Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Working Mommy

It is 1:58pm on a Tuesday.
Correction: 1:58 pm on a sweltering, traffic infested, busy Tuesday.

Why then, you might ask, am I sitting talking to ya'll in the dark, quietness that is my house?
Why, you'd continue, are you not at work?
Why are you washing yet another batch of puke covered linens?
And lastly, why are you taking precious sick leave when ya ain't sick?
For a bunch of Moms, Dads, Adults, and College Graduates you sure ask a lot of dumb questions.

Clearly, I have a projectile vomiting, flushed, lethargic, miserable Little Monster.
My Monster has lost his roar and there is no "go to da moon, rocketship fly" happening today.

I tried to go into work this morning despite the exhaustion (the vomiting started at 1am (naturally) because my caseload is serious need of attention. While I did manage to have a productive morning me coming home does two things 1) it leaves one of my favorite and lovely co-workers all alone to handle the masses this afternoon and 2) I get no case-work done- ugh. This, in turn, will most likely lead to me having to go into work on Saturday and risk setting off the alarm system. Followed by a lovely chat with some Officers.

Anyway, that is not the point of this story. My point here is that being a working Mom has many, many perks. Per Exampleee (that's French for For Example)...

The Monster giving me "kwisses" (he puts out his cheek)...

Independence. There is something very freeing about leaving the house in a suit and heels and not thinking about time-outs and diapers. When that pay check comes I never feel guilty about spending my partners money on those cute shoes for Little O or an expensive glass of wine. Obviously, I wouldn't buy a house or a car or a rocket ship to the moon without consulting D but I take a great deal of pride in the fact that it's my hard earned money. And sorry to point out the obvious but most marriages these days fail and I like the sense of security in that if someday down the road (god forbid) D and I can't make, I have a SOLID work history, tons of experience, and the ability to provide for myself and my Monster. I suppose I am somewhat jaded by my time at Child Protective Services. I can't even begin to tell you the number of child support hearings I've heard, the number of Mom's that had to move in with Grandparents, slept in cars, haven't held a job in 10 years so have no skills, and end up on welfare or go back to school for a low-paying 2 yr. program. The burden of child-rearing, despite all our talk about equal parental rights, still generally falls on the Mom. I've seen the welfare line. For every 30 mothers there is 1 father. So, I vowed to myself, that as much as I'd kill to spend every moment with Little O and home-school I know that in order to feel independent, secure, and the best provider that I can to Little O and my family is to work hard for the money.

Self-Confidence. I am respected in my career and feel a sense of self worth and contribution. Please, all you SAHM's don't take this wrong, but personally, I felt useless to the world when I was home with Little O all day. What was I contributing to society other than garbage bags of dirty diapers and empty juice cups? Whenever I have a great day at work, a good conversation with a client, praise from a co-worker or boss, a presentation that is successful I feel that I have some how, some way made someones life just a little bit better. As you know, when you help others you help yourself (I have this stitched on a pillow somewhere I think).

Lastly, and a tad corny me thinks, it is FREAKING AWESOME to do the following activites:

a) eat lunch without a 2yo. in a restaurant. with a book. ALONE.
b) it's fun to stop for a quick margarita happy hour with co-workers (even if you are dying to see that Monster.
c)I get to hear "MOMMIES HOMIES" and get "tackle hugged" every day.
d) I DON'T have to watch Despicable Me, Horton, Toy Story, Cinderella, or Monsters Inc. for at least 10 hours a day.
e) I can turn the volume on the radio up REALLY loud and sing without destroying my Monsters hearing.
f) I can stop at the grocery for milk, eggs, and bread (and maybe oreos) without a 2yo. Can you say 10 minutes rather than 9574367538 minutes?

But for every up there is a down...

Five seconds later: Mommy said "time to go homies". MELTDOWN.

As mentioned, I miss him. All day. I really do. I wonder what dish he has broken, what step he has cracked his skull on, what wall will need to be washed, and what his sweet sleeping face looks like at nap time.

Added to that, all this time missing him, worrying, thinking, and imagining his day changes my priorites. Being a working mom takes double the focus. I can't ever stay late and sometimes get panicey when it is 5:30, I'm still with a client, and I have an hour commute home. So, today when I started getting Nanny texts I began to loose focus. I wrote case notes in the wrong case, called the wrong PCP, stapled my finger to the paper, and dumped my iced tea all over my notepad. So, now my stress is up and I'm biting my lip. Do I stay? Do I go? Do, I use my precious sick leave? Am I bad Mom? I am having a really bad hair day? and now I have a headache.
See the down side there?

There is also the problem that Mom's tend to talk ALL THE TIME about the latest cute thing that there Monster has done. I am sure that my lovely co-workers have wanted to tape my mouth shut on many occasion. This is why I bring donuts, cookies, and a variety of treats into the office on a regular basis. Yes, I black mail my co-workers with food to keep them from killing me.

Then there is the issue, especially when it comes to being a single mom, that I'm all the Monster's got and that a lot of the time means inpromput and unplanned days off and crisis. I personally, don't have family anyway remotely near 3 Forks Ranch so Nanny is sick (me too), Nanny kiddo sick (me too), Monster sick (me too), Nanny out of diapers/milk/snasckies (me going to store). You get the idea.

So on days like today, and most other days, the good and the bad, the frustrating and the joy, and the laughter and the tears all seem to even themselves out. The Monster is sleeping thanks to some tylenol. My heart is at ease knowing I am just downstairs while he heals and rests. There is a storm rolling in (the first we've seen in months). So, I leave you all to enjoy an afternoon glass of chilled white in my rocker on the front porch of 3 Forks Ranch.


Harris Family said...

Aw, love, GREAT GREAT post!

Elsa said...

I'm going to have to disagree with some of the post. I've done both and I prefer being a SAHM. I currently have a part-time job and I get to work from home every day, but one day, per week. Even then it's a struggle to leave because I miss my baby girl.

Honestly, being a SAHM is harder for me than working, hands-down. I'm more exhausted watching Mimi than when I leave work. And I do feel more useful at home. I'm not sure if I feel more useful to society. I hate to admit it, but I never think about it (if I want to be, then I will volunteer I suppose). But at work, I don't feel very useful either. I feel like any human on earth could replace me. And if anything ever happened to me, I would be replaced. There are a million people lined up that could do what I do. But at home, I can never be replaced in my kids eyes, ever. I'm more useful to her than to anyone. I get to know that she's safe always and I get to put time into raising her, which no one will do as well as me because no one will care as much.

But, you're right about the independence. It's nice to know that I have experience on a resume and wouldn't struggle TOO bad to find a job. Of course, my situation is different than yours. If my husband were to abandon me, my family would step up and help me financially until I got on my feet. I wouldn't have to live with them. But, if I were on the other side of the US, it might be more difficult. There's only so much a family can do when you're miles and miles away.

Elsa said...

And I LOVE that dress.

Elsa said...

In response to your blog comment (it's so confusing replying on blogs haha). Mila runs outside, plays in the dirt, gets dirty, climbs on EVERYTHING, jumps off the couch, etc. But she also watches me in the kitchen, I wear dresses, etc. In my opinion, boys and girls are different. Period. We're born behaving differently. I had one teacher who believed we are born a blank canvas, I disagree though. But yes, society shapes the majority of what you see.

And really, you want your kid to fit in with society. If you raise them outside of their social norm, and then place them into the real world, they will not do well.

Why are you worried about O anyway? Did I miss the point of the comment? I feel like I did. lol

Kate said...

I was more concerned that both Mila and the Nanny's Munchkin are involved in much more calm and imaginative play. The Monster can be seriously violent. It is actually concerning sometimes.

Elsa said...

It's probably just age related. Mimi is becoming more violent as she ages. She'll throw tantrums, pitch things on the floor and such. Nothing TOO bad, but definitely worse than before and I would expect it to get worse and we'll correct her based on her age (right now, there's not a lot we can do). She's a kid though, they are extremely emotional and have a hard time controlling themselves. They tend to over react about everything. I was just discussing kids with my husband today and I said that as a parent it's so important to remember that kids are not adults. They do not think or act like us.

Paige said...

I TOTALLY agree with this post!! Everything you feel I believe most Mom's feel! The guilt of leaving your child (even healthy) is sometimes almost unbearable! I take Cooper to work with me he is next door with a very close friend of mine I see him twice a day outside and random times throughout the day but I still have guilt.
I think 1 downside to being a Mom is that it most often everything falls on you, like taking sick time I have 3 weeks a year and they are gone due to my very sickly child. Eric uses his to stay at home and lay on the couch. (He just started a new job so he has none but that is what he did before). Anyway I am rambling and probably making no sense but I would just like you to know that everything you said I totally agree on and it is nice to know other Mothers feel the same way!! Hope he gets to feeling better soon! And as always your post was amazing!

Elsa said...

Of course, I don't know how violent he is being. I'm assuming it's just kid stuff. Hitting when really bad, biting, throwing, etc. If he's abusing small animals then you might have issues. hehe

Kate said...

@ Paige: I feel you completely. It is a weight we all carry and I guess bottom line is that somedays are worse than others.

@ Elsa: I'm not sure. He is pretty violent towards himself and gets very frustrated very easily. I am hoping that as he can communicate more easily his behavior will change. His play mostly includes destroying toys, throwing toys, or hitting toys with other toys.

Elsa said...

I'm not there to see how he behaves, but I would still say it's age related. I think boys tend to play war with their toys. But, if I were going to try something just to see if I could help the situation, maybe I would try to carve out 1 1/2 hours or so of family time every night. Just one on one, you and O, playing. No phones, music, computers, cooking, laundry, etc. And try not to turn the session into correcting him (I did that once with Mimi and then I realized it made the entire idea pointless).

It seems like you work all day, then on weekends, then get home and do all of the housework/cooking, D gets home late, Oliver has a new sitter.... Even though I still think it's just age related, maybe he's acting out a bit for your attention also. That's my only thought. It's definitely too early to say something is wrong (Yes, I know you're thinking that, you're a paranoid mom like me hehe).

Kate said...

I think that is a great idea and am going to start with 30 minutes in the evening (because my case-load is stupid right now so overtime is in order) but you may have just hit the nail on the head. He needs/wants 1 to 1 with mommy after all day without her.