few products on the bathroom counter) or heels (though I can’t give up on them entirely and, despite my suburban-mom status, I will only wear anything strictly identified as “sneakers” if I’m at the gym. I’m very particular on that point).
I enjoy: Reading in bed for more than 15 minutes at a time; The New Yorker, Masterpiece Classic, and NPR on the one hand; and HGTV on the other (unfathomable to my husband, but I am actually relaxing and unwinding when I’m yelling at the silly, irrational people on House Hunters – seriously, people, enough with the who-gets-the-bigger-closet jokes, k?); dark chocolate chips which I may or may not keep in my desk drawer; silence; Zumba (obsessed!); reading recipes in cookbooks and magazines (and even making some of them); watching my sons sleep (see: silence); and spending time with my extended family (the opposite of silence, but with really good food and people who have known me forever, which is the whole point of family, right?)
Oh, and I’m a Mean Mom. Not all the time, as Son #2 said when he saw the cover of my book (also: “So…you’re an author?!”), but enough of the time that I’m ready to turn it into a movement. A million mean moms. Come join me. You know you want to.