So often, I try to tell myself that my career does not define me.  Similarly, I do not believe being a mother is my only purpose in life.  I am in a constant flux of questioning who I am or who I was before I was a working mom

In a past life, I had grand plans for myself.  Surely they included a career and children, but in my mind I would be cooking dinner with high heels on, killing it on all fronts.  That is how I remember my childhood:  my mom would work all day, come home in her work attire (heels included) and cook us dinner.  I don’t remember our house being a mess or my mother ever appearing stressed.

What a pipe dream. 

Some mornings I will feel like a complete disaster.  Hair in some kind of messy bun (not the kind people aspire to on Pinterest); some type of sweats or pajamas (not the kind of athleisure wear that’s cool) and I’m making lunches or wiping butts or wrestling to get someone’s socks on, and I don’t even recognize myself.  How can I be the same person who is about to step into a courtroom and actually make a difference in someone’s life?  How can I be the same person who tonight is presenting on a legal education panel to some of the most esteemed lawyers and judges in my area?

Other times, I am hard at work, really knee deep in my job, and all I can think about is whether I remembered to pack diapers for daycare.  

I don’t have one of those cool jobs where motherhood and my career are supposed to intersect. In fact, it’s typically the opposite.  While clients may appreciate my perspective as a parent, they are investing in me to be laser focused on my job.  I have often said that I am supposed to work as if I do not have a family to balance, and when I am parenting, I have to do my best to pretend I don’t have my work on my brain.  

Sometimes I hear myself talk about the kids and I quite literally have to pause- to say to myself- wow, when did this happen?  When did I become the Mom that says “I am not in charge of your friends, I am only in charge of you.”?  Or when did I become an expert at diaper rash and knotty hair?  I truly have no idea.

I look at our house and wonder if it will ever stay clean or be as organized as a pottery barn catalogue cover.   How did I become someone who lives in a place of chaos?  

I struggle almost every single day with figuring out who I am as a person.  Who am I, if I’m not responding to “Mom! Mom! Mom!”?  Who am I, if I’m not reading and responding to emails or meeting deadlines?  Truly, how did I get here?  

Part of the magic of this every day chaos is that it makes time move so fast.  I work so hard to keep the balls in the air every single day that sometimes a month has gone by, and I didn’t even realize.  This is quite the double edged sword.  

It’s a tale as old as time: the days are long, but the years are short.  As part of my journey to the future and my dreams and aspirations of a near perfect home and career intersect, I have to step back and appreciate what I have in this moment.  We are so quick to be onto the next step.  I am so incredibly guilty of this myself.  

But if I’m so fixated on who I am and how I got here and what I’m going to be in the future, I will lose what is in front of me so quickly.  So this is who I am, for now.  I’m a ball juggling, messy bun sporting, career mom … with a side of chaos.  I’m an expert at triaging all things.  I am for now, defined by my role as an endlessly working mom.