Monday, June 30, 2008

and then there's this

So, on Monday the 16th I left everything from my last job on the front porch to be picked up. My lawyer friend advised me not to hand everything over unless I was meeting with them and they handed me a check simultaneously. I thought about it and decided I just wanted the stress over. It's two weeks later and I am still waiting for the check from them - a significant amount, 7 weeks pay, plus a hefty reimbursement from my last few travels for them. I need that. Turns out the stress is actually higher. Last week their lawyer wrote me and said I'd be paid in full today. I just sent a strongly worded e-mail asking where my money might be and asking them to please take into consideration my high risk condition and I certainly hoped I wouldn't have to take the (dum dum dum) "next step." Which is sue their asses. GARRR.

Money is weighing heavily on my mind these days, mostly cause there's another money situation I sort of hinted at before from my husband's last job. To recap the situation briefly - my husband left his start up company at the end of March, having had an affair with his direct report. He was one of the top 4 people in the company, super close friends with one of the other 4, friends with another, and became friends with the 3rd. He worked there about 4 months longer than he should have, to finish out a project.

About a month after he left the job, he got a form letter from the company. He was owed a small sum in paying out his vacation. He also owned many shares of the company, and they were suggesting they pay the vacation plus the shares out at 1/6th of their value. The cover letter referred to "unspecified violations of company policy." About 6 months before, the company fired one of their employees, and bought out the guy's shares. And now they - my husband's friends - were sending my husband the exact same letter.

Two points - my husband left the company of his own volition. AND, the stupid company, to avoid paying corporate tax, had awarded extra shares to the top people at the end of 2007. Awarded AS INCOME - which meant we owed a HEFTY tax bill on those damn shares.
We paid more in tax than they were offering in their form letter.

So, we hired an employment lawyer. She walked through everything. Even if they had found out about the affair, there was nothing that said violate company policy and your shares are no longer worth their value. The other guy had taken the bad deal - he needed the money. We did not (at the time, ha), and this was insulting. The lawyer wanted to write the company a letter, or call them, but my husband wanted to call them himself. He felt going legal on them wasn't the best first approach.

Believe it or not, this situation with his company probably brought he and I closer together than anything else had. Common enemy and all that.

He called and the head guy, his friend, hemmed and hawed. My husband asked what were his violations of company policy? President responded, um, he had only given two week's notice, not a month. (??????) Husband replied that had nothing to do with value of shares. They left the call with the president saying he'd be back in touch with a second offer, he had to go to the Board, etc. That was 2 months ago.

At the time, I was willing to let the shares ride - we could consider them one of our investments. But our situation has changed. And more importantly, I'd still be willing to consider them an investment - if all parties explicitly agreed. We've heard nothing back.

Friday night my husband told me he had to put the car insurance on credit card. And guess what? Our 6 month car insurance payment is almost exactly equal to the value of his unused vacation. After a few weeks of holding my tongue, I couldn't anymore. I told him I had done some really hard things fighting for the money from my last job, and he needed to do the same. My husband said it was different, I had been screwed over and was OWED the money I was fighting for. I said what about his unused vacation? He was legally owed that. And what about CONFIRMING an agreement to let the shares ride? Oh, and what about the expensive retainer we had given the lawyer? If he wasn't going to pursue anything, could we at least get that money back?

I probably should not have brought all this up. But his last job, the affair, everything it's cost us - me - has been eating at me while I've been fretting and worrying over my own money situation. If we hadn't had to pay that tax bill and attorney retainer, my cash reserves would not be depleted. We'd be sitting on enough to last us an extra 2-3 months. That's what burns me more than the value of those shares - the amount we're out because of his stupid company. But, as much as I hate his nagging me, he doesn't need me nagging him. At the same time, he can't screw his family yet again because of that last job.

I just got a reply back from my former job's attorney. Let me look into it, there is no intent to do anything untoward, hang on.

I hate how money is becoming an obsession with me. I'll feel a LOT better when I've got those 7 weeks of pay to stretch out.

eta: lawyer says check is in Fed Ex to be delivered tomorrow. I sure hope so. And then, lucky me, I get to wait another fucking week for a large out of state check to clear. But still - better to have it than not. Though I'd still rather have, you know, my JOB.

Friday, June 27, 2008

interview recap

Survived the interview. Not sure if I thrived, but it was ok. I bought (for $15) a plain black swing jacket a few weeks ago, so wore that that a black stretchy skirt and a regular blouse, so that worked ok.

Had lunch before with my husband and one of his coworkers. Colleague was less effusive than my husband - said they had slowed hiring, but were still interviewing.

Two part interview, a panel of 2 in a small, hot windowless room, then the head of the department. It was really unclear if there was an actual position. The head guy went better than the two, I thought, but both flowed ok, nothing awkward or that didn't fit. I think I could do the job, and I think I would learn a lot to help advance my career. So who knows. I do hope nothing happens too quickly - given my state of mind, any offer in hand is going to be better than any possibilities. And yet I do have some good possibilities, if only they'd come to some level of fruition.

Saturday we are headed out to a water park. Should be fun. Any fun plans for you this weekend?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Today has not been a great day. I'm worried. I wish I could say I was worried about others, and I am, but mostly I'm just worried about me and my problems. I'm worried about money. I handed over all the materials from my last job a week and a half ago. They owe me a significant amount of money, and we need that - badly. I got an e-mail earlier this week saying I'd get a check next Monday. I don't know what I'll do if not. But even so, that money will only last through August.

I'm worried about finding a new job. I'm 19 weeks pregnant. I have some good possibilities, and even an interview tomorrow, but nothing is solid right now. I'm wildly not qualified for the position for which I am interviewing. I'm going to have to sell, sell, sell myself tomorrow, think quickly on my feet, and draw lots of parallels from my past experience to what I could do. And right now, feeling as I do, I'm not exactly at the top of my confidence game.

I'm worried about this pregnancy. I think sometimes I feel movement, but it's not consistent. I'm overweight and only 19 weeks, so that's not really anything, yet. My doctor hasn't called with my 16 week blood work. I've got something going on with one of my hips, clearly a nerve issue, but I don't think sciatica. But it makes sleep hard since I can't lay on either side. And then this week I started with pain in the various glute areas, with some going down my leg. And then today I feel like I've pulled something in my abdomen, almost like a hernia. What the hell. It comes and goes, I don't know if I should go to the doctor, or rest, or what. It doesn't hurt when lifting anything, so not sure what that means. And I need exercise. I gained 20 pounds in the first 16 weeks. And then let's not get started on my OB/GYN practice. Should I stay with the devil I know? I know there's worse, and better, but yet I know exactly what I'm getting (aggravation).

I'm worried about my marriage. With everything else going on, I'm not exactly attentive to my husband, you know. And that's kind of what got us into a mess in the first place. He admitted today he's been nagging me (what are you doing today? Don't forget X. Don't forget to do Y. can you water the plants? Can you do the laundry? Why don't you go to the store since you're home anyway?). It's all reasonable, it's just the nagging.

I'm worried about money. Again. Still. Constantly. We've always used my health insurance, which was quite good in the job before last, and we were cobra-ing. At a high monthly rate. Do we switch to my husband's not quite as good insurance? But if there's a delivery (and repeat c-section) and his insurance has a 10% payment, is it all a wash and we should stick to my pricier insurance, which cost us exactly $0 for my daughter's birth. Oh, and there's no room in our budget to pay for any insurance anyway. The financial mistakes we've made - and suffered this past year. There's another post coming on this.

So I'm just down. And feeling quite out. And I've got to find something that fits for tomorrow, and be up and peppy and confident and smart and together and guess what? I'm none of those things right now.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I got called for an interview! It's on Friday - OMG what am I going to wear?

Backstory - I am a non profit, do-gooder type person. A lot of experience, some high visibility projects, a resume that shows a leadership path. Lots of start up work, launching new projects. As any non profit type person who isn't out directly in the field working on the cause, also a lot of writing and communications type experience - grantwriting, newsletters, talks and presentations, media relations, etc.

My husband is an IT consultant, and works for a medium-size consulting company.

When I first became unemployed, I asked him what about his company. Surely they had some sort of communications/outreach office, could he check into that. I've never done corporate type work, but I figured it could be good experience, they might be more used to hiring pregnant women, his connection might make it click, and let's face it, we need money and for me to have a job, so let's not leave any stone unturned.

So a couple of weeks ago his company had an open job fair and he suggested I go. I've never been to a corporate job fair before, so I made him come with me. (Yes, I am a dork, thank you for asking.) Most of the work is heavy IT engineering stuff, but one division does organizational development/change management consulting. So I talked to them, at their dorky little table at this job fair. Obviously, I have no credentials in organizational development or change management, and the guy pretty much dismissed me out of hand (we have PhDs working in this arena). But he did ask about my writing experience and said they had a fair amount of writing work, and maybe I'd be a fit. After the fair, I got his e-mail address from my husband (who had stayed within eyesight, but out of earshot of the mini-interview), and wrote to the manager to thank him. No response. But this week I got a call from their HR, and today they confirmed an interview. And sent me a position description that is very much organizational development/change management. Yikes. I mean good (you don't do a lot of start up work as I have if you don't like developing organizations). But yikes (no credentials - experience in crazy world of non profits).

My husband is pretty excited. He says we can commute together. I've asked him if he really is excited, and he said, look, if I didn't want you there I could have easily squashed this from inside without you ever knowing. I'm really not sure what to expect. I felt the guy was pretty dismissive at the job fair, but maybe he read through my (too wordy) resume and something clicked. My husband says they don't bring people in for interviews unless there's a definite and real interest.

The manager also picked up that I was pregnant - I had tried to dress to hide, but by the afternoon my jacket wouldn't quite close. I've been in a moderate freak out all week that I won't get a job as a leader at a small or mid size non profit (my current possible options) in my condition, because non profits can't afford to have someone out. But a company - one that bills itself as family friendly - this might actually work.

It would be interesting working at the same place as my husband. Things are ok in the marriage, sort of. There's an episode of Sex and the City when after Carrie and Aidan get back together, Aidan the carpenter breaks up with her, saying her previous cheating was like a flaw in the wood that couldn't be fixed. My husband actually quoted that to me in the fall, said our previous separation (in 2003) was that flaw that we've never quite healed. If that's the case, we're sitting on a seismic crack that could blow at any time. We need something - more counseling? - to help us get past the past. I'm not sure that squashing it and pretending it didn't happen and everything is fine and normal is the best approach for healing.

In any case, an interview is a positive sign. Even if nothing comes of it, interviews are good experience. What am I going to wear?

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Antigone is having a hard time. Please go visit and give her some virtual support.

A few weeks ago I was at the thrift store and picked up The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve.
I'd read it nearly 10 years ago, when it was newly out, and it had a big impact. How well can you really know another person? What secrets can your spouse hide from you? How can you ever know?

I fought like hell to hold onto my marriage. But it wasn't as (perhaps) stupid as it seemed at the time. My husband was regretful, and sorry, and upset. He never lost his, I don't know, his essential humanity. Oh, don't get me wrong, he was a jerk and an asshole and treated me terribly. And I let him, in some ways, walk all over me. But, I was pretty sure he was conflicted, he wasn't sure, he had strayed but not too far. Almost too far, but the guy I loved was still there. So I fought, and he became, somehow, the person he had always been. His bad behavior was so uncharacteristic. I'm not excusing it. I'm trying to put into words why I wasn't ready to give up. And it's not been easy, and it still isn't easy, but it seems, for now, to have worked out ok.

I have a bias. A point of view. I want to believe in relatively happy endings. I wish a happy ending for Antigone. Happy endings can take many forms.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another box?

One of the blogs I read is Not Perfect. Not sure how I found her - though it started with her freaking hilarious blog Bridehood Revisited. She used to be a wedding planner, and has some definite opinions. There's not that much to wind through, so if you view the wedding planning industry with a skeptical eye it's definitely worth going through the archives. (Maybe someday I will update my blogroll. I'll add to the to-do list.)

Anyway, Not Perfect along with someone else is sponsoring a recipe participation thing-y. A challenge. Try a new recipe a week for whatever 8 weeks or so, write about it, etc etc, typical bloggy challengey stuff. Am I in a recipe rut? Let me answer this way - is there any rut I am not in? I've actually been thinking about cooking more - with my unemployment + financial challenges it would be a good thing to try out some new recipes. So I'm thinking about joining.

So, can't take the time to register for say Lost and Found, which would probably help by providing emotional support, but can register for a recipe challenge? This blog so far is about life, death, infidelity, infertility, unemployment, emotional devastation, loss, humiliation, hurtful inlaws....and recipes? What the heck am I about, anyway? There are days I just don't know.

Most of my friends with kids have fairly typical "mommy blogs" (no offense intended, it's what they are). With my family so scattered, and my complete inability to scrapbook/baby book, I've been thinking about starting another blog, with my husband, to cover family stuff, put up kiddie pics, movies, etc. As with this blog, my #1 hurdle is coming up with a good name. I'd keep this blog for me alone - might let you all know about the other, but wouldn't let the other know about this. I'm worried about inadvertently posting using WhichBox over on whatever new blog, but with care I could manage. Recipes might be best over there, or still here?

So tell me, how do you decide what your blog is about and what's outside its scope? Do you try to stay focused on the original intent, or do you stray? Do you have more than one blog for your different boxes?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

endless circles

I'm spinning myself in circles these days, it feels like. I have a friend who we think is depressed - doesn't like being a stay at home mom, small child who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, no car, has to move cities after just settling in here - all the crap that just piles up. But when we talk to her about it, it's all I can't get child into a program because we're moving, our insurance doesn't really cover that, I am too busy for counseling, I don't have childcare for counseling, once we move maybe I can set some things up, but husband's new job means insurance will change, etc, etc etc. I find it really frustrating to interact and support her, when there are piles and piles of reasons why she can't or won't seek outside help.

And now I'm turning into that person. My husband and I still need counseling, but with my no job situation, we'll probably be switching to his insurance, so we should wait til that's all settled. I need a job, but I'm pregnant, so who's going to hire me? I lost my job, but it's too embarrassing to admit, so I can't start networking heavily, I was so excited to get that job.

When I left my old job in January, it all happened over the holidays, so there was no going away thing. They always give someone a present when they leave, and I never got mine, so I (gently!) pestered my friends to rip one of my favorite pics off the wall and just give me that. Well, my program assistant organized a new picture for me and e-mailed me last week to set up a going away HH. So now I have a work HH tomorrow, Thursday, where I have to go see my former colleagues and answer questions about how great my new job is. Or isn't. What do I say? Coincidentally, one of my former colleagues had a birthday yesterday and I went to her birthday dinner, which included a small handful of former colleagues, so I got to test out talking about my work. I said it wasn't working out as I had hoped and I thought we would be parting ways sooner rather than later, and I was back job hunting, but had good prospects. And I survived, though it was hard. Interestingly, my old department has a huge project coming up in August, and one of my former colleagues suggested I offer to help out on a consultant basis. That might actually be possible, and if it was narrowly focused and targeted, it might be ok. So yet another possibility. I need something more than possibilities, though. I really need one of these to work out.

It was nice to see this smaller group of people, so Thursday might be ok - I did work with some good people, though there were others I was happy to leave behind.

But still. Like anyone I want to be perceived as happy and successful and growing. Admitting this past experience didn't go well will be hard. What would you say? How do you break out of circling down into negativity?

Monday, June 16, 2008

back to it

Off my soapbox this week, back to just me posting. Finally had my regular OB/GYN appointment last week. It had been 6 weeks since I last saw a doctor, and I had just reached 17 weeks.
All fine. There were a few seconds of anxiety as she searched for the heartbeat, but finally found it stead at 150. She smiled and said, your placenta must be in the front? I sighed in relief and said yeah - the CVS was a bitch. And she laughed. Normal, normal, normal.

I also gave them a ton of blood. 4-5 vials, I think (I can't watch). That was Thursday,
and I guess I will call them this afternoon if I haven't heard anything. I go to a huge practice, so the odds of them calling me are low. I'm still nervous, of course. I'd really like them to call with clean results (including anemia test). Sono scheduled for July 10th.

Negotiations with my last job got ugly last week. I'm so done with them. I have everything boxed up on the front porch for a courier to pick up, and then I wait for my check. It better not be long.

A bit of cleaning and organizing, applying for work, a drop off trip to Goodwill - what's on tap for you this week?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

self confidence and judgements

Well, that was a long post yesterday. I read someplace the ideal blog post should be no more than 3-400 words, and while I haven't checked, I'm sure I violated that by a country mile.

I wanted to include one more idea, but it was so long I thought I'd leave it for today. I was raised by the most (at least outwardly) self confident woman imaginable. My mom always pounded into me, be confident in your decisions, don't let people push you around, be assertive. She's incredibly practical, my mom, but not the most girl-y of moms. More of a stand on your own two feet than hush, now, let me give you a hug. I turned out more like my mom's sister - more concerned with others feelings and not rocking the boat - though I can stand up for myself when needed.

It's hard to offend me. I didn't feel like I was forced to defend my parenting choices. I do think there is a silent majority of women who enjoy working and yet say out loud they only work cause they have to. Owning that choice might help end what really is a pointless debate. Not working is not an option for the majority.

We live in a society where people feel the need to have their own choices justified - and this is magnified when it comes to parenting. We choose, for example, to live in the city, to have shorter commutes, smaller housing, and more urban life, good and bad. I can't tell you how many of our suburban friends question that choice on a regular basis. They ask, how can you live there? We counter, how can you put up with an hour commute each way? People are different and priorities are different.

There is no one right way to raise a child. There are an endless variety of options, from breastfeeding exclusively for 12 months, to nursing a few weeks, to going straight to the bottle. There's cloth diapers and disposal diapers. There's the feed them solids early camp,
the cry it out camp, the rock them to sleep in your arms camp. And different methods work for different children and different parents. Just cause cry it out worked for you doesn't mean it'll work for me. And that's ok. Whatever choices you make are your choices to make. And no one else's to question. Because whether I rock my child to sleep every night or let them cry it out, it makes no difference to you or your life. None whatsoever. Be confident in what you chose, and don't let what I chose have any impact on you. And vice versa. So because I choose to work nd you don't -well, fine. I don't question your choice, you don't question mine. My choices doesn't HARM you, and your choice doesn't harm me. And, I don't need you to make the same choices I make to validate my choices.

There's been a ton written about the mommy wars. Stay at homes versus work outside the home. I was lucky enough to forms a moms group with a group of woman I met when my daughter was born. None of us work super high powered traveling jobs, working 60 hours a week or more. Some of us work full time, some part time, some a bit here and there, some none at all. And not one of us has ever passed judgment on another's choice. Cause you know what? We're all in it together. There's enough real stuff to worry, fret, and stay awake at night over. We don't need to put any additional pressure on ourselves. Motherhood is hard - and great - enough as it is without meddling in someone else's choices. We've got plenty of our own to make.

That's my final take on it all. It just really doesn't matter. Do what works for you, as long as it does, and when it doesn't, do something else. Be confident in who and what you are and the choices you make. You don't need anyone else's approval - or copying - to validate the choices you make.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Last week my husband I were discussing our plans for the summer, and what to do if a new job didn't come through for me quickly. We have a nanny - an expensive child care option. We can go til August, probably, keeping our nanny, but after that, we'd have to let her go.

I said I thought a lot about staying at home. But our nanny's only job is to take care of our daughter. There are a lot of nannies in our neighborhood, and they all get together daily for walks, playdates, lunches - and just in general have a lot of fun. Working from home, there have been days there have been 6 nannies and 8 kids running around our house. Somedays it's a small group here, other days a larger group there, lunch together after the library's story time, picnics at the park. I call it the Nanny mafia - they are everywhere, and my kids friends are kids with other nannies. She spends 5 hours of every 8 hour day with other kids. (She naps 2 hours, and they spend half an hour at home in the morning and afternoon generally alone). If I stayed home, she'd lose that connection to her friends - we'd make other friends with the stay at home mom crowd. But my job would be so much more than playdates every day. I'd run errands, go grocery shopping, keep the house clean.......

Yes, my husband interrupted me, it would definitely be a downgrade to her existence.

He was kidding in his specific choice of words, but he and I share that sentiment. She would not have as much fun with me at home as she does now.

I feel like I've bitten off more than I can chew by taking on the working versus stay at home debate. I've never been a debater, but a while ago I read someone's blog who said the top lesson in debating is not to engage in a question that forces you to accept your opponent's argument. You'll lose every time.

So I'm not going to answer why have kids if you aren't going to raise them. That accepts that in order to raise your own child you have to be with them all the time. And that's not a true premise. You do not have to be with your kids 24/7 to be raising them. You're still in charge. In fact, despite the rise of professional working women, a recent University of Maryland study found that time spent with children has risen over the past 40 years. Think about it. Women 40 years ago - who stayed home - did not have the same conveniences we have today. So while they were home, they were cooking, cleaning, and doing other things besides spending exclusive time with their kids. Kids were left to own devices more often than today. It's our society today that expects your focus must be on the kids. This report was published in a book last year - Changing Rhythms of American Family Life. It was also heavily reported last year - google Maryland time spent with kids study and find the NY Times story, among others. All good stuff, though annoyingly for old articles the NYT doesn't seem to have the same link to your blog feature, so I can't have the cool links I had planned.

Of course many women don't have a choice when it comes to working. People need two incomes to get by, or single moms need their own incomes.

We could be ok one one income. My salary generally goes to savings, extras, vacations, home repair, a cushion. We don't live extravagantly, but we do live in an expensive urban area, which is where my husband is employable. By cutting back, and not saving much for college or for us, it would certainly be possible. We talked about this when I was on maternity leave. I went through a time when I wasn't sure about going back to work. But the conundrum was that if I didn't work, my husband would have to work harder - more hours - to be more successful. And boy, during those infant days, I needed the break by 5:30 pm. I needed him home to help. So if we both worked, we could both work reasonable hours, ok and stable, if not advancing quickly. If I stayed home, we'd need him to work more, but I'd want him to work less. It just didn't work.

So, one of the hardest periods of my life as a mommy was the week or so leading up to my return to work. I was so stressed out. My daughter and I had a nice routine, and I loved getting her up from her naps and the special smile she had just for me. It broke my heart to think it wouldn't be me - the first thing she saw would no longer be me, but someone else. My sadness lasted exactly until I arrived at my job - and talked to my friends, and went to lunch unencumbered, and gossiped about work, and, yes, actually engaged my brain in something thoughtful and interesting. I never really looked back.

That job, and the one I just lost, offered a fair amount of flexibility. And that's what turned out to be important to me. If my daughter was sick, with only a few exceptions on particular days, I could easily stay home. I had a lot of vacation time, too, so if needed, I could take days off here and there. My husband's job also offers the ability to work flex time, so at levels, we had the ability to have the best of both worlds - flexible, understanding, family friendly jobs that paid fairly well, kept us reasonably satisfied, and left us with some level of balance.

We also jointly decided that we wanted a nanny, not daycare. The bottom line really is everyone has to decide for themselves what works. A nanny is expensive - maybe twice as expensive as daycare for one kid. Given my age, we wanted a second child fairly quickly, and in general a sibling adds $1 an hour to what you pay your nanny, while it doubles daycare costs (roughly, in our area). So with two kids, it's a bit of a wash, though pricey. We were also comfortable with the idea of a nanny. One of my friends said she'd only do a nanny - no way would she put her kid in daycare to catch germs from all the other kids and be forced on a schedule and have 1 caregiver for every 3-5 kids or whatever. Another friend said she'd only consider daycare, no way would she consider just one person, a stranger, alone in her house doing god knows what with her kid every day, plus daycare builds up immunity, etc. From my perspective, daycare wasn't for me - given my flexible job, having to load up kids stuff every day and drop off and pick up at exact times every day of the week seemed rigid. And I wanted the one on one bond with a nanny. After all, I often say, no kid ever suffered from being loved too much. And that's what our nanny is - another person who loves our daughter, and whom our daughter loves.

So now I'm digressing. Penelope Trunk actually answered this question today, in her much more succinct style. On a small number of issues, we have this weird societal expectation that one size fits all. Yet we know that's not the case. Temperaments differ, experiences differ, expectations differ. Some people take to motherhood as a calling. Other people do not. I love being a mom. I love spending time with my daughter. I love having a job, and bringing in family income, and being respected for my work and my efforts. Those aren't mutually exclusive. This is what works for us, now. After a second, maybe. Maybe not. I'd ideally love a decent paying, high level of responsibility, 4 day a week job. Those are few and far between. And while this works now, it might not work in the future. I'd like to work and advance now, and reevaluate once kid(s) are in school. I'd like to be there after school. That's the time that doesn't yet work for me - after we no longer need a nanny, I'd like my child(ren) to be able to come home, chill out, relax, and not be in an aftercare program. To me, my choice, that seems like a lot of time.

My nanny was able to come to work today. I've enjoyed snuggle time with my daughter, time at the Children's Museum, extra cuddle time. And yet, today, when my nanny arrived, I gave a big sigh of relief and escaped to my office to apply for more jobs.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Hazy, hot, humid hell. That's the best way to describe my past week or so. Bleah. The weather is supposed to break today - do you think I'll gt a break, too?

So, let's see where to begin? Last week, no, the end of the week before, I had a series of unpleasant conversations with the lawyer from my former job. Hands trembling for an hour after the confrontational phone call type of calls. Luckily, it turns out I have something they want - I'm the one who registered the domain names with some service, so I have the access to setting up websites and e-mail addresses. I refused to give that info until severance was worked out, and rather than the paltry two weeks they were trying to shove down my throat, I got them to 6 weeks. Victory, but at a high stress price. And meanwhile it's taken forever for them to draft a separation agreement - I jut got it yesterday but am ignoring it. Need to deal with it. My lawyer friend who held me hand through all of this suggests I not hand over the computer access until I have a check in hand. I'm scared to play that game, but given it took ten days for them to send the agreement maybe I should.

In other news, this week our fridge died and so did the garbage disposal. So, um, yeah, I need the money and can't let this drag out forever.

I've applied for a half dozen or so jobs. Heard yesterday from an insider I was a top candidate for one of them. So now that's twice I'm a top candidate, but yet that doesn't mean anything until there's an offer. I heard from a third place that I seemed to be a good fit and they'd be in touch in another week or so - so that's three strong leads. Please dear god one has got to work out.

Because, my nanny has thrown out her back or something and I have been a full time stay at home mom since the end of last week. And I have confirmed what I knew - I do not want to be a full time stay at home mom. I just don't. Parts of it I am enjoying. Many, many parts I am not. Maybe if it weren't so freaking hot, and I had so many freaking bills, it might be more enjoyable, but so far let me tell you, this is not my calling.

And finally, in pregnancy news, my stupid stupid doctor's office screwed up my appointment on the 30th of May, and now my appointment is this Thursday, the 12th. So I will have gone 5 weeks without seeing anyone. I feel ok, so all I can do is hope everything is fine. Realistically, I'm not high risk enough at this point, so I'd probably be doing monthly appointments anyway. The only good part is my appointment is with an actual top doctor, instead of a nurse practitioner. So more news the end of the week.

So, the lack of posts has been because life just continues to be kind of crappy. Need to go dive into my separation agreement.

Let's hope the break in the weather leads to some good breaks in other ways, too.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

me, after

Like a lot of people, I've been reading the fabulous Glow in the Woods. Thanks to those special women for providing a much needed community space for so many. There's a section called 6X6 with some very thoughtful questions. Last week Wabi-Sabi Life posted her answers to 6X6, and one of the questions has stuck with me this past week.

Imagine being able to step back in time and whisper into the ear of your past self the day after your baby died. What would you say?

Indeed. What the hell would I say? This is as good as it gets. In the coming months, you'll become more and more depressed. Your husband will grow sick of you and withdraw any and all emotional support. You'll gain weight, and feel terrible about yourself. You'll be lonely and alone. Your job will only get tougher - your boss, who is stuck himself in a merger fight he'll lose, will lose faith in you completely and only make your life harder. You'll start looking for new work, and it will be a long, hard slog. You'll only lose weight when you discover your husband is having an affair and is leaving you. He'll treat you like crap for a long time. Your father will have triple bypass surgery. Your father's sister will die, the first loss in that generation, an irretrievable source of family info and lore gone. You'll be offered what seems like a fabulous new job, one you can really, finally flourish in. It'll take them forever to work out the details of the job, a sign you should have paid attention to. And every time you actually try to accomplish anything in the job, they'll throw up odd roadblocks that again are signs. Until finally they fire you with no warning. You'll try to get pregnant for months with no luck, and in one terrible afternoon see a fertility specialist who will tell you donor eggs are in your future. And you'll be at the appointment by yourself because your husband is still being a jerk. Your husband will, grudgingly at first, end his affair and come back to his family. But his family of origin will have made their feelings about your marriage and you clear, creating a breach that may never heal. You will, finally, become pregnant naturally, and despite fears and anxieties that would crumple nearly anyone, at 15 weeks things will still seem to be going along fine. All tests will indicate all systems go. But, you'll gain more than 15 pounds (possibly 20 - you'll be unable to get on a scale) in the first trimester, sending your already low self esteem spiraling downward. But at least, maybe, there will be a baby boy in the fall.

What is it I could have told myself 16 months ago that would, could, maybe change some of the truly awful that's happened in the past 16 months? Get tougher, get stronger, get over it - and yourself - faster. Take care of yourself, and take a lot of care of others, particularly your weak husband. Pay attention.

Is that enough? Are those the mistakes I made? Not paying attention? Seriously, not paying attention?! That's the lesson I learn from all this? My dad is famous for little sayings, and his favorite is be aware of your surroundings. I knew that lesson. I've had that lesson drilled into me since birth. I'm aware. I wasn't aware enough, I guess.

It's not all bad, I know. It just feels like a never ending litany of bad. I got out of a job that really was a bad fit, I gained some valuable experience, someday I'll look back and be thankful I wasn't too entangled with this last bunch of idiots for too long. I'm still married, and it's mostly good. My daughter is amazing. My family and friends are mostly amazing. There may even be a baby.

I've grown to hate it when my friends look me over appraisingly and say, oh gosh, what a year (now year and a half) you've had. Yes, a shit year and a half. How do I get out of this, get back on track. When does it end?