The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Having It All, In One Day

Yesterday started out fine. I had a few appointments lined up and some general plans, but things weren’t looking too horrible. By mid-morning, though, it became clear there were only two options for finishing out the day:

1. Admit defeat and head back to bed with a bottle of champagne and some OJ leftover from the girls weekend a couple of weeks back


2. Pray to the scheduling gods that everything would run on the minute for the next 8 hours straight and push forward.

Although the opportunity to throw in the towel and day-drink was attractive, I am not a goddamn quitter, so I fortified with drive-thru tater tots and leftover Halloween candy and forged on.

The problem wasn’t really the 8 house showings with four different buyers on a Wednesday. It wasn’t my very first pointe class I’ve been working toward taking for the last two years. It wasn’t the complicated favorite dinner of my middle child I promised to make him this week in a weak moment when he was home sick with the flu. The problem was all of these together. The big problem was all of these, plus the kids’ two hour early-release from school, Jason’s one night a week crossfit class, traffic, 150+ miles of driving and various texts and phone calls from other clients and Realtors throughout the day. All of that, added up together, in one day, was the problem.

Technically, I accomplished all the tasks I set out to, but I’m fairly certain I will not be winning Mother, Realtor, or Old Lady Ballerina of the Year based on yesterday’s performance. I’m not sure the day can be counted a success, is what I’m saying.

For instance:

  • By the end of the night, before walking into a house, I had taken to announcing feverishly, “I think this one has animals… some of the houses have animals. Dogs or cats, one or both of the two… I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to let them out, but they may bark and are potentially gated into a room somewhere. Let’s all try not to get eaten. I’m positive this information applies to one of the houses but I can’t remember which.”
  • It turns out I have one normal width foot and one freakishly wide foot, so the pointe shoes I bought mostly fit the skinny, pretty, sister-foot, and the fat, homely sister-foot just cries about her lot in life while people tell her she has a good personality and it’s not her fault she’s big boned during the entire class. It’s not that fun. Or graceful. I haven’t figured out yet if I’m going to break down and buy an entire other pair of shoes so I have one wide enough for the fat foot and I’m not in agony, or if I’m just going to work harder to break them in and try not to weep during class.
  • Bennett (13) had to preheat the oven and put in the casserole dish for me while I was showing property so it would be ready when I got home to serve it. I know it’s good for him to learn skills like this, but I spent the last hour and a half before I got home with a knot in my stomach named, “The house burned down with my kids in it because what fucking idiot trusts small children to work a gas oven? This terrible, terrible parent.”
  • The client I was showing the last house to got stuck in traffic (because it’s impossible to drive in Ahwatukee between 3 and 8PM without getting stuck in traffic) and by the time she got there it was dark. This was when we realized the house had no power (because it was a short sale). This was also when we wandered around for five minutes on the first floor with the almost useless flashlights I keep in my car for such occasions and I refused to take her into the second floor or the basement. Because of course it had a basement. I feel quite confident in my choice not to get murdered. I’ve seen The Bling Ring. I know rich teenagers are sociopaths. This was in a really nice neighborhood. There were probably 5 of them in that basement cleaning their stolen guns and trying on stolen shoes. They would have thrown our bodies in the lake.
  • My kids didn’t eat dinner until 7pm. Possibly the worst part about this is they weren’t even super upset about it, because we’ve kind of been eating around then on a regular basis lately. I hear people in New York City don’t eat dinner until 10pm, though, so I’ve been telling the kids it’s just because we’re hip like that. I feel like CPS will beg to differ, but I guess we’ll cross that legal bridge when we come to it.

By the time Jason walked in the door from his workout I was so wound up, he looked at me wrong and all of my built up stress and resentment from the day came shooting out of my body at him. Once it started, I couldn’t even stop it. I puked angry remnants of my day all over him, grabbed the remainder of the nearest bottle of wine, trudged up the stairs and watched scripted teenager drama on MTV by myself until I fell asleep.

This morning I’ve been ruminating over the concept of ‘having it all’. In theory, I’m all for having it all: I deserve it all! I want it all! Go ahead and try and tell me I can’t be a mom and a breadwinner and join the circus or the ballet at 35. Because I’ll do it all just to prove you wrong if you tell me I can’t!!!

But is this having it all? Was that what I did yesterday? Where it ended with me alone in bed stewing in guilt, failure, self-pity and white wine? Because maybe I don’t want it all. Maybe I just want some of it. Or possibly I only want a nap.

I think ‘having it all’ might only be actually possible in a universe where cloning and teleportation are more readily available. At least having it all in one day.

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