Some days I'm so overwhelmed by all that I should be doing better that I don't have time to enjoy beautiful little things, like my nine-month-old (!) looking at me and saying "Hey, baby." It's true, "baby" was her first word. "Hey" followed soon after. Then "ball" and "go" and today she started saying "oh boy." She is also crawling like a maniac and pulling herself up on furniture and feeding herself with only 30 percent of dinner falling on the floor. Progress.
Ro cries for us at 1 a.m. on the dot every single night. And she has since she turned four months old (she slept through the night from newborn until four months). As somebody who cherishes morning sleep more than your average night owl, saying I don't mind waking up with her earlier than 7 a.m. is truly saying something. Jon and I actually compete to be there when she opens her eyes, because morning smiles are worth whatever metal is more precious than platinum.
It's tough to work full time and feel like a good mom. GUILT. However, no matter how you slice the money, we would be homeless if one of us didn't work. GUILT. The daycare lady who watches her is amazing, and my mom picks her up at 2 p.m. every day so she has grandparents time before Jon and I come home. That makes me feel a little better, but also makes it easier for me to get stuck at work later.
Jon and I work at the same place now. He gave me a birthday card designed for a coworker. I liked it better than a treacly one designed for a wife.
I usually don't talk about work, but I can't talk about life right now without mentioning that my truly horrible, miserable moments have all revolved around fear and self-doubt surrounding work (not to say there haven't been some rough mommy moments, too; these are just worse). It's a career that does not come easily to me--I've mentioned before that it's like being in a neverending calculus class, and I purposely majored in something for which statistics was the only math requirement. That said, I like the job. I just wish I were doing something my brain was designed for (I had been, until that industry went kaput, and I had a mortgage to pay).
When I was on maternity leave, they hired someone to the team who rocks the job as if she were born to do it. Two weeks after I got back they said we were both up for the same promotion; me having been there for three years and she having been there for three months. I'm not going to lie: That stung a little. Then they said they could only promote one of us. So the pressure is tremendous to step up my game while taking breaks to pump, getting very little sleep and refusing to work 75 hours a week anymore. On top of it all, someone else quit and we're all in over our heads with workload. I do think I would be better suited for a leadership role than what I'm currently doing, but I'm not sure what they're looking for me to do to get there. Besides, it was very clear while I was gone that I am perfectly replaceable. This whole thing has been stressful, but helped me to see that you can love a job, but it won't love you back. A family, however, will love you back in spades. But you do need money to give your family all that they deserve...
***I spend my time worrying about all this crap, and then I come home and watch my kid splash in the bath, try to say "ducky" after I say "ducky" and come crawling up and pull my pant leg as I am doing the dishes. And when I look into her eyes I see that I am necessary and useful. There is a good chance that even though I spent a lot of it paranoid and overwhelmed, I will look back upon this year as the best I've ever had.