The first being patience. Specifically, is it an innate quality that you’re born with or is it something that you can learn over time? I’m not a very patient person. I get frustrated pretty easily, particularly when something that I think should come easily to me doesn’t. I read somewhere that first born type A personalities tend to get easily frustrated because things sometimes come easily to them and so they tune out when they encounter things that don’t. It’s totally me. I get frustrated and there is a distinct possibility that I disconnect. My mom has been here the past two weeks helping us out while I recover. When I found myself getting frustrated because I couldn’t get Gabby to stop crying, I would hand Gabby off to her so that I could calm down. I am worried about what will happen now that she’s not here and now that Izzy is going to be at work next week. I’ll be alone with the baby for the vast majority of the day. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it. I worry…
I read this article in today’s NY Times Magazine and I was thrilled, and not so secretly so. Granted, it focuses on the mom that works outside of the home, so I’m not sure how applicable it may be to women that are stay at home moms. I wasn’t so secretly thrilled because I was happy that someone besides Michelle over at the Underwear Drawer wrote about Western women having it all (her blog entry can be found here); granted Michelle is AWESOME and has a pretty big readership, but the Times has a much larger readership and props up exactly what she is saying. Michelle is a doctor and a successful one. She’s also a mom and a really good one at that, at least what I can see from her blog and from what I know about her (from college).
Anyways, I think that Michelle’s point about not being able to have it all is very well taken and true. I know that in my experience, I feel like I’m half assing everything that I do. When I’m at work, I feel guilty about not being with my kids and worry about the impact that having children is having on my career because, inevitably and as a practical matter, the burden falls on me to take care of the kids when they’re sick. I’m the one that gets the calls when there is a fever because I’m closer to them and can pick them up much more quickly than Izzy can. When I’m with the kids, i worry about work. There’s no in between. Also, while our company has a *really* great maternity/paternity policy whereby all the men can take twelve weeks just as the women can for the birth or adoption of a baby/child, it’s not like that everywhere. Izzy only gets one week of paternity leave – that’s right folks, one week paid. Only. It’s awful.
This is how I’m currently getting by (besides caffeine in moderation of course – one cup in the AM upon waking and one in the afternoon to get me through to bedtime):