Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist


‘Normal People’ are these imaginary folks who live in my head with whom I compare myself and use to try to figure out how to handle bizarre and complex situations like play dates and public temper tantrums and choosing between Super, Super Plus or Ultra Protection.

We’ve all heard the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. We’ve also all heard that if at first you don’t succeed; try, try again. I’m at a particular cross-roads currently where I’m trying to decide if I’m insane or persistent, or yes, possibly both, and it all has to do with this intersection of work/career/motherhood/livelihood.

I’m one of those women who never expected I’d be a mom. Truth be told, I spent the first 35 years of my life pretty much pursuing nothing more than my own happiness. I left a lot of wreckage in my path and only after going through nearly life-ending pain did I stop to look at how I was living my life, my beliefs, my all-consuming selfishness and self-centeredness and entertain a new way of living. I blew through a marriage and some good friendships. I managed to hold down extremely lucrative jobs only because my self-concept didn’t include failure, so I worked to the point of obsession to make sure I was ‘successful’. If it sounds miserable, it’s because it was. I was miserable, lonely, sad, scared, angry and dangerous in my pathology.

So then stuff happened, and I started to get better. A lot better. Then Dreamy came into my life and I wasn’t lonely anymore. And then I became a Mom and nearly five years later my biggest question is ‘Holy sh!t!! How do normal people DO this?’ So what I want to know about ‘Normal People’ is:

  • How do they figure out how to completely change gears from successful career person to new mom who knows absolutely nothing and never really liked babies in the first place (but loves her own. Of course.).
  • How do they decide if it’s best for their kids to be around them all the time, or to be in a daycare, or to have someone come and look after them?
  • How do they figure out if a particularly unfruitful season is a barren field, or the day before everything starts to flourish?
  • How do they know if the irritation they are feeling at the constant fighting, screaming, mess-cleaning, and poop-wiping is normal, or an indication that maybe this whole mom-thing was a bad call?
  • What do they do to make sure they are doing the right thing – not the selfish thing and not what other people think they should do – but the actual right thing?
  • WHY does this country make it SO HARD for moms and families to be financially secure when it is so much easier in almost every other country in the world? Really! What is the deal with this??? (Just thought I’d throw that one in there)

It’s just hard sometimes! I look around at all my friends and it honestly seems like EVERYONE has this figured out except me! Even though half my friends are still career women with kids and the other half are stay at home moms, they all seem to have it together better than me and seem content with their choices. I feel someone alone dangling out here in half-and-half world angsting about not being ‘enough’ in every area.

That’s a lot of questions, I know, and I know there’s really not any normal people out there. I also know that the only way for ME to get the answers is to get quiet and pray. Not the kind of praying where I’m demanding stuff from above like a toddler from Santa, but the listening kind. When I do this, the answer comes and it will come again, but the problem with fear (and a house full of chaos) is that it twists you up and getting quiet and WAITING is the last thing you want to do. My type of crazy wants to get out there and fix things as quickly as possible to end the discomfort. Which results in more drama more times than not.

So…if I happen to be connected to any normal people, please reach out and share your secrets. The voices in my head want to know!

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