We've been lucky I guess, another kid at LP's daycare has been waiting for over six months. We're scheduled to go to New York this weekend for Liam's birthday. The doctor we spoke to said that as long as we take it easy, everything should be fine, as kids normally go back to school or daycare the next day. But obviously, we'll see how it goes, how he feels on Saturday morning, and basically play it by ear (what a lame pun, but I couldn't resist).
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Helping daddy build the new pool deck... Which looks amazing by the way, thanks so much M and helpers... I really appreciate having a man who's so handy around the house...
What's the saying again? You can never have too much money? Closet space? Too many friends? Shoes? I go for lilacs.
First fudgesicle ever. Just look at that little poser...
Louis-Philippe and his buddy Mederic. One drum, two sticks, endless fun.
The achievement of M's lifelong dream...
Friday, May 23, 2008
Rebecca Woolf is a beautiful and cool mommy blogger/writer from LA. She recently published a book called “Rockabye: From Wild to Child”, which I read incredibly fast for someone who has such little time to read (i.e., it was good). In it, she tells the story about how she accidentally got pregnant at the tender age of 23 with her boyfriend of 4 months… I would have completely freaked out, and I very much know that if it had happened to me, things would certainly not have turned out as well as they did for her (she’s married, her now 3-year-old son is just adorable, and the experience made her a published author!)
Barely 27, pregnant with her second child, with a full portfolio and many ongoing projects (including a movie script, how very LA), I have to say that she intimidates me a bit. Where was I, what was I doing during all this time? Well, I guess going to university for a staggering 7 years and spending 13 months basically visiting
Inspired by Ms. Woolf's bold move, despite her admitting that she is always self-conscious about her appearance (aren’t we all), and as an informal sequel to my recent post about my two-year pregnancy anniversary, I feel like baring it all too in the preggers department.
This is my first official pregnant picture, at 6 ½ weeks. I have a few other pictures from celebrating my 31st birthday a couple of days before finding out, but let’s say these don’t count. I remember asking M to take this picture because believe it or not, I was already slightly bigger than usual. I could hardly complain about my size now (so I won’t), but I never went back to how it was in this picture, which has become my reference from “before”. Looking at it now, I just wish that at least, I would have appreciated my figure back then (I never did, of course).I never had morning sickness, just a couple of weeks during which I didn’t really feel like eating greasy food and feta cheese basically. I was hungry, hungry, hungry, and pregnancy exacerbated my normally well-controlled hypoglycemia, so I ate a lot. I tried to limit myself to healthy things, but unfortunately my reason didn’t always win. Here's when I really popped, at around 5 months (with my dad and stepmom).
At around 24 weeks, I had gained about 27 pounds, completely shattering my pathetic prior goal of gaining that much during the whole pregnancy. This is when everyone openly started to acknowledge my pregnancy, because at this point no one could be mistaken anymore, I couldn’t just be getting fat. Thinking about it, the time when I looked just rightly pregnant, between “simply looking weird and fat” and “hearing a warning sound when you back up” was extremely short during this pregnancy…
It all went downhill from there, as you can see. You know it’s bad when everyone says: “you still have more than two months to go?...” I was working out three times a week though, until well into my eight month. My mom gained about 70 pounds during each of her three pregnancies (and just seems unrecognizable on pictures), so I suppose I had this in me. I simply hope working out was what prevented me from gaining that much. This is at 7 months, the day of my first baby shower. At least I hadn't completely lost my pride and had my hair and make-up done. The dude in the back is my soon-to-be brother-in-law.
This is at 37 weeks, about ten days before LP was born. Despite being barely mobile, I hadn’t stopped working yet. For me this was the worst part, when you can’t do anything anymore, when you stop fearing childbirth and the thought of it suddenly becomes appealing, because of its deliverance aspect. I've gained a total of between 45 and 50 pounds. Everyone thought I would pop a 10-pounder turkey, and there was even a bet to that effect at my second shower.
This is my very own cliché, just-given-birth picture, with my minutes-old, 7 ½ pounds, full-of-hair baby. I never make fun of these pictures anymore, because now I understand how out-of-this-world, intense, overwhelming, emotional, sweet, and amazing this moment actually is. I remember each minute of my epidural-free labor (which only lasted a total of 8 hours, including about 3 hours of really bad pain, so it went super well, in an all-things-being-relative way), but the instant my son was put onto my belly, from which he had only known the other side, will always remain the clearest of my entire life.
I dropped about 20 pounds in a week, and then the rest came off slowly. I’m still about 7 pounds heavier than before, and while most of my pre-pregnancy clothes still fit, some items (my favorite and newest ones obviously) never did again. I agree with Rebecca that even though it's only a temporary state, those pictures are really painful to watch, and put me in a weird state of mind (How could that be me? I certainly didn't look like that?). I’d love to have my pre-pregnancy figure back, but the truth is it now seems like a very small price to pay for what I’ve gained.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
During our second visit with the ear-nose-throat specialist this morning, he decided to stop kidding around and to go forward with the ear tubes, so LP can finally stop suffering from ear inflammation, repeated infections, hearing loss, etc.
He put us on the emergency waiting list at the Ste-Justine Children's Hospital, I guess that's how bad his ears must be. This shouldn't impact our vacation plans (we're flying to LA on June 23), since he thinks it'll happen soon and the recuperating period after the surgery is 10 days.
It's a day surgery, and we shouldn't be at the hospital more than like four hours. We'll both be there for the surgery, and then M will bring LP back home while I'll drag myself to work. I'm certainly not looking forward to my baby being put to sleep and having his eardrums pierced, but at the same time I can't wait 'till it's over and his ears get better.
We're waiting for the call, which could come at any time and send us to the OR in a moment's notice. I'll keep your posted...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Kanye West was in town last night, and apparently burned down the house. It was really funny this morning to hear the French CBC radio music critic, a forty-something snobbish, restrained, classically trained woman be in complete awe of his talent, style and showmanship. “He brought 15000 youngsters to a modern opera without them even realizing it!,” she delighted.
I was safely at home with my family, but even though I’m now about twice the age of people who attend this type of events, I wish I had been there. I must confess that am a true sucker for quality hip-hop, and I’ve been ever since the astounding, heavenly harmonies of the Fugees first entered into my head back when I was in college. Spoken word truly fascinates me, this incredible ability of blurting out both rhythmically coherent and image-evocative sentences. The idea of the good (not the shitty ones like Fitty) hip-hop artist being a young, modern, urban poet using his art to get out of a difficult social condition is supremely beautiful to me. I know it’s not exactly the case with Kanye, who was raised in upper-middle-class
To me, Kanye’s visually rich, musically layered and complex, chockfull of references universe is just heaven. We also happen to share the same birthday. I couldn’t possibly pick out a favorite song, but I like We don’t care from College Dropout a lot (it’s the perfect song for running on a hot summer day). Try to also watch the hilarious video of a 5-year old girl singing along to all the words: “Drug dealing just to get by, stack your money till it gets sky high… We weren’t supposed to live past 25, the joke’s on you we’re still alive…”
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I realize that ten months is nothing, and that even though we didn’t luck out immediately, we eventually did, which is the most important thing, the thing I should never forget. It didn’t feel this way while we were at it, though. Every month resulted in a negative pregnancy test which felt like a big failure, despite all the temperature taking and the charting and the careful sex timing. I suppose I had asked for it, for having told both our families that we were trying, since both (completely well-meaning) prospective grandmothers eagerly inquired each month, somehow having memorized my cycle… My mom actually called from her vacation in Mexico once, and I thought I would just collapse from the embarrassment and for letting her down once more.
The hardest thing I guess was not knowing if we could ever be parents, if we would ever be blessed with that joy. So after nine months we went to the fertility clinic where we both had our situations assessed. I was seemingly perfectly fertile, and M’s count was slightly on the low side, but according to the doctor not to the point where it should have prevented conception. So we were categorized as having “unexplained sub-fertility,” and I was scheduled to start a round of Clomid, a drug which stimulates ovulation and apparently has a great success rate, the next month. After three rounds, if I still wasn’t pregnant, the artfully drawn plan stated that we would then try perfectly-timed artificial insemination. I was supposed to call when my period started, so we could schedule everything accordingly. I never called, of course. I was pregnant.
We didn’t do anything differently that month... I charted, I used ovulation tests, and we timed baby-making when we thought it was right. I didn’t think about it more, or less, than any other month. In Quebec the third Monday of May is a Statutory Holiday, called “Patriots Day,” and so we had driven south to New Hampshire for the long weekend with a couple of friends, to do antiquing, shopping and hiking on Mount Washington. On Sunday, my temperature had suddenly spiked, indicating ovulation, and I swear I felt slightly feverish and my boobs hurt in a funny way already (I even noted it on my chart). I believe it makes for an interesting anecdote, trekking all the way up to Mount Washington on the very day I got pregnant, ending up all sweaty and completely worn. The way I see it, from the beginning LP was making clear that he was strong and vigorous and there to stay… And the one thing I heard a lot and which turned out to be true, is that as much as you cry each month, the minute it happens you completely forget all about it and wouldn't want it to have happened any other way...
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I take back all my whining about having a bad week.
I just discovered that the Parents Magazine blog ran a story about my recent post on Liam Witt and his neuroblastoma battle. It's called "Helping Moms making Connections" and you can find it here. Wow. I'm speechless. They say they were really proud about their role in our story.
I also got a touching comment from a woman in Connecticut whose daughter had a neuroblastoma scare a little over a year ago, and who said the event was life changing for them. Fortunately, it turns out her daughter had a benign tumor instead. I wish her family the best of luck and wanted to share the link to her website, which sells girly children's clothing with a charitable twist. Whenever customers make an order, she gives them an opportunity to add a toy which will be handed out to a Yale University Hospital organization providing toys to sick children. She said she got involved with the organization as a way to give back for the care her daughter received and as a way to put a smile on the face of children who weren't as lucky.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
On Monday I was feeling so tired and out of it that I decided to take the day off. I have to really be under the weather to do so because no work means no pay and a good chunk of money that doesn't go into the family's (seemingly bottomless) pockets. Since I'm a consultant I actually have a higher salary that I would if I was doing the same job as an employee, partly to make up for such situations, but it's kind of useless if I can rarely work all the hours I'm supposed to in a week due to LP being sick, being stuck in unexpected traffic in the morning but still having to leave kinda early to pick him up, etc. So I rarely (OK, next to never) indulge in days off and therefore I really wanted to relax and do things I can't often do since having a child (like watching an entire TV episode in a single seating, reading magazines, drinking my tea while it's still hot, etc.) But my antibiotic came back with a vengeance. It's the first time I take this specific one, and, well, the last time too. I had all the listed side effects, to the point where I've never felt that bad even while I was pregnant. I ended up spending the day with a killer migraine, terrible nausea, dizziness, acid reflux, metallic mouth, you name it. So much for my me-day.
I had brought my personal laptop to the office because we were supposed to watch a movie in my Spanish class (the company I work for pays for me to take three hours of advanced Spanish on site each week. Isn't it amazing? Definitely the subject of another post) and we couldn't find a company laptop. Turns out I got ridiculed by the other students because we were never able to make it work with the projector (You're welcome), and then the office manager exploded, saying that no one is supposed to plug any personal equipment into the company network. The embarrassment went on as today he even sent an e-mail to everyone reminding them about it.
Back in the day, I watched all the Sex and the City episodes, and I bought all the DVDs. You can quiz me about anything in there, and I'll probably know it. I wasn't an obsessive fan like many others who lived and breathed the series, but I still think it was pretty good television.
Flash forward to now. I just watched the trailer of the new movie, coming out in a few weeks. I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed it, how good it felt to immerse myself in this universe again. It felt like unexpectedly bumping into old, dear friends you hadn't even realized you missed so much. I can't wait to see the movie (I haven't been to a theater in about two years, and I used to go see A LOT of movies), needless to say I'm exactly their target audience. What I'd like to do is take a friend who used to watch it while she nursed during the night, as a "reward" and a way to look up to all this new-mother-interrupted-sleep.
Today La Presse journalist Marie-Claude Lortie talked about the buzz surrounding the movie, since even here in Quebec, where the majority of people don't even speak English, the series had its diehard loyal following (yes, mostly among urban gen X girls and gay guys, I admit). She argued that contrary to what a lot of people think about SATC finally revealing what women say when they talk about men who are not around, she thought those people were mistaken. She rather believed that the series didn't depict a women's universe and perspective, but rather what men imagined about what constituted this universe and perspective. Her main argument is that the the series was mostly written by a (gay) guy, Michael Patrick King. It's sort of true but from what I understood, he was more of the "editor-in-chief" of the series, and I'm not sure he was actually participating in the day-to-day writing. Even if he was, he was hardly the only one putting his ideas on the table, since SATC was actually written by a whole slew of writers, most of them (single) gals.
To prove her point, she said that the character of Samantha is actually a man in a women's body, and that the character of Charlotte is way too stereotyped as the hopeless romantic, which must mean it was written by a guy, right?
I just beg to differ. I thought we were so over categorizing women as men just because they are assertive about their sexuality. I think all of these four women were portrayed very justly, and that the reason the series was so popular was because all these gals were multi-facetted, with complex and contradictory personalities (just like all of us). I know some real-life Samathas and some Charlottes and damn, I was at one point each of these women.
By the way, I know most girls identify with Carrie the most, but frankly I never really understood it. She's actually the one I like the least, and she merely annoys me all the time. I just don't get her. Samantha amuses me (it's HBO television! Of course she's slightly over the top but I think still fairly realistic), and I like Charlotte, especially stylistically (some of her conservativeness I'm not really into). But my favorite one has always been Miranda, whose blend of sensitivity and no-bullshit sarcasm has always seemed to echo my own (not always rosy pink) personality. Just saying.
Monday, May 12, 2008
When LP was 11 months old, during the Christmas break, we one day decided to take him to the hospital. Although he had no clear symptom of illness, something was just off about him. It had started with gastro a week earlier, and although he had no fever, no cries of pain, normally filled diapers and still had moments of cheerfulness where he would babble and play, it seemed like he hadn't fully come back. He was coughing a bit at night, wasn't eating much, was throwing up (but just a little) almost every day, and his energy level was overall decreased. We didn't want to be the parents who cry wolf every time their child sneezes, so we had waited, but at this point we had enough. Normally we would have gone to our usual clinic but it was closed for the Holidays, so instead we drove to the hospital where I gave birth.
We fully expected to be sent back home with reassuring words and maybe a prescription for antibiotics, but much to our surprise they admitted him immediately. He was diagnosed with dehydration, (mild) pneumonia, as well as an eye infection and a nasty ear infection on both sides. Here we were with our tiny son in a big hospital bed, feeling absolutely horrendous about having failed him and letting him suffer because he couldn't tell us what was wrong. We had NOT expected the day to go on like this, and all I could hear in my head was the sublimely sad Patrick Watson song called Falling Man, which goes "I'm getting far from where I woke up today..."
What was already a bad day quickly turned into sheer horror as the hours went by and no one was able to find a vein and successfully implant the needle needed to hydrate him and deliver powerful intravenous antibiotics. Nurse after nurse came over, admittedly having rarely treated young children, visibly shaken by this wailing, howling child who simply could not be held down and fought with all the strength left in him. He was choking, throwing up, looking at us with terrified eyes who simply could not understand. His little hands were bruised from all the unsuccessful prickling, his blood was everywhere on the bed, on him, on me (not in large amounts, don't worry). I only wanted to curl up on the floor with him and bawl, I thought I would faint, and almost did. But as horrible as you feel in this moment, there is an immediate sense that comes to you and commands you to be your child's anchor, to not let him see your fear, to be as reassuring as possible, to hold yourself up straight for him. It was undoubtedly one of the worst moments of my life, which seemed to drag on forever... And it came to me like a revelation, how incredibly difficult it must be for parents of children who have chronic or serious diseases, to have to go through this and worse all the time and still find a way to remain together, to make their children's existence as normal and happy as possible. I kept thinking about them, families going through what no one should ever have to go through, and felt this huge wave of sadness and empathy coming through me.
After more than four hours of trying, and a child who had completely lost his voice, LP was finally hooked up to the IV and I rocked him to sleep, doing my best to comfort him. As it turned out we were unbelievably lucky. His blood work, X-rays and urine culture were all fine, and we went back home the next day. After a few days, LP was back to his usual self, and didn't appear to remember anything. We simply categorized this event as our most difficult parenting experience so far and tried to forget about it.
But I will always remember rocking my baby in this sterile hospital room, with a very austere metal crib and with LP's tiny hand bandaged up and protruding with tubes. The sound the IV machine made, delivering hydration fluids and drugs at precise intervals. It's almost as if I could feel the ugly smell and chilling shadow of disease and death lurking over, so close, ready to take away the most precious thing you have. To take away your life itself, this life, which, you realize it very acutely at this moment -despite the work/family life balance struggles, despite the time which is always lacking, despite the useless fights-, is just perfect.
A couple of weeks later, I received my monthly issue of Parents Magazine, which content is usually pretty light and breezy. But that month, there was a very serious article about a gorgeous three year old boy named Liam Witt, who was going through a very difficult treatment for neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly pediatric cancer of the nervous system. I don't know what got to me that night. My heart has always been aching at suffering children, and even more so since I became a mother, but this time, I felt that if anything happened to him, I would die. I felt like my legs were cut off, like my tongue had suddenly become poisonous, like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't go on reading, I couldn't stop crying. All I could do was think about this beautiful New Jersey family and the terrible unfairness that had been drawn upon them. I was looking at my sleeping son and couldn't believe the luck we had had a few weeks earlier, fully realizing how things could have turned differently, and how awful it was that they did turn differently for other families who have done nothing to deserve this.
A quick googling brought me to the blog his parents maintain to inform people about what's going on with their beautiful "Prince Liam the Brave." Reading through made me feel even more admiration for this amazing family of incredibly strong and proactive people, who not only have been courageously fighting this hard battle for 15 months and never lost hope despite discouraging odds, but who also help found an organization which is raising money for all children with neuroblastoma. This organization largely contributed to raising the $2 million needed to fund research on a new generation of humanized monoclonal antibodies that could potentially save more of these children's lives.
What Liam and his parents had to endure can hardly be expressed by words. Multiple rounds of chemo, surgery, radiation, blood transfusions, antibody treatments that put Liam into excruciating pain, multiple scans and countless other invasive procedures... But the most wonderful thing is that all of this never took his spirit down, and he remained a bright, happy, incredibly brave child who woke up every morning saying "This is going to be a great day!" For me, this is a true hero we can all look up to. For me, his parents, who despite having nearly lost their son themselves do whatever they can to raise awareness and maybe save other children's lives too, and who had to go on with their busy New York lives throughout this ordeal while still providing love, support and time, are also real heroes.
I had never done anything like that in my life, but I just had to do something. Them calling their son a "Prince" made me think about Le Petit Prince, a classic French children's book from Antoine de St-Exupery which always had a special meaning and place in our family. It's even the theme of LP's room, and my mother calls him her "petit prince". So I had two cute Petit Prince backbacks filled with a couple of Petit Prince books shipped from France (one for my son, one for Liam), and I sent it to the Witts along with a check and a letter explaining the "Little Prince" connection and telling them that I have really been touched by their story. It was a true leap of faith, as I had no way of knowing if it would ever reach its destination, but I was thinking about them a lot and I just had to do it, in fact feeling pretty down for not being able to do more.
It was a while before Liam's mother updated the blog, because I'm delighted to say that he is now cancer-free and no longer needs active treatment. Then one morning in a post, she mentioned my "special package" and said that it provided her with an "incredible boost of support". It made my day, my week, even my month. It made me feel so good to know that it might have alleviated their burden just a little, even for a second.
Although I'm not a religious person, I find myself praying to whatever's out there that for the rest of his (long) life, Liam only has positive and fun things happening to him and his family. When he grows up, he wants to go to the "big boy" school (that's why I got him a backpack) and become a doctor and a fireman. I know he will beat the odds and come to be whatever he wants to be, because, like his mother says, anything else simply isn't an option.
I feel that I somehow have been changed by Liam's story, and it made me realize there are only two things that really matter in life: your family and your family's health. Life and health should never be taken for granted; laughter and quality time with our loved ones should always be appreciated to the fullest. I kindly ask anyone who is reading to never, ever forget it.
There's a happy ending to this sad, but hopeful story. Last Friday in my humble mailbox there was an invitation to Liam's fourth birthday, taking place on June 1st in Central Park, no less. Along with it was a heartfelt handwritten thank you note from Liam's mother, Gretchen, which I still cannot read without shedding a few tears. We feel incredibly honored that they thought about including us in their celebration, and even an earthquake could not prevent us from making it there. I still can't believe that we're going to meet them and that I will be able to hug my little hero, to watch him play with my own son. It just makes me think that when used by well-meaning people, the Internet really is a fantastic tool.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
All-you-can-eat-buffet-places-who-give-you-a-rose-if-you-bring-your-mom aside, Mother's Day is still a very important day, for me at least. A day to show your mom that you acknowledge she has the hardest-working, most gruelling, can-never-catch-a break job that ever was. That job, which all mothers still hold and would never think about quitting, is tied together by love alone, despite its frequent ungratefulness and absence of reward. Mothers everywhere, I honor you. I am now so proud to be part of your group of almighty women, who find ways to make it work everyday of their lifes. I will try to hold up to you and do you justice.
This year, for my second Mother's Day, everything was topsy-turvy. My mom gave me flowers, when I should be the one showering her with blooms all the time. She wanted to thank me for letting her know the joy of being a grandmother. I am moderately successful at holding back my tears right now.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
LP is walking like an old pro, and even running, even though he has yet to fully master the latter task. Looking at him, we find it really hard to believe that he's only been doing this for about three weeks, and at the same time I find it difficult to remember how it was before, when he wasn't actually this vertical.
In the last few days, he's also come up with several new words, including auto (car), camion (truck), bateau (boat), banane (banana), patate (potato) and the hardest one, crayon (pen). He's also saying "choo-choo" (he's really into Thomas the Little Tank Engine right now) and expressions like "Ah non!" (oh no...), "à tantôt" (see you later) and "regarde là!" (look over there!) Car rides mean an endless chatter about cars and trucks, with him saying "bye-bye" to basically any moving vehicle. He's still saying "allo" and "bye-bye" to everyone (including puzzled strangers), but he now also includes inanimate objects, completely overzealous politeness if you ask me.
Lately he has been into: watermelon (he absolutely insists on buying it when at the store and today I found half-eaten wedges in a drawer and in a plastic sand bucket), drawing with his markers (we are absolutely fascinated to watch him take the lid off, hold the marker in the right position and actually draw marks on the paper, since it seems to us that only yesterday he was still unable to control his movements!), and trains. He now feeds himself with a spoon pretty decently, a milestone he appeared to have mastered overnight without anyone really teaching him.
He doesn't say "oui" (yes) yet, but he recently started to nod instead, in a funnily exaggerated manner. The garden is now full of blooming daffodils and tulips, and every day when we come back he stops and looks at them. I explain what they are and make dummy conversation just to teach him words like I've done pretty much since he was born, for instance "We have beautiful flowers, look at the beautiful flowers. The flowers are beautiful, don't you think?" And I can't help but laugh because he answers now, by nodding very seriously after each "question" I ask. Another thing that fascinates me: how the hell did he come to understand that a certain tone at the end of a sentence means a question, and that questions must elicit a response?...
He spends most of his days outside at the daycare, which obviously means that he's both tired and happy at the end of the day, having a blast with the toy lawn mower and chasing balls around (his obssession over this word is still in full force, by the way). He's a different kid, and I remember how as a child spending a whole day outside playing was the greatest thing ever, with your hair all messed up from the wind, with the slight sting of the sun on your skin. I would go to bed wiped out and delighted, with my head full of light and images, and I hope that's how LP feels now. Except that we're much more diligent about sunscreen these days. Apparently, all the kids run away screaming when the daycare girls take out the bottle and apply it on them before they go out. Well, all the kids except one, can you guess who it is? LP runs to the sunscreen bottle, and won't stop whining until he has all been lotioned up. The girls asked me whether I spend my time putting lotion on him or something, for him to be this enthusiastic. I do cream him up after his bath when I feel that his skin is a little dry, especially in winter, but I assumed all parents did the same, and it's not like we have a super important ritual about it or anything... I guess that's just one of his many lovable quirks!
Monday, May 5, 2008
According to this article on working mothers, here, 86% of Canadian women return to work within a year of having a child, and 93% within two years. I find these statistics pretty impressive, but not terribly surprising. I would have to think real hard before finding a stay-at-home mom around me.
I did wish I could have stayed home longer, and anguished a lot over it before coming back to work. But then I realized that even if I had waited say another year (which was both nearly impossible financially and a so-so career move), I would still have probably felt that my time at home with LP was too short anyway. I consider myself very lucky to have spent over nine months with him full time, and although it makes me a little sad to know that it will most probably never happen again, I simply have to snap out of it and get on with today’s reality.
I do realize that ever since I came back to work six months ago, I’ve become a more balanced and probably more interesting person, although a much more tired and somewhat stretched one as well. Although I have never felt utterly happy to leave him in someone else’s care (like some moms in the article confess that they are feeling), I do like showing up for work, pretty much the only place where I am someone else than a mom, and where I can actually use my brain (at least a little). Working provides another level of purpose to my life, and earning money (nearly as much as M does) gives me both a sense of security and of assertiveness in our financial decisions.
But don’t get my wrong. There is no confusion whatsoever in my set of priorities. LP comes ahead of anything else, and everything else revolves around LP (and M). In a sense, I am able to enjoy working and being away from him because I know he’s in such good hands, and because I can see that he’s happy and well-adjusted. If it wasn't the case, I would be ready to reconsider everything.
For me, it’s only a question of balance. I think daycare is actually good for kids, but then they don’t have to attend 50 hours per week. And as much as I love my job, and thank my employers for the flexibility they allow me to have, my own perfect solution would still be to work a few less weekly hours, so I could spend a little more time with my son and struggle a little less with the domestic daily grind. I know the perfect job for me exists somewhere, and I will eventually find it!
Sunday, May 4, 2008
On Friday night in North Carolina, Barack Obama spoke about the inevitable fatigue surrounding his never-ending campaign, and the hardship of always having to keep up. Probably only "exaggerating slightly," according to some news sources, he pointed out that he hasn't slept since October.
"I began this campaign about 15 months ago. It's been a long campaign," he joked. "There are babies who've been born and are now walking and talking, since I announced my campaign!"
I don't really remember when he officialized his candidacy, because hey, 15 months and 2 days ago, I gave birth to LP. Who is now walking (impressively well), and talking (well sort of, pretty well for a kid his age anyway).
And I have a lot of empathy regarding the lack of sleep thing, Mr. Obama. Next time I have a terrible night and go ballistic because I know I still have to be functional the next morning, I'll know I'm not alone!