work/life balance

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I was there for my daughter’s first step thanks to a horrifying amount of back pain.  But I did not see her walk like a confident toddler (well, take more than three steps without falling down) until a full day and a half after she achieved it.  I missed her first word – “feather”.  To be honest, my day is typically 12-13 hours, 5 days a week. I love this field and I love my job, I have no complaints – my bosses provide us with a Kurig always stocked with coffee, tea, and cocoa, they pay our insurance premiums, and are astoundingly caring.

I have one complaint.  I have one coworker who is not pulling her weight, who has taken six months to learn what is effectively a fairly simple job and still makes multiple mistakes.  And those mistakes get brought to me because people know that I’ll fix it within 5-10 minutes, but she’ll spend 5-10 minutes whining about how it couldn’t be her fault.  For the record, whenever I make a mistake, I treat it the same way: “I’m sorry that happened, I will fix it.”  and then “okay, it’s been fixed, is there anything else you need?”  We’re all human, but this coworker is a particular kind of irk for me.  I think it’s something personal she has against me, as she has rarely said something to me that is not dripping with sarcasm or just downright rude.  Which other coworkers have taken note of.  What it boils down to is the fact that I’m too nice.

But that is beside the point.

I feel like I’m not spending enough time with my child.  Is it a wake up call when the child grows since the last time you’ve seen her?  Would this bother me if my less than stellar co-worker was no longer there?  Yes and no.  If I felt like I had a decent team at work, I would be able to focus on what we are doing, what our role in patient care is without all the negativity.  I’d probably also find something else to complain about.  And she’s going to grow, but at least she still recognizes me and asks for me.. It’s a give and take.  We just have to figure out how much we’re willing to give for the take that is available.

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Aside

We were in the child’s room and she crawled over to my husband when the heater kicked on.  She can say heater, terrible enunciation, but still a distinguishable word, aided by the fact that she points at the heater when she says the word.  My husband said to her “How do you turn off the heater?”  To my horror, she immediately pushed it, not from the hot side, and it shut off.  It’s one of those ones that shuts off when it moves.  He laughed and said “I worked with her for like a month to do that.”  Well, now I know where the word “heater” came from.

My husband has been a stay at home dad for the last six months of my daughter’s eleven months outside of the womb.  If my eight weeks of maternity leave taught me anything, it’s that I am not cut from stay at home cloth.  But my husband is astounding in that role, a point that was sent home for me when I watched in horror as my eleven month old shut off her heater – all I could think was “if I had been here, I probably wouldn’t have let her touch that.”  Which got me thinking.

My daughter has hit many milestones early.  I feel that is mostly in part to my husband being willing to let her figure out things on her own, but being willing to catch her when she falls.  She is fearless, but has learned caution.  She already has a love for the outdoors, where she plays each morning and each afternoon under my husbands watchful eye.  He has dinner ready for me when I get home, the house is always clean, our daughter always happy, healthy, and with no trace of the dirt she had likely tried to taste.

Where I feel a little more restrained with parenting, he feels a little more free.  This is the role he was born to play, without question.  I find myself a bit jealous of that fact, as I feel like I’m still trying to carve out my place in this world.  Then I remember that this is where I thrive and this is the man effectively allowing me to pursue all of my dreams – I am a mother of an astounding human being, a wife with the best partner in the world, and a hard-working gal who has yet to truly find her place, though I feel that I am currently in the field where I want to spend the rest of my life.

mommy wars

I’ve seen this phenomenon a lot through blogs, articles, and especially through Facebook friends I should have probably blocked long ago – this idea that it’s okay for a person to be judgmental but it’s not okay for anyone to say anything that can be even vaguely construed as judgmental to that person.  As a parent, new though I may be to this title, and a tattooed, young-looking, dressed down on the weekends, primary bread winning parent to boot, my experience with this is mostly through what I’ve seen dubbed “mommy wars”.

I’ve been belittled and berated by perfect strangers from things ranging from me being a single teen mom, for drinking while pregnant, for taking my child out in public at too young of an age, and for not covering her up enough.  Had any of these people approached me in a calmer, get to know you, kind of way, they would have discovered that I’m married and in my late twenties, it was draft root beer in that pint glass, I was taking her to the pediatrician, and she runs hot and when she’s covered up, she’s very unhappy.

To a lesser degree, I’m constantly seeing people berating others parenting decisions – from not breast feeding to breast feeding too long, from co-sleeping to not co-sleeping, attachment parenting to slacker parenting.  But the second someone mentions something they have against the judgmental persons parenting style, it’s like all gloves are off. “How dare you judge me?”

When you’re about to judge someone, ask yourself where this is stemmed from in yourself.  Ask yourself if that thing that bothers you actually affects you.  Question whether you’re better or worse for passing judgment.  Then just avoid it… or try to find a positive.  Life is what you make of it.  Don’t let people get you down and don’t let yourself try to pull people down.

An introduction of sorts…

I’m staring at this blank screen wondering how it’s so easy to talk about myself, and yet so difficult to sum myself up in text form where likely no one will ever read it.  I’ve decided to start this blog because I think it might help me with PTSD symptoms – especially on those nights when I’m awake and can’t shut my brain off.

Today is Sunday, March 24, 2013.  In two days, I will turn twenty-eight, an age I have apparently been embracing, since I usually forget I’m twenty-seven and tell people I’m twenty-eight anyway.  In one month and four days, my daughter will turn one.  One month and four days ago, I celebrated my second wedding anniversary to a man I’ve really come to see as my partner, my balance.

I am the working mom to my husband’s stay at home dad.  My job involves a lot of human interaction, which is a first for me and very far outside of my comfort zone.  Despite that, I love my job and have aspirations to become a sonographer in a perinatology office.

Home improvement, including yard improvement, is where I find a lot of my stress relief.  Our house isn’t perfect by most peoples standards, but we have put a lot of work and love into it and it’s definitely ours.

I guess that sums up the formalities…  on to the blogging!