When I was a kid, I remember coming home from school to a warm meal. I’d walk up four flights of stairs, wave goodbye to my neighbor who always picked me up from P.S. 189, and open the door to be hit with the scent of oregano, sal y ajo. Unlike many of my friends, I wasn’t a latchkey kid. Their parents worked; my mom was a stay-at-home mom.
And I loved it. I adored my mom and coming home to her, knowing I’d be fed when hungry and catered to when I wanted. I thought: I’ll be a mommy just like Mami.
Then I grew up. I graduated from Philips Academy Andover, a prestigious preparatory school in Massachusetts, and from UMass Amherst, and was set on my journey to be a career woman. I wanted to be much more than a mother and wife, and questioned those who chose to stay at home with their kids. I didn’t relate to these women. Often times I belittled them in my thoughts. When my passion for writing and the entertainment biz were ignited, I didn’t even know if being a mother was in the cards for me. The tables soon turned, and moms and moms-to-be judged me, even going as far as asking me if I liked kids.
My 20’s came and went and I still wasn’t sure what type of woman I wanted to become. I only knew that I wanted a grander life than my mom and my ancestors. My ambition grew as did my dreams. Nothing was going to stop me.
Now, here I am: 37 years old and thinking about my life and all that I have accomplished and endured. I have a career in publishing and radio that I adore, and a man that I adore just as much. I am in an amazing relationship that feels perfect although there is no such thing as perfection. Boo and I are even talking about starting a family.
That’s when I go back to my childhood, to my stay-at-home mom: how I adored her and coming home to her, how safe I felt, how I was cherished and tended to. And I think: I want to be a mommy like Mami. As a mother, I want to be present and available emotionally, physically and mentally. As a professional , I want to be a successful go-getter that is creative and tenacious.
But can I? With all my ambition and how long and hard I have worked to achieve all that I have professionally, when I become “mom,” can I be that same person? If not, will I be fulfilled? Is there a middle ground? Can I have both? Can I have it all? Can any woman, actually? Or do I – you- have to choose between being a rock star at work and a mediocre mom, or an amazing mom and give up on grandiose professional goals?
These are the questions that keep me up at night. Because the career woman who I’ve always wanted to become may just not uphold to the standards of the mom that I want to be.
RELATED SLIDESHOW: Grow Your Love
Say I Love You
And when you say it, mean it. Look into his eyes. Caress his face. Feel the love within and let those three, big little words fall from your lips. Tell him you love him before bed. Pillow time is the best time to be intimate and express our love to our love. You can say it as often as you want, wherever you want. Just mean it. Flickr: Vizzzual-dot-com.