Friday, March 18, 2011

The Straw That Broke the Camel

I feel like I need to share what happened to me yesterday.  I feel like my voice of the difficulties of motherhood are powerful to all who read them.  In today's world, we strive to find other voices that sound like our own.  And I know that what I went through yesterday will ring true to so many of you.

As I mentioned earlier, E was sent home from daycare this week.  We believed the cause to be the shots, but E was running a very low grade temperature yet again yesterday.  And I got "the call" from the daycare to come pick her up.  I don't know what snapped inside, but it was just the straw.  I raised the total to 15 total days, because E had made it half way through the day, so I only missed a half day of work.  But then I began to weigh the situation.  Not only was E getting sent home today(yesterday), but she couldn't go back to daycare tomorrow (today).  And as I pulled my car out of my parking space at work.  I started to cry.

I cried the entire 30 mins from my job, to the daycare.  And then spent a good 5 mins in the car, pulling myself together before I went inside.

I cried because I felt like a "bad" mother, because I couldn't just be there for my baby when she needed me.  And I cried because I feel like I am not there for my job to show I am a good and productive worker.  I felt like in the attempts of being a working mother, I was failing on all fronts, and that I was not working to capacity at ANY of those jobs.  I finally called Daddy and told him I could NOT miss another day of work, and that he would have to take a day to take care of E.  And then after I got E, I cried some more, because part of me, of course, WANTS to be home with her.

E and I had lunch.  And thankfully, it was nap time.  E and I BOTH crawled into our bed, and slept for 3 hours.  I figured, if I was eating up my vacation time, I might as well be doing something I would do on vacation, and being productive was just going to HAVE to wait.

I woke up feeling better.  And this afternoon, the whole incident is behind me.  E had a wonderful day home with her Daddy, and is feeling much better.  The two of them spent the whole day playing outside together. 

But as I walked into the building this morning, I felt like I HAD to share this experience.  Because I know we are all there at one time or another.  Where we just feel like there is too much on our plate, and that we are letting people down all around us.  So I promised to share, the good, the bad, and the funny.  This is the bad.  And it just is.  Now I'm going home to a lovely day, and play with my baby, who I miss so dearly.

So we all just have to hang strong, stick together, and thanks for listening. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Working Mom Guilt...

I have a dear friend who's been traveling for business a lot the past couple of months.  With more travel in the near future, and she said something that triggered this post.  I hope she doesn't mind if I post it here:

"Mommy guilt has driven me to make a reservation for Big Bird's Birthday Bash at two on Sunday after coming in at five a.m.that morning..."

Mommy guilt is powerful.  I'm struggling with it myself, as we speak.  Poor little E had some shots yesterday, the Measles, and the Mumps.  And she was not herself last night.  But today is a new day, so I was hoping for the best.  When you're a working mom, in March, of a long winter, with a 16 month old, and you look at your days missed of work.  It forces you to hope EACH day is a NEW day.  And that you can somehow push forward.  Out of work 14.5 days.  Between half days, and sick days, and "vacation days", I've missed over 2 weeks of work.  HOW is that possible?

So off little E went today.  And then it happened, you know, the same thing that's been happening for MONTHS now...  "the call".  Temperature of 101.6.  We get the benefit of the doubt today, because E had her shots yesterday.  And it's clear on the sheet that a temperature is a side effect of the shots.  But, what about the RED EAR, the dr had noticed yesterday. 

So drs have been called, day cares have been checked in with, managers have been put "on notice".  And now E is napping at daycare, and Mommy is just waiting.  And thinking.  And feeling guilty.  There is nothing I want, like I want to run out of here, and go get my clingy, needy, not feeling 100% little girl.  But then I look at my work calendar and remember, 14.5 days. 

And so...  here I sit...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Working Mom Moment

We've had a rough few months.  Between things going on in the family, holidays, weather complications, and illness, I don't think I've had a full work week since November. 

A friend passed around a link to an article, that after the past 4 months, had me laughing so hard I was crying.  And it brought me full circle with all that I struggle with on a daily basis.  It was in my face, larger life, impossible to ignore...  the battles that I do not struggle with on a daily basis, but had been literally struggling with in the past couple of weeks.  Not the last of which included the "Dreaded Daycare Phone Call".  You know the one.  The one where you're minding your business, having a normal work day, your work phone rings and it's the daycare.  "Come pick your child up, they are 'sick'".  Now, I'll be the first to tell you that if E is ACTUALLY sick, I don't SEND her to daycare.  But daycares have very firm policies, for good reason I'm sure, and therefore an even seemingly otherwise normal child must go home.  While, a seemingly MISERABLE child can remain.  Anyway, I digress.  E had a fever.  Over the "magic" number 101.  Mind you, the pediatrician doesn't want to hear from me unless it's over 102. 

So off I went to get E.  I learned that the "mystery fever" was going around daycare.  No other symptoms.  Just a "fever". 

Anyway, this was the 2nd - 3rd time in 2 - 3 weeks that I had to miss work for either illness myself, or illness with E.  And again, it was a "lost" week.

I was happy this week to have a "normal" week.  And then IT happened.  The OTHER working Mom moment.  As I drove home from daycare, and listened to E scream "BINKY!" the whole ride home.  I mean really, it's 3 mins, under a mile!  As we pulled in the driveway, I looked at the clock.  5:30.  Bedtime, is 8, and the daycare is open till 6:30.  "Maybe I should bring her back!""

You spend all of this time away from them.  Then you get to enjoy them when they are LEAST enjoyable.  It doesn't mean we don't love them.  Just means we're a working mom.  So I have to say this article really put their finger on the essence of the situation.  No matter WHICH situation we are in, they are BOTH miserable sometimes, but they both hold benefits. 

And mostly, there are times we ALL want to send our children back!

To read the referenced article:  Lesson 12:  Working Moms Vs. Stay-at-Home Moms

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I haven't forgotten...

But "NEWS FLASH"...  sometimes when parenting, there's just nothing worth mentioning.  It can be a good thing!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sergeantsville Farmers' Market: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Sergeantsville Farmers' Market: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: "Welcome. Everyone knows that they should eat fresh fruits and vegetables. But so often I talk to parents and kids alike and the ..."

A Moment of Reflection

Being a parent has made me realize that so often a lot of parenting is funny.  I mean, really, if it weren't, then a lot of it would just be hair pulling.  So you must laugh.  But every now and then, I am overwhelmed by these feelings of deep intimate reflection.  And so here I am.

There are lots of things I expected about parenting, but even more, there are so many things that I never saw coming.  And I am forever grateful for these things.  I owe my daughter for my place in life.  The place I sit today, the person I am, the people who surround me.  I owe to my daughter.  She has brought people into my life, that otherwise never would be here.  And thus, I'm grateful to her.

As a society we struggle to make real personal connections.  Once I had E, I felt even more removed from real people than ever before.  Now, a year after returning to my full time corporate job, I find myself surrounded by more "real" people, than ever before.  And I could not be more grateful for those people in my life.  And truly, without E, I never would have meet them. 

I became very close to E's first daycare teacher.  E became very close with her as well.  Consequently, per her suggestion, we attended a local farmers market opening day.  And it was a truly wonderful family experience.  It became a regular part of our life last summer.  But every step we have in our life, it starts a path, and this event introduced me to a company called Usborne Books & More, and a local consultant.  Little did I know, this moment would become a defining moment in my life.  I held a home show, and in the weeks after the home show, realized that this consultant was going to become a life long friend.  Through our long conversations about parenting I realized how important literacy and reading was to me.  And I ultimately joined the company as a consultant.  Taking on yet another full time job.  This consultant is not only a friend now, but fondly looked upon by my daughter.  We now have added another family member to our small, but ever growing family network.  And although I have gone from a tired, busy, full time working mother, to a tired, busy twice over full time working parent, that is HAPPY.

But the more that I interacted with people, the more that I wanted to interact with people.  And I found myself searching out more mom's to have in my life.  And I was lucky enough to find another mom with a daughter just a few weeks older than E.  And better yet, we had similar parenting goals, and thoughts and ideas, and lived very close to one another.  So this introduced another family into our life.  And it was wonderful, and as I suppose it's intended to happen, she introduced us to another family.

And so I realized, that around me, the people were growing.  Meeting people begot meeting people!  Funny how that happens.

As I said, a year ago, I was desperate for people in my life.  Like minded people, with similar values, and goals.  And in the past year, I have filled my life and my heart up with these people.  And I am therefore forever grateful for what my daughter has brought me.  Not just the love of a child, and all the wonderful parenting moments.  But more and beyond that.  She has brought me to a place where I am truly happy, grateful, loved, and at peace and proud of who I am.

Gone is the isolation so prevalent in our society today.  And Hello is a world full of possibilities.

So as the snow finally melts away, and the warmer weather begins to surface, I look forward to the return of the Farmer's Market.  To celebrate the beginning of the life that I love.  The people I love.  And the world that I love.

Thank You Baby Girl!