Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23: The day the camel's back broke

Today is my birthday.  I am old enough now that birthdays aren't really something I care too much about.  This is not to say that I don't appreciate being remembered, as I surely do; I just don't need to feel like queen for the day.

So, the highlight of my day thus far has been a Fiber One bar that I had as a late morning snack.  Seriously.  It was good.

More importantly, today is the day that I officially became psychologically (if not bureaucratically) divorced from my job.


Because today, I forgot to pick up my child from school.

It makes me sick.  Not because she was left stranded there (Rob, in an Elaine Brenner-like moment, just seemed to know that I was going to blow it and called me ten minutes before the end of school to confirm that I had indeed dropped the ball).   But because my stupid, aggravating, meaningless job somehow trumped my daughter today.  How can that possibly be?

It's ironic in a way:  I have recently been thinking about the working mom's dilemma, how we seem to think (or perhaps have been tricked into believing) that we can have it all.  It's not true, I don't care who says otherwise.  Oh sure, we can do it all -- poorly.  We can work and keep house and cook and clean and sort mail and do laundry and make sure our kids shoes fit (more or less) and go to the teacher conferences and return phone calls and e-mails and buy birthday presents and arrange for a co-worker's baby shower have a toothbrush by the sink for our kid every night.  But we can't do it all 100% of the time, and we can't do any of it really really well.  We can't find time to spend time with our husbands enough, or see our friends enough, or do something we enjoy enough, or sleep enough, or plan enough, or relax enough, or attend work functions enough, or play with our kids enough.

We can't.  Don't let anyone tell you any different.

So today was the last straw.  I am done trying to serve two masters.  I will give face time to one, but it can't have the rest of me; it's not worth it.  I just don't care about my career -- never have, never will.  It's a paycheck.

The bottom line is this:  I can never, ever let something as trivial as a job distract me from my child again.  And I don't think that's unreasonable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


First of all, the Elaine Brenner moment came when you forgot to pick her up. Cause I've done that. So far, only once, but I remain amazed that I've not yet gotten a call from the Oaks saying, "The girls are in aftercare because you're spending time checking Facebook."

That, and at least you were WORKING...providing for your family, likely distracted, hurried and generally overloaded.

Me? When I forgot Lina at preschool?

I was napping.