Thursday, January 15, 2009


One of the most peculiar aspects of returning to work after just two years is the fact that I see people I haven't seen in years at meetings.

And we look at each other. I know them because they haven't changed, for the most part.

Me? I've changed like a dozen times -- all because I'm a mother now. I don't see things the same. I'm in a different crowd. Instead of bars and fancy restaurants, we can be found at Target, Lowe's and the local grocery store on a Saturday evening.

So, it's been interesting watching people's reaction as they realize that first I was gone from the scene for a while and now I'm back.

But it's nice having a voice again. It's nice being heard. Listening. Solving problems more complex -- but twice as easy as -- than helping two preschoolers share a new birthday toy or convincing a 3-year-old not to get out of bed and yell for us five times in one night.

It's still true that there is no harder job than being a mother -- a parent. At least, not in my experience.

That makes working again kind of difficult. It's hard for me to take anything too seriously. It's hard to watch people with minor problems freak out. It's hard to see single people call themselves busy. It's hard to see why the childless can't get stuff done.

Still, my inability to take command of my parenting skillz is nothing compared to the problems we deal with in this state government job. It's really easy by 4:30 to drop everything and rush to pick up my girls, knowing that at the end of the day, that's the highlight, the prize, the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow.

OK, not a pot of gold ... a couple cranky 3-year-olds who make me chase them around the school before I have to pin them down and force them into their winter coats, gloves and hats, and then shove them out teh door to the car, where they cry all the way home and cling to my leg until I get their dinner on the table and then they just shove it away and cry some more and I start to want to pull my hair out and start feeling despair and frustration and vowing to never, ever, ever, ever make another meal again.

It's right about then that I start thinking, "Oh, good, I work tomorrow."

It's not perfect, but it's my life.

And, in other news, I'd like to thank Kisatrtle for honoring me with a One Lovely Blog Award. That just rocks ... it's been a while since I got a blog award.

Thank you for visiting today.

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Jena Strong said...

More complex, twice as easy - I love that. So happy that you are happy, which is exactly what I gleaned from this post.

xo Jena

Anonymous said...

You're funny, and you're right. I recently reported for duty at a corporate event where I was the only person not wearing black. It was, positively funereal. I thought, "Who died?" And then I knew. Everyone but me! Oh well, I had this zoo to come home to.

writermeeg said...

So well put, Shawn! Love how you unwrap the contradictions... :) mpk

LauraC said...

I also find it hard to take work so seriously since having kids. I was in a meeting where people were yelling at each and I said out loud - do you realize you are yelling over software? Software?? It was hard not to see the similarity between twin toddlers fighting because one is "looking at me" and these funny people arguing at work.

(Our nights are always hit or miss too.)

workout mommy said...

great post! I too want to scream when my single/childless friends complain about how busy or tired they are.

They just have NO CLUE!!!

threeundertwo said...

You are so articulate. I miss those days of intelligent conversation, but I know that staying home with the kids is what I've decided to do for now, so I'll pass up on the power lunches and have peanut butter and chaos instead.

You sound like you have such a great perspective. You've found a real balance.

Jozet at Halushki said...

When I was a working actor, the directors and instructors always told us that after and actor has kids - a man or a woman - they absolutely need to get new headshots (audition photos)done. That being a parent changed a person so deeply and in so many ways that it reflected not only in their changed body or a new hairstyle, but that even their eyes changed.

That the windows to the soul reflected all those changes, and that was important.

Now balance? I don't know much about that, lol. I'm still trying to blog and parent...I am amazed at women who work full time and keep it together and have the energy at the end of the day to be a great mom. Which you so evidently and obvisouly are. :-)

Jaina said...

Congrats on the award!

casadekaloi said...

I just found your blog, and I'm happily adding you to my blog list, if that's ok. I think posts such as this will be invaluable to me once our little one arrives.