I want a lot. I always have. I have never felt the feeling of total satisfaction. I don’t know what contentment is. There are destructive ways to try to reach these places, but for me, I see that the ticket to total freedom and independence is through my work. As a single woman, that was fine. I had all the time in the world to immerse myself in whatever I was doing. But, now, I am a wife and mother, and it’s a strange thing. I’m aware this is not a revolutionary thought. There are Thesis written on this exact topic, but when you’re actually living it, I can’t help but think – am I going against the natural order of things? What am I giving up, and is it worth it?
When I started working on HEDGEHOUSE, I never really gave it a thought. My children were young, I had a lot of spare time on my hands, was at home a lot, and it was relatively easy to go to "work." I was just in the garage and when I was gone, they were so young they didn’t notice. Everything seemed the same, no problem here. This working mother thing is not a big deal - what the hell is everyone going on about?
That’s not the case anymore. I get it now, and I am away from home a lot. I am either traveling or at the office. When I am home, I am away in my mind. It’s hard to come home at the end of the day and shift gears from "I hope we fucking make pay roll" to “Let’s make cupcakes together.” Lately, I’ve noticed that my children are starting to make cupcakes with their nanny, Rosie. They’ve stopped asking me.
So why do I do it?
I think it’s two parts. I want to build something of value to give to my children. I also do it because I have always had a desire, since I was a child myself, to build something from nothing and stand back and look at it and say – “Yep. I built that.” I’ve always had the spirit of an entrepreneur.
Typically, in order to gain anything meaningful, you have to give something up, and lately I wonder, am I giving up my children? I know I’m not “giving them up" as I haven’t packed them off to boarding school yet. But, am I missing things? Mostly, am I missing the point?
I’ve had many, many days where I’d have loved to drop my children off at their respective schools, run to the gym, then home, take care of some household business, and then go to pick-up and sit in the park while I watch them play. To an extent, I am missing out on a lot of their young lives. I’m trading it all for the constant anxiety of forgetting something.
Some days, I wake up and feel like my life is like a bull ride. I get on, and hold on, for as long as I can:
- Made it to drop-off on time. Check.
- Volunteered in the library at my son’s school. Check.
- Forgot packed lunch because he had a field trip I forgot about. Fail.
- Forgot to make doctor’s appointment for Charlotte. Will do tomorrow. Fail.
- Gone all day and now have work dinner. Check.
- Hairdresser. Check.
- Grocery Store – Fail. Tomorrow.
One time, I was able to show up for something at Charlotte’s school, and another mother in her class saw me and blurted out with a smile, “What are you doing here?” Sadly, she was right.
So, I worry - am I doing my children a disservice? Am I deluding myself? What if HEDGEHOUSE fails? Will I have missed my children’s childhood chasing some dream? I don’t know. I can’t go there --- I roll the dice every day and I hope and pray for a pair of sixes.
WOMEN WHO WANTED IT ALL: