No joke

So to celebrate the mommy track’s birthday (check it!), I talked with my boss about needing to reduce my hours. Plenty of my co-workers (female, natch) work reduced schedules, and my boss is extremely understanding, but this was still a conversation I was totally dreading. Not because it felt like a failing or because of the salary cut (although that SUCKS), but because if he said no I wasn’t really sure how I was going to maintain my sanity.

I’ve been REALLY lucky during my time in big law firm world. After my son was born I came back full-time, fully expecting to reduce my hours at some point, but I got staffed on a huge case with some good responsibility and a safety net to support me. So I stayed on full-time, got preggers again, and had another lovely maternity leave. Returning to work full-time with two, though, has been a whole different ball game. (Parents of 2+ kids, you hear me!) There just are not enough hours in the day to be the mom I want to be and the laywer I should be to justify my rates (and, um, employment). And on top of the normal day-to-day craziness, we’re moving in 2 weeks (MOVING), every family member we’ve ever heard of is coming to visit, and I’m lucky if my husband and I can have a 10 minute conversation that’s not interrupted by a crazy kid or by me falling asleep.

And once again, I got lucky. My boss said cool. Just like that. He expressed some totally valid concerns (that billing less makes me less valuable on paper, and maybe a better target for layoffs, and that I’ll need to have some flexibility in my schedule to really make it work) but also said he’d support whatever I decided on.

So I guess I’m jumping on the mommy track now. Is that what this means? Who freaking knows. But I do know that I’m super tired of every conversation about motherhood being so loaded. Can moms do anything without being judged? I’ve heard it all (and sadly bought in to some of it before I knew better): that full-time working moms value their career over their kids, that they’re cold and distant, that they think a big paycheck is more important than spending time with their kids; that SAHMs are dull and baby-obsessed, that they wasted time and money going to school, that they’re putting themselves at financial risk, that they don’t set a good example for their kids. And apparently part-time working moms are “mommy tracked,” just kind of pretend-working, bringing home a dinky paycheck, and being semi-involved in their kids’ lives. It’s like there is no path a mom can take that doesn’t involve some judgment by society.

But I guess that’s just how it goes being a parent. A mom and dad scolded me at a park a few weeks ago for letting my daughter crawl around while kids were running near her. Really? It’s bad to let a baby crawl in a park with her mom two feet away? Sigh.

Anyways. I am determined to really give this part-time thing a shot, and to cut out the mommy guilt that plagues me every once in a while, and to enjoy all the SAHMs and working moms and whatever moms in my life with no judgment, and hope that they can do the same with me.

And that is not an April Fool’s joke. Speaking of: I apologize to my son’s preschool teachers for his “OH NO I pooped my pants!” joke. It was all his dad.

Issues of the Week

Holy crap, there is so much going on. I will address each issue John-McLaughlin-style, just because. ISSUE ONE: repeat of Great Pukefest of ’09? I went to pick LL up at her school yesterday, and her teacher – who looked totally shell shocked – met me outside and said, “Hey, watch out, you’re standing in the puke.” Never how you want to start a conversation. So turns out every single other baby in LL’s class was sent home for puking, and LL started in late last night. Looks like it’s our turn to get in on a little stomach virus action. Unlike our Great Pukefest of ’09, I am not breastfeeding this time, and the fact that LL is older this time around makes me much less nervous than last year. But I still have this totally antsy feeling and Evan and I keep looking at each other and saying, “IT’S A’COMIN’.” We’re stocked on Gatorade and Immodium, and luckily, Evan can be home with her today. I will keep you posted on the details. Or, not. ANSWER: a pukefest, yes, but not a great one. ISSUE TWO: is the DC house under contract? So we got a solid offer on our house, and it looks like we’re heading towards a mid-April-ish closing. Which means no double mortgage payment situation for our Great Urban Exodus to the ‘Burbs. (Bear with me, I’m enjoying big titles for totally boring events today.) I’m having a hard time imagining a new family in my house – that’s right, it still my house – but am super excited to move. ANSWER: why yes, it is, thank you for asking. ISSUE THREE: who the hell are Matt & Kim, and why have I never heard of them before? I heard their song Daylight on my way in to work this morning, and almost drove off the road I was so excited. So catchy and sweet, but with an edge. ANSWER: they are a band, and I am not cool enough to know of them, but here is Daylight anyways. Enjoy…

Awww

OK, so turns out this song is kind of oldish (come to think of it, most of the songs I post here are), but it is new to me, and it is so sweet. Added bonus: Josh Radin is kinda hot.

My husband and I are both totally stressed out and slightly freaking about selling our house and moving, but I’m also sure that there’s no one else I’d rather be a total bitchy stress case with. Yes, he is a lucky man.

It is you

So I am BEYOND stressed today, BEYOND!  Just beyond.  I’m totally obsessed with selling our house, or more accurately, with not selling our house.  I woke up in the middle of the night and had to fight the urge to mop the kitchen floors, because what if someone comes in our house and loves it and just has to have it, and then they see dirt all over the kitchen floor and decide they hate the whole thing and then tell everyone it’s a crappy house?  Which it is NOT, mind you, it’s awesome and if you are looking to live somewhere in DC please for the love of God let me know.

Adding to the stress is some office politics, which I used to be REALLY good at, but now it all just freaks me out.  I’m also remembering the days early on at the firm when I used to be so overly eager for new work, and would literally call people I didn’t know and ask them if I could please oh please have an assignment from them.  Now every time I’m offered some new work, I have to do this bizarre calculus in my head and weigh my current work and my husband’s travel schedule and my kids’ upcoming doctor’s appointments and field trips and birthday parties…  Actually, now that I write this out, I think my current calculus is much more simple than it used to be.  Used to be:  how much can I take on to really impress everyone?  Now:  how much can I take on without completely screwing something up?  Sigh.

Anywho, do you know what I listen to when I am stressed?  Of course you do not.   So I will share it with you.  I defy you to listen to this song and not chill a bit.  There are random pictures of naked women and weed in the video, which I tell you not as a warning, but as an incentive to watch.

Mrs. Clean

DID YOU KNOW that I have managed to keep my house virtually spotless for four solid days now?  It is true.  We’re getting ready for an open house Sunday, so we’re doing everything we can to keep the house clean.  My poor kids go to take toys out of the toy basket and I snap, “You’re just going to have to clean those up when you’re done, so DON’T TAKE OUT TOO MUCH STUFF!!!”  And then my daughter heads for the bookshelf with the look in her eye that tells me she’s about to chuck every board book we own over her head just for kicks, and I snatch her up and sit her in the corner to play with, um, her feet.  Because I won’t have to clean that up.  Instead of teaching me that it’s really lovely to live in a clean house — and I mean CLEAN, like mopped floors, shiny countertops, organized everything — it’s taught me that it’s really a huge pain in the ass and not any fun at all.

So if we don’t sell our house quickly and have to live in a cardboard box, rest assured that it will be filthy, and that I will be OK with that.