Monday, August 29, 2011

Stolen Moments

Stolen Moments.  Or, not stolen exactly.  Given?  A gift from the otherwise hideous wench, Irene.  Repayment for taking our power, fermenting our food, and ruining precious ounces of breastmilk.

In a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad twist - Irene also absconded with power at work.  Four frustrating hours spent on the road and far too many frustrating hours wasted on hold with Verizon.  Without getting too far into it, I'll just say that it was stressful, and I know others had it worse.

Still, all of that means that I got a few moments back.  Moments that would normally be spent sitting in traffic, hoping against hope that I can get home faster than those blue-gray eyes can close on the sunset.  I got some of those back, and I spent them picking my sweet boy up from school.  His face lit up when he saw me - it's so, so rarely me - and those chubby little meathooks found their usual place (one hand - shirt.  other hand - ear.) in no time.

It's moments like this that I live for.  Little moments, promised elsewhere but unexpectedly reclaimed and given to the person who deserves them most.  One day I'm sure I'll want my moments to myself.  A pedicure, a margarita, a childless hour at the gym.  But today's not that day - and my suspicion is that tomorrow isn't, either.

Stop reading here if happy posts are your thing.

You didn't stop reading?  Can't say I didn't warn you...

I'm struggling.  I'm struggling a lot, actually.  Mothering a newborn? Doable.  Returning to work and leaving my 11 week old son with strangers?  Done and Done.  But right around the time of Aidan's half birthday, things changed.  Lots of things changed, in fact.

1. Daddy's job changed.  Last year, Tom worked for a Cyber School and was able to stay home with Aidan 3 days per week.  This meant 2 days of daycare, but I could handle that, because that's still FIVE days of parental care every week.  This year, Tom still works for that Cyber School, but his schedule has changed in such a way that he is no longer able to care for Aidan while working.  We knew this might happen, but it's been very difficult anyway.  Finding a new daycare was difficult.  Affording a new daycare was even more difficult.  Can't anything ever be easy?

2. New Daycare.  Aidan started at his first daycare when he was 11 weeks old.  I worked so close by that I could easily visit him every day at lunch, and he was only there twice a week anyway.  It was ideal, except that as he grew, they continued to treat him like an 11 week old.  When it became clear that my curious, inquisitive 5 month old was still being left to entertain himself in the swing all day, we knew things needed to change.  As we wrestled with what to do, #3 happened.  See below.

3. Mommy lost her job.  I have spent most of my career at Fiberlink, so the layoff was a tough pill to swallow.  At first, anyway.  The first day was baffling and scary and overwhelming.  The next day was better.  And the day after that, it sunk in that I could take my time looking for a job.  I could stay home with my little boy.  It's what I've always wanted!  Suck it, daycare!  Nobody loves him like I do!

Aidan and I had a really, really awesome month together.  Then, we all went on a vacation to Disney World.  Life rocks, right?  Right??  Then #4 happened.

4. Mommy gets a new job.  I said I wasn't looking for one yet, and I wasn't.  I was going to stay home with little bug until fall.  Maybe winter.  But I was open to the right opportunity magically appearing and smacking me over the head.  I mean, come on.  That doesn't actually happen, does it?

Yeah it does.  It all immediately felt like a fit.  The job, the company, the work, the people.  It felt good and comfortable.  And now?  6 weeks later?  Still good.  Still comfortable.  Ramping up and learning what makes this place tick and how to tick with it.  Sounds great, right?  Except.  Except, except, except. Here's where it gets tricky.  Because I like this place, I like my job, I like my colleagues, I'm feeling positive about my professional future.  Except...

This place is located on the freaking moon.

 I'm being dramatic of course, because it isn't actually on the moon, it's just in Bala Cynwyd.  But some days, I honestly think it might as well be the moon.

#4 has brought me to my new normal.  Six weeks in, I guess I really do have to embrace it as the new normal.  We are up before 6 so that we can leave the house before 7 so that I can get to work between 8 and 9.  If any of this doesn't happen according to plan, if I'm so much as 15 minutes behind, I will be late for work (which starts at 9).  The traffic I sit in every morning  makes me question my sanity and my life choices.  At least once every morning, I swear that I am never doing this again.  And then I'm at work, and it's busy, and I don't find the time to pump, and I'm not pumping enough for Aidan, so I will have to trade precious sleep for an extra pumping session.  I've added a pumping session at 7:30.  Yes, this means I pump while I drive into work.  Not my finest half hour, to be sure.

At 5:30, it's a mad dash for the car.  No time for errands, and I hope we don't need groceries, because I've got to hurry up.  These 15 miles will take me an hour, at least.  If I am fortunate enough to get home by 6:30, I am rewarded with a sleepy smile from a boy desperate to get into my shirt.  And I get to see Aidan, too.  (ha...).  On those lucky nights, we spend half an hour playing and feeding and maybe enjoying bathtime.  Then it's bedtime for monkey, and mommy's got to get busy.  Dinner to make, dishes to wash, bottles to clean, pump parts to sterilize, milk to freeze, school bags to pack, laundry to do, house to clean, and sleep to fight while pumping.  And suddenly, it's midnight.  Have I seen my husband today?  Did I shower?  How is it midnight??

Things will get better.  I know they will.  We'll find a routine, and hopefully it won't be as grueling as this one.  And until then, I'll keep living for the little moments that are unexpectedly given back.  Like this moment right here.  I used it on this blog post.

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