Doing it All or Doing Nothing at All

Herlife Magazine, Twin Cities.  Mayy 2014 Cover.  Photo by Chris McDuffie.  Hair & Makeup by Julie Swenson.

Herlife Magazine, Twin Cities, May 2014. Photo by Chris McDuffie. Hair & Makeup by Julie Swenson.

This month I’m featured by a local magazine, Herlife Magazine Twin Cities, as an example of a mom to a medically complex child who transitioned her new-found-passion into a more caring career.

I’ll admit, on Mother’s Day when I went to the spa and found myself on one of the magazines in the waiting room, it was pretty cool…and a little intimidating.  Whew!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard variations of “you’re such a great mom!” in regards to this magazine feature.

To those who gave such high accolades, I give you a humble and sincere thank you.

And then there is that nagging part of my brain that screams, “am not. am not. am not!”  In truth, I often feel like I’m barely keeping it together.

This mom thing is hard.  This career person thing is hard too.  Throw in 2-6 doctors appointments – just for Owen (heaven forbid, I might go for an annual check up) – per month and there are a lot of days that I wonder if it’s even possible to be both.

Last week I sat on the floor for muffins and moms while wearing a pencil skirt business suit and 3″ heels.  As the festivities wrapped up, I ran out the door and drove (above the speed limit) 30 minutes across town and arrived 5 minutes before the start of our company’s board meeting at which I was one of the presenters.

Part of me was like, “see, I totally got this!”  The meeting went well, I made it on time and I didn’t miss out in participating in Kellen’s school program.  I can totally do it all.

A bigger part of me was sad.  The fact is, while I was running out the door, Kellen was tugging at my leg begging me to not go to work.  I also knew that I was l-u-c-k-y.  The Interstate 494 traffic gods were in my favor that day – very easily I could have been late, that’s one of the worse traffic stretches in our area.  That day, I did do it all – but it wasn’t without risk or cost.  And I still beat myself up about it.

Getting the balance right is a constant effort.  Some days the effort is so much that I just want to give up.  In truth, this winter…that Personal Polar Vortex was me giving up.  I emotionally stepped out of my life because doing it all is hard.  Honestly, I’m still working on staying emotionally present in my life.  The weather has warmed.  I’m doing so much better, but I’m still a work in process.

I haven’t shared my writing on ANRC lately – but I assure you, I’ve been writing.  I’ve been pushing to get to the root cause of my angst.  Do you know what I am starting to figure out for myself?  The saying is true, “I am my worst enemy”.  The more I pushed myself to get to the root cause of what I was feeling is that I felt like I was failing at everything.  I wasn’t the mom that I wanted to be.  I also wasn’t the worker that I wanted to be.  Those two summed into me not being the person that I wanted to be.

At the same time that I was coming to my personal realization, someone shared this post from Dr. Laura on Facebook.


Dr Laura, mom guilt


Now that’s perspective!

Basically, I spun myself into depression because I was afraid I was failing at doing it all…but when I put it into the perspective of the RESULT of what I am doing…



Content from Herlife Magazine, May 2014, Twin Cities

it’s pretty clear that the only thing I’m failing at is being fair to myself.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…

Mom Guilt

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

2 thoughts on “Doing it All or Doing Nothing at All

  1. Oh Tatum, first – congratulations on your magazine feature! You look gorgeous!!!

    And…you’re so right that mom guilt is the worst bitch of all. Yesterday, on the way home from work, I almost started crying in the car because I went through and figured out how much I was paying our sitter to take Tucker to Monkey Joe’s while I was sitting in traffic. After subtracting what the afternoon had cost me between her fees and Monkey Joe’s and a snack there from what I’d made that afternoon, I was wondering why why why – until I remembered that I like my brain at work, and that Monkey Joe’s gives me a headache and that taking him there myself once/week is enough.

    Still though, I feel like a sucky parent and a sucky worker. It’s just hard. I will guarantee you this though – we’re both – and all of us who try to find this elusive thing called balance – are doing just fine. We need to remember to be as kind to ourselves as we want people to be to our children. To speak to ourselves the way we’d speak to our sons if they were feeling like they’re not enough.

    Hang in there, mama, and know that you really do have this. You do. xoxox

  2. Mom guilt is a super bitch…. and you’ve got this – all parts of this. Even if that means all the things you wrote about above (not to mention my envy that you can still wear 3 inch heels). When I saw you this past week you looked as vibrant as ever and your kids were glowing like two squirmy glow worms chasing after cats. I love you!!

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