Motherhood terrified me more than any horror flick from my youth ever could. Jason. Freddie. Both of those characters were make believe, but managing a magazine gig and being someone’s mother was real a Nightmare on Elm Street.
I didn’t want any part of it, especially if it involved altering my dream of working for a major magazine.
My mother’s selflessness (as a wife with two daughters) scared me at times. She juggled everything: PTA fundraisers and parent-teacher conferences, plays, talent shows, afterschool activities—and a full-time gig—long before Blackberries and iPhones make it easy to track appointments.
It all seemed so exhausting and so… thankless, even with my father there doing his part. Often, I wondered if the patients at the clinic appreciated her more than we did.
She was (is) my very own superwoman, and her snakeskin heels were too huge for me to fill.
This was long before I’d ever heard the loaded phrase “having it all” in my early 20s. The concept was cute and a great confidence booster, but it lacked a guidebook, or roadmap to show me exactly how this mysterious (and intoxicating) “all” was remotely possible.
Still, I pressed on, navigating my media career and rethinking my position on parenthood.
Even back then (and today) I never really understood what having it “all” meant, because it was always more nuanced for me, as I suspect it is for every mother—from the stripper, to the waitress, to the nanny, to the marine, to the TV producer, to the CEO.
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