It is 3:55am as I finally sit down to write this post on balancing.
I have thought about this topic for nearly a month. I've drafted the first few lines in my mind while nursing the baby. All with the promise that I will write this as soon as I get a chance.
My days often feel like a blur, so when a friend asked "how do you do it all?" my first reaction was to laugh. I immediately thought about the list of things I have not done. The list is about a mile long that includes juggling which bills need paying, work deadlines, looking for health insurance, what's for dinner, and of course how many gift bags I need for my daughter's birthday party this Sunday, (who knew soon to be three-year-olds had such a vast social network). I didn't feel like I had it all together enough to give anyone advice. How just getting my kids to sleep can be a 3-hour process and by the end of it, I'm left exhausted but with a ton of things left to do. But mostly I thought about how often I ask that question to the women around me. The answer I often hear and now give - You just do.
I wondered about how my mother, and grandmothers did this. Juggling familia with everything else in their life. How they raised daughters during dictatorships, wars, as immigrants? How did they manage when husbands left, died, or never showed up? How much harder they had to work, even when they had sick kids to care for? How costumbre and institutions held them back from education and opportunities. I wondered if they ever felt appreciated for their sacrifices of raising their families, earning a wage to support their families in the US and in the Dominican Republic/ Puerto Rico? I can no longer ask my abuelas these questions, and my mother will always take a deep breath and comfort me by saying, "No es facil, pero se hace."
It's not easy, but you do it. Between the beauty and challenges of raising two little humans, work deadlines, marriage, friends, oh and the holy grail - me time, I make time for MuchachaPower because it is my way of making sense of it all. It is a tribute to the women before us, a rallying call to our girls and a reminder to every mujer (and supporting hombre) that we still have work to do in this world. The fight for justice, dignity and love is ongoing.
I could say that I find a way to prioritize. That this blog post is full of "how to have it all," pero it's not, because there is no way to have it all until all of us have access to the basics. There should be universal health care across this planet. Women and girls should not live in fear of their bodies and how vulnerable they are to violence. Maternity support and child care should be welcomed and not questioned. Water, food, shelter, education, oxygen to live and thrive are not profit making staples but what every person should be guaranteed.
To do what we do everyday to survive and live the life we want is not only a gift but revolutionary. Many of our great-great-grandmothers could not have imaged this life. In fact I want my daughters and their daughters to be living in a world that is theirs, in ways I could not have thought was possible.
That is how I do it all. I do what I can with what I have. I try to be lead by my ideals. But sometimes even this feminist ends the day watching "Frozen" with her daughter on loop way past her bedtime.