I don’t ‘have it all’—but I do have everything I ever wanted

And what is “having it all” anyway? ?

I don’t ‘have it all’—but I do have everything I ever wanted

It’s 5:45 a.m., and I can hear my 3-year-old screaming “Mommy!” from his crib. It’s the most jarring wake-up, my husband is out of town and I went to bed way too late the night before because I was binge watching my show on Netflix.

I sleepily arise, pluck my son from his crib and tell him he can come into bed with me if he can chill and be quiet so mama can go back to sleep.

Instead of closing my eyes for that much-needed extra hour of rest, I instead see my computer beckoning from the desk across my room, sigh and open it up to get ahead of the many hours of work, emails and creating I should be doing today. I think maybe it’ll allow me to have a few hours with my kids at the park because end-of-day park hangs in the summer are my favorite.


There it is. The constant balancing act that every mom grapples with.

Whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, our days are a merry-go-round, roller coaster mashup of to-do lists, chores, responsibilities, pickup times, schedules, social calendars and if you happen to be a working mother, oh

This particular morning, I take two hours before my 5-year-old wakes up and before my nanny arrives to get a few solid hours of work done and feel slightly accomplished by the time I brush my teeth and have my first coffee of the day.

Before becoming a mom, I can clearly remember that feeling at the end of the day, like I completed almost everything I had set out to do that day. Back then I was able to riffle through my checklist of errands and work responsibilities like a ninja and turn on a show by 8 p.m.,feeling accomplished and satisfied.

These days, I’m lucky to half finish a few tasks and maybe get back to them a week later when I remember.

I set calendar alerts, alarms, I make lists on my iPhone, but somehow every few weeks, I miss that conference call, I forget that appointment or I blank on plans with that friend. How many days have I been late for preschool pickup or drop-off, promised my kids an outing and had to rain check, or missed coming to my favorite activities like tennis or swim for my boys?

I sort of feel some days like I stink at everything, like I can’t get any of it right.

I’m beginning to understand and be OK with the fact that THIS is motherhood. Not the “stinking at everything” part but the “being OK with not doing everything perfectly” part. Not having it “all” all at once.

And what is “having it all” anyway?

Is it some myth we believe from childhood or movies we watch about the woman who has her dream career, her dream guy and perfect children in her art-directed perfect dream house? I picture Melanie Griffith in Working Girl or any Julia Roberts movie where everyone achieves all their dreams with ease and great hair.

I’m learning that it’s OK to be pretty good at a lot of things and that if I don’t book the job I’ve been dreaming of, if one of my pieces doesn’t get published, if I don’t sign that deal or if I miss a week’s worth of preschool pickups—it’s OK.

I feel like I’ve just realized the tooth fairy doesn’t exist and it’s pretty liberating.

These days I feel pretty good about the 50/50ish rule.

I try to split my time as best I can within the two worlds I exist. Some days I’m my pre-mama self, hair freshly styled, outfit on point, meeting a publicist at a trendy West Hollywood restaurant to “lunch.” Other days, I’m a messy-topknot adorned, on-the-go mama, driving from point A to point B, listening to the same kiddie song on repeat in my oversize SUV.

As the sun starts to set and that magic light peeks through the blinds in my living room, my two boys cuddle next to me on our oversize sofa. There are cheddar duckies squished into a part of a pillow and I can see a scattering of Lego pieces on the floor. My computer is open in front of me on our distressed wood coffee table, an unfinished email to my producer in New York lights up the screen. A pile of unopened mail sits next to it, and there are dishes in the sink from dinner, waiting to be stacked in the dishwasher.

I hug my boys tighter and bring my nose down to smell their freshly washed damp hair. This is EVERYTHING. And I have it.

In This Article

    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

    I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

    Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

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    14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


    Dear 2020 baby: Thank you

    This year has been a mess. But you've been the light in the darkness.

    Sweet 2020 baby,

    I just want to say thank you.

    Because in many ways, this year has been a mess.

    A bit of a disaster, really.

    But you.

    You've been the light in the darkness.

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