Thursday, July 03, 2008

52 reasons: If I was a tree?..

I never really wanted any of the 52 reasons to be why I can't be a go-to-work-parent when I think it's that maybe I should be SAHM but here's the exception. Maybe some days I should be a stay-at-home Mom because I don't work as hard as I used to? I no longer work 10 extra hours every week. Instead I show up late. I don't spring to answer whiny customers. I get enough of that at home.

It is a charm in the end that I didn't change jobs after my leave because back in place I can still feel a bit like my former high performing self. As one compatriot put it... if I suck today at least I have a bank of credibility there. But I can't say I am really at ease with the 'permission to suck' thing.

I do love my work. I am currently reacquainting myself with my vocation and career; this is not just a job to me. I was utterly devoted to it. I believe it helped, helps, me remain utterly devoted to my family. It taught me the degree to which I could devote myself, my time, my identity to something that no other job had ever given.

But it isn't the same as it was those few years ago.

One thing you don't know is that when I started this blog I wanted to call it "Working Mother: like there's any other kind." Back in November 2005 I was in my exploding job share, 2 months **SURPRISE** pregnant, childcare arrangements falling apart; all the while asking asking... "How am I supposed to do this?" and "This is a mess. So I give up. Let me out. I abdicate." I am at odds with the paradigms of mothers with careers. I definitely have one, and while I was away for those 2 years I feared for the health of it still it did not pull me to hurry. Maybe its because I started working at 14 more than 20 years ago and never stopped that now I feel I can. Sure but also it is that I believe what Katherine Hepburn said about motherhood -- you can't do it all, no half measures she said. Me neither! chimes mo-wo (Don't I always want to be Katherine Hepburn? of course). Supermom is crap.

I apologize for every lateness and those in the know just scoff at me. Still, I want to be the one with a work around then in another moment I'm some post-post-Annie-Hall all Baby Boom and crap... my disregard for basic professional standards and etiquette SUCKS! I pine for the pace of production I used to offer and then I question who they might get to do better, anyway. Oh, I'm vain.

Last week I attended a retirement party for one of my superiors a quite gracious man who has worked for the Board for something in excess of 30 years. I enjoyed that lunch after a good morning, one where I had hit all the bases for a change. I looked around at my friends and thought about the work life of the man being honoured. I wondered if he ever sucked like me. I bet he did, ya know except he's a man -- but that's another post. Generally, I don't worry that I am denying my kids anything by working, they are supportive and at this point they are enjoying their very active lives in daycare and with their grandparents Monday to Friday. I think they don't do math the way we do. They have enjoyed having me home for two years great but this is good too. They don't see less they see different. What is different now is not about hours or minutes but rather about commitment. I am now otherwise occupied and that's really about it from their end. I have commitments at work that I must keep. I am doing my best to keep them and that's the big deal, but that's my big deal. I think it will get better.

Experiencing and expressing the commitment intrinsic with my job is about as hard as I thought it would be. But the example it shows my kids can't be all bad hey?

And if you tire of my 52 ponderences, I was very flattered to see the topics getting chewed over here by one smart chick!

**Further to the Hepburn thing... I'm not quite sure what species of tree I am but they way I vacilate you can bet it's deciduous.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I don't want to be a post-post-Annie Hall either. I just want to be Annie Hall. Traipsing around in those wide legged trousers with the oversized shirts and the ties. Oh, yes. I want to BE Annie Hall. As long as I don't have to have sex with Woody Allen. Blergh. Or rather "La-de-dah."

11:37 p.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

Not tired of it at all - keep it coming.

1:46 p.m.  

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