Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Taking a walk with great-grandma:

...and Cheyenne.

To the fairy ring and the cornfield.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes you just need a cheeseburger cookie. On a beach. With friends.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Working Mom Syndrome

I'm a stay-at-home-mom in the sense that I don't leave to go to an office. I don't drop K off at daycare (though I did for a while when we had easy access to an absurdly affordable caregiver and only one mortgage to pay).  I don't have to call my boss and explain why I won't be there when K is sick, or spend money on a work wardrobe, or deal with a commute in crappy weather. I do, in fact, stay at home.

But I also work (and not in that "all mothers work" sense, valid as it is). I might be in the same room as K, able to respond to her urgent (urgent!) needs for fruit snacks and chocolate milk, but the majority of our interactions include me grumbling "not now, babe, I'm working." I offer to queue up another episode of Caillou on Netflix. I encourage her to go up to her room to play with her babies. I beg her to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP JUMPING ON ME AND GO FINISH THE HELLO KITTY COLORING BOOK. I feel like most of the time my mothering style is of the, "hey, don't you have some TV to watch somewhere?" variety. And since I don't have set office hours, my workday can spill over into the evening, or the weekend, or --

On the days when I Absolutely Am Not Opening That Work E-mail Window, I want to make it count. I want to cram in as much quality mother-daughter-family time as I can. I want our time together to be enriching and entertaining and memory-making.

So when things like weather or unexpected crowds or illness or unplanned naps get in the way of whatever I had planned for those special, non-working times, I get a wee bit cranky. Saturday I wanted to take K to the beach and to visit her great-grandma, but she was coughing like a TB patient and I didn't think lake water or exposure to the elderly was a great idea. Sunday we were going to go to a photography exhibit, but when we got there we couldn't even find a parking spot and had to abort the mission, then en-route to our plan B it started raining, and en-route to our plan C K fell asleep in the car. We did end up making a pit stop at a playground to practice bike-riding later in the day, but it felt like a weak substitute. K didn't seem miserable, but I felt like a failure. I want to have a good, impressive answer at the ready when someone asks us what we did over the weekend. This weekend? Um. I don't know. I made some baked oatmeal for breakfast one morning. That was okay.

(Not okay for oatmeal to be the highlight. Not. Okay.)

So, mopey and discouraged, we moved on to plan D. The work-on-Sunday so I can slack off on Monday plan. I hunched over my laptop while Bob took K out for ice cream. I read a work manuscript that left me in tears (mostly in a good way) and kept me so busy that microwaving some hot dogs was about all I could do for Sunday dinner. I even skipped my Sunday night True Blood viewing!

Because Monday? Monday we were going to make up for it. Monday we were going to cram a whole weekend's worth of quality time into a short mother-daughter outing. We were going to go to the zoo, dang it.

(More to come in Working Mom Syndrome Part II, or WHERE ARE THE BEARS?)

Friday, August 5, 2011

And So We Go On.

It's Thursday.

Or it was Thursday, anyway, a few hours ago when all of this was going down.

I work really hard to make Thursday my Friday. In a perfect world, Friday would be devoted to things like lounging in the backyard with a vodka lemonade  cleaning the house (because good Lord, it takes a beating during the week when both Bob and I are working and K is being -- well, when she's being a 2 year old) and taking care of odds & ends that have already been put off too long. On Thursdays I work until dinnertime, then make/do/go out to/etc. dinner, then sink down into the couch with some wine and let Bob put K to bed while I watch me some high-quality television (The Office/Parks & Rec/30 Rock during the fall and winter, and Project Runway now!).

But then, you know, real life creeps in. It's been a busy spring and summer in the Unlikely Origins household. We planned for a wedding. We unplanned (we didn't 'unplan' the marriage itself, but we moved from a 100+ person guestlist to a private courthouse ceremony and back again before finally settling at something in between). We charged a heck of a lot to a credit card for salon services (but hey, I looked decent!). We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning the day of our wedding folding programs and tying ribbons around them. We, eventually, were married. (We're married!!!)

And life goes on. After the wave of cards in the mailbox and unpacking from the honeymoon (with toddler), we went back to work. Clients sent congratulatory e-mails but wanted to get on with things w/r/t their individual projects. I don't get paid vacation time, so -- heck *I* wanted to get on with their projects, too!

Bob returned to his office. Last week I hovered over my computer in one room while K helped out by simultaneously flooding the bathroom. (Other days this week she used a travel sized shampoo as toothpaste, poured plaque revealing gel all over the downstairs, and emptied out a whole tub of salt onto her sweaty toddler self.) Bob tried to mow the post-honeymoon wilderness yard and the riding mower started smoking. He put K to bed and then she woke up with a scary barking cough/cry five minutes before the winner/loser on Project Runway was announced. Hey, real world. How *you* doin'? (Tell me I'm not the only one who secretly still loves Joey. Right? RIGHT?)

Now it's two in the morning and I'm just now finishing up the work-work that I hoped to have done several hours ago.

And that's okay. Not, "I love everything!" okay, because, obviously, I'd rather be doing things other double crossing my T's for the week work-wise at this time on a Friday morning, but okay nonetheless. I'm not thrilled about certain aspects of the day, but yesterday my new driver's license -- with a new last name! -- came in the mail. I'm not happy that K is sick, but instead of the Project Runway interrupting barking cough, she's (thank you God) back to breathing peacefully. And tomorrow will go on, with all of us doing what needs to be done, and then we'll have the weekend. Just like always.

We're returning to life as normal in every sense of the world -- sneezing toddlers, demanding clients, and trying work commutes, and blogging ;-)

Happy Friday, everyone. I hope yours is everything you want it to be, or at least, everything it *should* be ;-)