It’s been nearly fifteen months since my son was born and 363 days since I went back to work. Maintaining a full-time working mom status is like a life sentence of feeling like your half-assing everything. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but it’s true. There is a hell of a lot to do and not much time to do it.

My mornings are like wrestling with multiple personality disorder until my husband shoves me out the door for our commute. There’s my egocentric teenage personality who we’ll call “Lizzy” (because adding a “y” to the end of any name makes it egocentric-in case you didn’t know). When my husband turns on the light in the bedroom at 6AM or my dog does that annoyingly loud shimmy shake while I still have my head buried in the pillow, “Lizzy” wants to tell them to get lost. There’s my playful, snuggly, maternal side who we’ll call “Lindsay” (because I wasn’t going to assign my own name to a negative aspect of my personality-duh). “Lindsay” just wants to huddle with her adorable son on the couch and sing the theme song to “Little Einsteins” at the top of her lungs and call work to report that she’s developed a last minute case of something terrible. And then there’s my driven, independent, career-focused side who we’ll call “Lynn” (because one-syllable names aren’t messing around). “Lynn” usually tells “Lizzy” to get her lazy ass out of bed and reminds her to make the bed once she’s out of it, then notifies “Lindsay” that if she doesn’t get herself and her son dressed and out the door, “Little Einsteins” will be nothing but a memory because the cable bill won’t be paid.

Like any goal-oriented, hopeful woman, I strive for a balanced, integrated personality, but most days, it just doesn’t happen. Tricks I use to present the façade of balance and integration include a healthy layer of make-up, an outfit that matches, chocolate, and a smile. In addition, if I’m going to cry or bang my head up against the wall, I try to do it in the privacy of my own office or quietly in a bathroom stall.

In any case, these days, when I happen to strike a balance, it is a matter of pure luck. But at least I’m trying (and faking it) as much as possible.