The Trials and Tribulations of Motherhood

I had my little girl Amani-Rayne 3 years ago. As my only girl, she is the joy of my life, my little princess and a sight to be seen, that is, until you’ve seen her brothers. I have 4 children and Amani-Rayne was the most recent addition to our crazy jungle.

People are often in awe, shock, or sheer admiration when I tell them that I have 4 beautiful, handsome, intelligent, and obnoxious children. They either think that I am insane for having more than the “typical” 2.4 children (although I have yet to figure out how somebody can have .4 of a child) or simply amazingly creative, crafty, and organized.

I can honestly tell you that I am none of the above. Motherhood is hard work and adding on to the pack is an act of sheer miracles in the making every day.

I used to say that adding on another child after having 2 was easy. You just learn to juggle a little bit more, you fit one more into the schedule, feed each of the others a little less to make food spread amongst them all (just kidding), and lock yourself in a closet until they all turn 18 (only half-kidding).

I have learned over the years though, that it is simply not that easy.

Children do not care about your ultimate plan, they do not follow your divine schedule and they are indeed the reason that Murphy’s Law, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment,” was invented.

Take for instance the day that I left work early to pick my husband up from work by 5:00 p.m. because one of our cars was in the shop. I rushed to pick up my 7 year old son from after-school Tai Kwon Do and my daughter from the sitters by 5:45 p.m. in Tampa traffic to pick my 16 year old son up from the airport by 6:25 p.m., rush home and grab my 12 year old to get him 30 minutes away to basketball practice by 7:00 p.m.

Do the math. It doesn’t quite add up. Somehow I make it and am only a tad late (anything less that 15 minutes is a tad in my book) only to get basketball practice and find nobody there. Had I had the time to  check my home voicemail, I would have found out that the coach called at 4 p.m. canceling practice since it was the day after Christmas.

This seems to be a normal occurrence for me. It is a struggle with sanity to make sure everybody is where they need to be when they need to be there and to actually remember to do my hair, put on make-up or even put shoes on and arrive at work sane and productive enough to put in 9-10 hours and then go home to resume my second job.

I can’t tell you how many times I have made it halfway to work (or all the way there) just to realize that I forgot to change out of my flip-flops/slippers/socks and put on my grown-up work shoes. I am expected to don my corporate attitude and attire and develop project plans, create and implement policies and procedures, and babysit 500+ children…ahem…employees every day.

But I will tell you this. Even with all of the tears, yelling, frustration, confusion, and total chaos, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing. My kids bring me the same amount of joy and amazement as they do frustration and anguish – maybe even more.

All it takes is a smile, hug, or an “I love you” from one of my little demons and all is truly right with the world.

About the Author

Rachel Salley

Rachel Salley is an HR Consultant in the Tampa Bay, FL area. For the past 15 years, she has worked with companies to develop and implement talent acquisition and talent management best practices. Rachel fits in time with her husband, four kids, and a lovable dog who swears she’s a cat, while also blogging on Musing From the Career Anarchist. You can connect with Rachel on Twitter as @RachelSalley and on LinkedIn.


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

It seems as though I am in very good company. It’s hard to explain yourself out of missing a project deadline to the boss man when your kid was busy throwing up all weekend. It shouldn’t be though but it is. I never understood how wonderful, amazing, and crazy it was being a parent. Of course I only have one but I actually look forward to it.


Judy Lindenberger

Lovely post about being in love with your kids. I have two girls and a few years ago when my neighbor had her second boy, twelve years apart, I had many daydreams about adopting a child. Sigh …

Trish McFarlane

I love this post Rachel. It captures the vulnerability that working moms feel. My twins (b/g) are 7 now and not a day goes by that I won’t drop EVERYTHING to be with them, to read a story with them, to throw a few passes with the football or play the Wii. It’s never easy and as moms we do still need to have time for ourselves. But, what an amazing ride! Honestly, I’d give up everything else I do in this world if I could have a couple more kids….

Diane Prince Johnston

As a mother of three little ones, I tell myself that this part of parenthood is a temporary situation. Like the clichee says, soon they will be grown and the rest of our lives will begin. I also figure that having over 2.4 improves upon my ROI, increasing the chance of someone taking care of me when I’m old!

Karen Wise

I have two small children (5 and 2). I can’t deny it’s a struggle to get the work-life balance right accompanied by the personal desire to continue to achieve professionally. But what I love most about my children is that when I’m with them, I forget about all my other worries. They help me remember what’s important and what isn’t.

Krista Francis

I can fantasize about having a different job, moving into a different career, living in the Caribbean, adopting more children, or even about not being married. But I can’t fantasize about not being a mom at all. Despite any craziness and sacrifice, parenthood has also been my biggest joy. Thanks for your post.


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