- by Janelle

Today I had one of those magical motherhood moments.

I realized that I am enjoying my fourth child even more than my first. Part of it is that I am a better mother at 34 than I was at 25. The other part is watching my children interact with my baby Suzanne brings me happiness. My older girls ages 8, 5 and 3 are a ton of help. Suzanne and I have a very nice symbiotic relationship going on. She likes nothing better than to be held by mommy and I like nothing better than sitting with her on my lap.

Six months old is the golden baby age for me. Suzanne is content to sit on my lap, look up at me with her hand on my chin and smile at me. She doesn’t want down, she doesn’t want to walk away, she just wants to reach for my face and smile at me. My heart can hardly hold that much love in. Motherhood has given me the very best moments of my life. Sometimes I pray that I will never forget a certain smile or turn of phrase.

Today as I sat on my living room couch, brownies cooling in the kitchen, peacefully gazing out the window waiting for my third grader to come home from school I reflected on what it means to “have it all.” Women are frequently seeking to have it all and I wondered what that means. To have a career and children? To have more space, time or money? To conquer the world? What does having it all entail?

In that moment I felt that I already had it all. I felt happy. What more could I want?


Today I spent over 20 minutes cleaning poop off of the walls in the Sears restroom.

It was cold this morning and my oldest daughter needed a new coat. I decided I was having such a good day that I could probably handle all four kids at the mall alone. We were doing fine until my toddler walked up and said, “I pooped in my underwear.” Then she stuck her hand in her underwear and pulled out a heap of warm runny poo.

“Don’t touch anything!!!!!” I exclaimed as we walked briskly to the elevator that could take us to the nearest restroom. We found a family bathroom and all five of us piled in. I washed my toddler’s hands first then as I was helping her take off her rain boots she kicked off her underwear with such gusto that the splatter looked like a CSI crime scene investigation.

I turned beet red and started laughing so I wouldn’t cry. All of my other girls started freaking out. ”It smells so bad!” “I have to leave!” “It’s over there mom. Clean over there!” I cannot imagine what the woman waiting in the hall was thinking.

We threw that pair of underwear in the trash.

Twenty minutes later we left the scene of the crime and went back upstairs to buy the jacket and head out of there ASAP. While checking out my toddler kept flashing the (very concerned) clerk. To top it all off when we finally got to the car I realized my fly was down the entire shopping trip.


When we got home I sent everyone into the house and sat in the car. Alone. For 10 full minutes.

While in the car I contemplated my resume and what types of gainful (and immediate) employment I could obtain with it.

BS Finance ’98
Manager several small businesses
Real Estate Broker

So which is it? Is motherhood the moments of peaceful introspective bliss or warm piles of toddler poo spattered on the Sears’ restroom wall?

Obviously it’s both.

So if I ever find myself looking back at my life wondering if I “had it all,” I hope I can think of days like today and remember that “having it all” includes the good and the bad, the sublime and the ornery, and an awful lot of poop.

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