Child's Play:

Mom for a Day Seeks New Direction

By Justine Manzano

            I have always dreamt big.

            When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher with all my heart. Hell, I was in fourth grade when I first began to tutor people. I enjoyed it, the idea of helping someone to process an idea they once couldn't. Then, I evolved, and my dream became to perform. And I was good at it. The singing part, anyway. The acting part, well, I was atrocious. Why nobody saved me from myself, I don't know, but I actually tried to do this professionally. You know, when you're a girl with a little bit of chunk, it's hard enough to get into performing, especially if you're bad at it. And music - well, after being told to crash diet and lose 20 pounds in two weeks, I knew where that career was going. Garbage-land. So I moved on. I fell into the day-to-day routine, got a real job and found a new passion. Writing!

            So, why did the girl who always dreamt big spend most of her Monday morning last week attempting to scrub the baby spit-up off of her sweater so she could return, after 11 weeks of maternity leave, to the job that she has very little passion for? Well, REALITY - the eternal equalizer of all men and women, third only to birth and death! (Have I mentioned that I have a flair for the dramatic?)

            Don't get me wrong - it was also a dream of mine to be happily married with kids and a great support network and I've got two and a half of those things (reality is currently forcing "kids" to be "kid"). But what reality has also done is put up a challenge in front of me. I want to be a writer - reality tells me that between my job, my baby, my husband and all the incredible people in my life I simply don't have the time to be a writer. I want a job that has ANYTHING to do with my double BA in Creative Writing and Media Studies. Reality is telling me that toiling away in my particular brand of office is the only way for me to get paid enough to stay afloat, as things currently stand (forget a college education for my son - that will take a little more work). So, my personal life makes me happy. My professional life, however, has some misgivings. And while Reality may be challenging me, anybody who knows me well enough, knows I don't step down from a challenge.

            So what is this blog for? This is me, on a mission. Screw reality! It's time for me to start finding a way to move forward instead of to stay in one place. And this is my journey - to be a mother, be a wife, be a friend and be successful, because despite what reality is telling me, I believe you CAN have everything you want. I believe I WILL have everything I want. I also believe it's going to take some time...

            ...So strap in and be prepared for a bumpy ride. Cuz Life only gets more complicated the longer we live it.


For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at