Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Mama’s Been Busy

February 28, 2012

I know it’s been quiet around these parts, but if I don’t make the cute little hats and clippies and bibs and mustache/lip Valentine’s for Aiden’s class, who will? (To be fair, Dan helped me cut out 20 mustaches and lips to attach to the lollipops.)

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And I know you’re all like “But Beth? You work. Can’t you afford to just buy these things? Shouldn’t you be using the free time to do those dishes that are piling up in the sink or fold that basket of laundry that’s been sitting there overflowing with clean (and now ridiculous wrinkled) clothes for a week? ”

To which I would reply shut your mouth ;)

But what I should be saying is….you might just have a point. I just recently started a new job…a big girl job…a fast-paced job that requires me to be mentally on for like 40 hours a week. It was a hard decision to take such a job in the face of my current home situation where every part of my being wants to be super mom. Cooking, cleaning, crafting, blogging, lovingly attending to my kids’ every whim, the whole nine yards. I’ve already come to terms with (who am I kidding?) It’s a constant struggle to come to terms with the fact that I like to work and be financially independent and am in many ways not cut out to be a SAHM, and at my last job, I dealt with the guilt that came with those feelings by working as little as I could get away with.  And despite my reduced schedule, I still felt generally unhappy. While the position afforded me a lot of flexibility, I didn’t like the work, the commute, the environment.  I came home from work feeling like crap that I was giving up time with my kids for *that*. So I found something new and while it’s freaking crazy so far, I love it. I’m more invested in the work in 1 month than I was in 2 years at my last job albeit slightly less present at home. But only slightly. And it’s quality, not quantity anyways? Right? RIGHT???

Well I think it is and a happy mommy makes for a happy family. And while I want to make my kids everything they wear and play with and cook them gourmet meals despite my aloofness in the kitchen, something tells me that the stress that comes with carving out time to do these things just isn’t worth it right now (which is why you won’t catch me on Pinterest anytime soon (Scary Mommy said it best)…parenthesis within parenthesis…yeah, that just happened).

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll always be trying to regain at least a smidgen of the control over my life that was lost when I had children in my own little ways. And my day will come…all too soon from what I hear.

But tonight when I get home from work, I’ll play with my son and carry my daughter around and watch them eat the meal that daddy has likely prepared and I’ll give them my best until they’re both asleep instead of fretting about all the things that I want to get done around me. And then maybe I’ll do a dish or two. Or maybe I’ll lay in bed and watch TV like a vegetable. Or maybe I’ll actually publish this to the blog or make something cute for someone. Or maybe I’ll work out (HA!). Or maybe I’ll just go to sleep. But what I won’t do is feel like I have to be doing anything in particular or feel guilty for what I didn’t do. I repeat…I will not feel guilty. Any moms out there actually figured this one out? If so, let me know.

Six Flags

July 5, 2011

Admittedly, I wasn’t overly excited to take Aiden to Six Flags for my annual company picnic despite the free tickets.  I’m pregnant and it’s hot and he wasn’t quite two yet so how much could there be for him to do there really?  Turns out kind of a lot.  We had a blast.

We warmed up with a couple of rides.

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We came across this pretty sizable water park.  Had we known about this addition we  would have dressed accordingly and easily could have spent the whole day there.

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We rode the carousel…always a fan favorite.

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We paused for a rare family photo that turned out about right.

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We rode the train last and despite looking like this before we got on,

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he managed to pull himself together and wave nearly the entire 1.5 times we rode around the park.

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We didn’t even make it to the car.

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While You Were Away: Update

March 11, 2010

First and last update to be exact.  Before you left you had asked me to update you with a picture and a story every day.  I started out motivated, but then there was the laundry and work and feeding and packing.  Plus we got to video chat a couple of times which unfortunately allowed this request to fall to the bottom of the priority pile (even though Aiden was scared of the crazy man in the box).  We just didn’t have a lot of time to make and/or document good memories this week (although we did hang out in the “fort” together a lot which is always good for a laugh).  I think this is what makes me the saddest for single mothers.  While this week showed me that I am 100% capable of doing it myself,  I lose A LOT of precious time with Aiden when you’re not there.  I miss him doing cute things because I’m letting the dogs out or moving the laundry to the dryer or preparing 15 million bottles.  And I didn’t even cook a single meal for myself while you were gone (thank god for cereal and that pizza we ordered before you left).  I noticed it this  morning while trying to get out the door that Aiden spent a majority of the time entertaining himself while I ran around getting things together.  I’m sure some would say such is life, but I suddenly felt like I was missing something important…and I’m pretty sure that it was you.

So while I don’t have any new memories to share with you, I’ve been looking for a good excuse to post this one up for a while.  Just a little reminder of what you’ve been missing this past week.  I must warn you that it’s probably going to make you miss him like ten times over.

Tomorrow I leave my baby for an entire week for Italy.  This is causing me a lot more stress than I anticipated, making it hard to be excited or properly prepared for the trip.  The donuts – yes, plural – that I had this morning unfortunately did little to relieve my anxiety. We’re all packed up though so I guess that’s something.  Italy better be worth it.

While You Were Away: Weekend

March 7, 2010

Saturday was the first day you were gone and Aiden adjusted quite well to being the man of the house by yelling at the dogs just as you would have done.

I had left over pizza for lunch, and I shared it with Aiden.  Every time I gave him a piece of it, he looked at me like this.

Mmmm pizza

He made the same face following the hotdog, fries, and baked beans he had at Nama and Paw Paw’s house.  Man our boy can eat!  And since you always get a treat in their house if you clean your plate, he scored a bit of the ice cream and strawberry sundae that Paw Paw made us.  It was gooood.

Sunday morning, we went and had brunch at Einstein’s.  He was excited to show you the paper that my bagel came on/he had a blast with.

Look Dad!

After I took this picture, people sat down at the table right behind him and were uncomfortably close considering all the other places they could have sat.  Aiden made them pay for it about half way through their lunch though by pooping as loudly as he could.  They didn’t acknowledge all of his grunting, but I know they had to hear it.  I just sat there chuckling to myself.

New Work Schedule

February 8, 2010

Remember back when I said I would never work a full work week again?  Well I lied.  I’m back to a 40 hours a week…however, I should mention that THREE out of five days are from home (don’t ask me how I managed to score this arrangement)!  Last week was the first week for my new schedule, and while it will take some getting used to, it was for the most part awesome.  The goals of switching it up were to 1) cut down on some of my horrendous commute into downtown and 2) be a little closer to Aiden during the day.  Well I calculated and this should cut out about 9000 miles/year, and since my mom watches Aiden on Mondays (one of my work from home days) I was able to capture this priceless moment on his seven month birthday which I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.  I’d say mission accomplished!

Aiden in the Box

Btw, it looks like Dan may have to travel to Italy for work in the near future, so we’re going tomorrow to get Aiden a passport.  There’s no way we’re missing out on this!

Back To Work

October 18, 2009

I started back to work this week which means Aiden started at his new school (aka daycare).  I went into this transition very much like I went into parenting – extremely unprepared.  If you had asked me the days leading up to my first day back, I would have admitted to some anxiety at the idea of dropping off Aiden with people that are essentially strangers after three months of not being away from him but for a few hours at a time.  But I also would have said that I feel like it’s important that I go back to work so that I can maintain my sanity.  After all, it’s more about quality than quantity, right?

Well that’s all fine and good, but here are some of the realities from the week:

1. No matter how sure you are that you’re doing the right thing and how many times you tell yourself not to cry, your emotions can still get the best of you.  Even Dan got a little choked up as we were passing him off.  The good news is that they waited until we got teary-eyed to take the family photo.

Family at Daycare

2.  There’s a lot to be said for proximity.  It only took one day to realize that all things created equal I’d be a lot happier if Aiden was in a daycare closer to my work.  Unfortunately I quickly found out that all the daycares around my office in Atlanta have 1-2 year waiting lists.  We’re now on all of them.

3. On a related note, if see a woman tearing down the road like a bat out of hell, it’s probably just best to get out of her way.  She might on her way to pickup her baby.  I can’t get there to pick him up fast enough.

4. Being away from Aiden makes me extremely tense like nothing ever has.  I have to concentrate on staying calm and relaxed, and a slow start to work made this so much worse.  I’m hoping this gets better soon.

5.  Pumping at work is a pain and there are people that are offended by pump parts being visible in the work place.

6.  Aiden is physically strong and crazy stubborn and he made sure his Mrs. Phi Phiteachers knew it this week.  I told Mrs. Phi Phi that we sleep him on his stomach at home and that he will likely not nap on his back.  After experiencing some of his stiffness, she placed him on his back in his crib and she was amazed that he managed to turn from his back to his stomach – generally a 6 month milestone.  Since he’s proved he can turn himself over, she’s now allowed to lay him down on him stomach.  She couldn’t believe his tenacity and thinks he’ll be walking by 8 months….her words not mine.

7.  Less is more.  Working 30 hours a week in 4 days (I get Fridays off) is an awesome schedule and I’ll probably never go back to full time.  Also, since my mom offered to watch Aiden on Mondays, he’ll only go to daycare 3 days a week.  Yay!

8.  This transition is far harder on the mom than it is on the baby.  Aiden has been eating well, is an absolute joy in the afternoon, and is still sleeping like a champ at night.  To me he seems relatively unfazed by the change.  This makes me feel a lot more comfortable with the place and people we chose to keep him.

9.  Having a child puts the importance of work into perspective.  I’m happy to have a job, and I’m glad that I’ll still get to use my brain in this capacity, but it’s just a job.

10.  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  I love my little man and am thankful for every moment we spend together.

Btw, for those interested, I did not go back to teaching which is what I did last year, but to software engineering which is what I did the five years before that.  The list of reasons is long:  less hours, more flexibility, no grading or work of any kind on nights and weekends, less stress, better pay…I could go on and on.  Despite knowing that I made the right decision for me at this time, I’m surprised by how sad I feel about not teaching.  I will miss it.