Real life Confession from @BOOGERSANDLIPSTICK
The last 10 years of my working life have consisted of tasks such as research, scheduling, crewing, budgeting and a lot of thorough communication. Adapting well to change, having a strong attention to detail and being a “people-person” are skills that have helped me achieve success. Since my very first week as a mom, I realized how handy these skills were going to be. They honestly translate very well to parenting. It shouldn’t be surprising; my crews have teased me in the past that I was like the “set mom” long before I even had kids. Each shoot is like my little baby as we nurture it through pre-production, and when I am on set? I’m there to make sure everyone has everything they need… including food in their bellies. I know who’s a vegetarian and who has a nut allergy and I’m the most likely candidate to have packed the first aid kit.
With a couple of years doing the work-and-be-mommy dance, I’ve come to realize that being a mom has also made me better at my job. I’m older, wiser, and no project will ever be more challenging than raising two human beings. But the real bitch of it all? Being a mom is the very thing that holds me back. Sure, I’d like to think I’m Super Woman and I can do it all but the cruel truth is that my family is my kryptonite.
In my not so distant past (who am I kidding, it was awhile ago) when my husband and I were dating and kid-free, we had a debate about greatness. Greatness. We were young and both starting our careers. I had so much determination and eagerness in me. The grind was the norm, and I liked it. Long days and hard work were welcomed. I can remember it so clearly; we were sitting in a diner in Manhattan talking about what we both wanted to do with our jobs, what we wanted to “be”. It was my husband’s opinion that only a very few people in this world will be great at what they do. My head was so in the clouds that I disagreed and even got upset over the conversation, as if he was flat out telling me that I couldn’t be a great producer, or director or whatever the hell else I was dreaming up at the time. But I understand. Now, more than ever, do I understand.
So, at the risk of upsetting my boss, let me be frank with you: I’m never going to be great at my job. There’s a checklist of things that would need to be done in order to achieve greatness in my field and most all of them would require me neglecting my personal life. The problem with my personal life however is that it now includes other… persons. Of course, there are times where my nose is in my phone reading work emails with my baby on my hip or I might have to hop on the computer while the kids are home to make a call sheet, but these aren’t the sacrifices I’m talking about. I understand that I’m never truly “off the clock” with the career I chose, and that’s OK because I’ve become very crafty with my schedule and multitasking. I may even be required to travel occasionally and spend a night or two away from my family, but I will never pursue a career goal that would leave them completely in the dust.
I have these moments when I think about my future. For a split second I start to dream about what I can “be” before I quickly remember that I’m not living life alone anymore. As my wheels turn, I start to even question how much longer I can keep my current profession because it demands a lot from me at unpredictable times. And I won’t lie to you; that really bums me out. I found something that I love to do and maybe I won’t ever be “great” but I think I’m damn good at it, and I may need to let it go one day. That sucks.
But see, I have this really great thing that helps me cope with ugly thoughts like that: I’m a mom. Someone calls me momma and mommy and it makes my heart melt every time I hear their little voice say it. I need to work. Sure, we need the income to support ourselves and send the kids to college, yada, yada… but I really do need work in my life. I learned that about myself. It keeps me sane and it keeps me whole but I’m not dreaming up the perfect job anymore. I’m living life in the moment, enjoying the family that my husband and I made (we made them! Are you kidding? That’s still so baffling!) and no career accomplishment could ever top that! Deal with it, boss.