As a writer, your life has lots of ups and downs. Just like
being a mom.
I recently accomplished a life goal—a byline in the New York
Times. I'd wanted it for so long. I'd tried so many times to break in. And now
it was finally happening.
I found out my essay had been accepted around 8 p.m., right
after the kids went to bed. My husband was home from work, and I had a bottle
of champagne chilling in the fridge, a favor from the Oscar party I'd
attended the night before. My husband and I toasted to my acheivement, and we
settled in for a relaxing evening of quietly celebrating.
My parents bought me a pillow that said "Best Day Ever" on
it the day the essay was published. It truly was the best day ever.
A few weeks later, I hit another huge writing milestone—a
byline in the Washington Post. But this time, things were a bit different. I
found out that my essay had been accepted at 4 p.m., when both my kids were home
from school, just as I was trying to help my 5-year-old with homework and potty
train my 3-year-old.
There was no champagne celebration. In fact, I tried to
explain to my kids that something spectacular had happened, and that we should celebrate, but they were terribly unimpressed.
Even on a day where things are really going your way, you might find yourself on the bathroom floor cleaning up poop.
I went back to helping my 5-year-old with his homework, and
then my 3-year-old announced that he'd had a poopy accident. ("It just came out.")
As I was on hands and knees in the bathroom with a bottle of
Clorox, my mom called to check in. I told her about my good news—the Washington
Post—and my bad news—potty training not going according to plan—and we just had
to laugh at the dichotomy.
It was as if the universe was reminding me that life isn't
all champagne. When you're a mom, your
days will be filled with wonderful things and not-so-wonderful things. You'll
have golden moments, and you'll have moments filled with poop. But you know
what? That's OK. That balance is what keeps us in check. Reminds us what's
important. Reminds us not to get too full of ourselves. Brings us down to
At the end of our phone call, we just had to laugh again
about the contrast. Even on a day where things are really going your way, you
might find yourself on the bathroom floor cleaning up poop.
"That's motherhood," my mom laughed, and I agreed. Before she hung up, my mother said: "Best day