Monday, March 31, 2008

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho...'s off to work I go tomorrow morning, bright and early. I've been crying and muttering under my breath for a week now. Ok, two, but who's counting?

I love what I do, I love my co-workers and I'm proud of the company that employs me. I just wish things were different for us. I wish I didn't HAVE to go back to work. I wish we could have everything we need AND want on one income. Hell, I wish we could do it without working at all. But like they say on the farm: "Shit in one hand, wish in the other. See which one fills up first." Yeah. See which one they accept as tuition payment at your kid's private school, too.

So, if you see a 39-year-old woman, drivin' and cryin' downtown VERY early tomorrow morning, be nice. That's me.

***Edited to add: this is how much I'm dreading going back to work. I actually go back to work Wednesday. Yet another full day to moan, gripe and weep. Yay!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Well, hell.

This happens to me a lot: I panic at the thought of something, or get mad, irritated, upset, irate, etc...then change my way of thinking, get excited or happy about it and then find out it's not going to happen after all.

I spent a lot of sleepless nights, staring at the ceiling or the baby, thinking, "Good, god. Could I really be a stay at home mom? Me? What about my career?" I talked to friends and family. I googled. I prayed. I worried, worried, worried and LORD did I cry. Then one day, the sun shone and I thought, "Yeah. I could do this. I'd actually LIKE to do this. This is what I want to do. I'll DO IT!" And I walked around with the glow of someone who has made a life-changing decision.

For about a week.

Then, Grinch ran the numbers. He ran them about a dozen different ways and they all come up the same: we can't afford it. We can't afford for me to stay at home, raise two of the most delightful little girls on the planet AND put them into the schools of our choice. We're going to be a tag team again. A sleepless, never-see-each-other, do-most-of-our-communicating-via-email tag team.

Cue the tears. Again. And throw in a pint or two of bitterness and frustration.

I don't get it, really. We're not stupid. We have good jobs. We earn good money. So how do so many people around us do it? How do they do it on one income, send the kids to private schools, drive super nice cars to elegant homes where they watch gigantic flat screen TVs and play Wii? HOW? We have none of those things by choice (TV free family. Hi, there.) and by force (I'd like the elegant home, thank you.)

I'm trying not to be angry. Anger doesn't help anything. I'm sad and scared. We've always said that if the tag team schedule doesn't work, if it threatens our marriage, then we do something else. Hire a sitter, go part time, whatever. It But I guess we're back to where we started: hating the idea before I ever even get a chance to try it on. Time to get excited and put my head back in the right place. Work is waiting for me. My family needs me, too.

Growing up sucks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Freedom of Being 2

I worry a lot about what people think of me. It's the reason it takes me so long to get dressed in the morning. It's why I fret over decisions so much. Sometimes, I throw up my hands and say, "Who really cares if I'm wearing white socks and a fleece jacket. Really?! " But most of the time I try too hard not to be the object of any one's negative attention. Which, when you think about it, is pretty fucking ridiculous.

Apparently, we don't have these problems as children. I certainly don't remember worrying so much as a kid. And I was the loudmouth in the red polka dot hat, riding my bike up and down the street on the 4th of July, throwing confetti, screaming, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!" Does it help my case to say that it was the Bicentennial? No? I didn't think so.

It makes me so happy to see the Bug getting on with her life without worrying about what people think of her. She picks out heart-print pants, purple shirts and turquoise socks to wear to school. She laughs like a maniac when she sees her friends. She sings out loud, not stopping to think that someone might hear or she might be off key. And when she runs, she runs with abandon. I pick her up from school and she runs down the hall, giggling and talking loudly the whole way. "I had a great day at school! I am RUNNING! I'm going to drink from the fountain! YAYYYYYY!" Her enthusiasm for life brightens my sleep-deprived eyes, it makes me forget all the things we have to worry about lately.

If you could see her run, you'd smile too. If the Ministry of Silly Walks needs a special Ambassador of Silly Runs, Bug is the person to call. It looks a little something like this:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cake Fixes Things

Text message from Grinch: "On my way home. Stopping by bank, grocery store. Need anything? You ok?"

Text message from me: "Laura's here. She brought cake."

Text from Grinch: "We love Laura."

Later that night, Grinch is in the kitchen.

Grinch: "There are two cake boxes here and only one piece of cake left."

Me: "How about that."

Grinch: "Yeah. And this piece is almost gone."

Me: "Yeah." (wiping cake crumbs off my shirt)

Grinch: "Hmmmm."

Me: "Mmmmmm."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

I'm really, really bad at making decisions. REALLY bad. For the most part, my decisions usually turn out to be good ones, but its taken me forever and a day to reach my conclusion and act on it. Also, the really bad decisions haunt you. Mine sound like my mother, "Well, remember what happened the last time you...."

I'm really struggling with the decision to become a stay-at-home mom or go back to work. Actually, the decision has pretty much been made, it's acting on it that's freaking me out. I've made some moves, placed some calls, but nothing is formal. No, I'm not telling you. Not yet, anyway. Dude, I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant 'till I was six-months along. You think I'm gonna bust out a major life change on the internet just like that. Come oooooonnnnn. You gotta know me better than that.

I will say that my decision making process always involves a lot of talking to and with friends, polling them about similar decisions they've made, asking for advice and guidance. I have to say: this time around, I've received some of the best advice, and been lent the most sympathetic, compassionate ears ever known. If you're one of those people who's listened to me whine, vent and cry over this, Thank You. If I haven't done it already, I hope to be as good a friend to you one day.

In other news, Dos is snugglier than ever. She's sleeping in her bassinet more and more, which means Grinch may actually be able to sleep in our bed again one day. Bug is finally over the creeping crud, or toddler Ebola or whatever it was she had. Grinch is over it, too, though you wouldn't know it from his coughing, moaning, and vitamin C popping. (Love you, honey! Smooches!)

Also, I told two close friends that I have a blog, but they didn't ask for the URL and I didn't offer so I still have exactly two readers and why does that surprise me? Duh. This explains why I am not in sales. I'll bet I couldn't sell Girl Scout Cookies.
Wealthy Aunt or Uncle: "I wonder where I can buy some Thin Mints."
Me: "I'm a Girl Scout."
Wealthy Aunt or Uncle: "Oh, really?"
Me: "Yes."
Wealthy Aunt or Uncle: "Mmm, hmm."

Finally, I went to the doctor and she says I'm okie dokie. I even broke down crying in front of her over this decision stress. She patted my leg, passed me some tissues and was very sympathetic, but the Post Partum Depression issue never came up. Did I ask about it? Hell, no. Why? Because after working in a pharmacy for a dozen years, I grew wary of people who came in with scrips for ailments they didn't seem to really have. Happy pills was all they wanted. Plus, of all the people I know who take anti-depressants (and strangely, I know a LOT), none of them seem particularly happy to me. So Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil and all the others can claim to make people feel better, but their walking, talking advertisements convince me otherwise. I'm sure it works for some people, but I haven't seen it yet.