Today was my first day at a new job, which you know if you are not blind or not currently suffering from a debilitating disease that prevents you from reading titles. I am working as a mentor/tutor to at-risk youth at a local high school. It is a pretty nice gig all in all--I work while my oldest kids are at school, so I get to use my brain and all of that, but I'm still around a lot to keep Sam in pants and to hear about the daily drama that surrounds my daughter who may or may not emit a loud squeaking sound that only draws tweens with severe personality disorders.
Being a working mom is something that I have always done, save for last year when I stayed home with Sam to get him ready for kindergarten and get us all acclimated back to the east coast after a move from California. I was miserable last year. That does not mean that I think all SAHM's are miserable or should be or anything like that--it is just not for me. To be honest, I was not a good mom when I was a SAHM. I was bored, I was constantly looking for an escape, I was grumpy because I wasn't happy with myself, I was obsessive. Not fun. When I am working, I feel more "together." I am able to accomplish more with less time, and I feel more fulfilled. I manage everything better. Most importantly, I feel better about myself, and I think that bleeds down to the kids.
However, I have a two month old. Being away from her is hard. Really hard. I am an EBF (exclusive breastfeeder for those of you who do not frequent The Bump's message boards--and God love you if you don't), and that just adds a whole new facet to the hardness of the situation. I had to walk in to my new job today (which is at a high school that is literally busting at the seams--there is no room at this school for anything) and ask for a place to pump. That was not cool. Thankfully, the guidance counselor was super awesome and by the end of the day had found me a great spot with a locking door (!) and little to no foot traffic. However, the whole issue of pumping makes me feel awful that I'm not here to do it the old-fashioned way. Alice is not a big fan of the bottle so every time I sat down to pump today I felt this wave of guilt.
But then I got home and my mother in law had picked up the kids and they were so happy and awesome and my mother in law told me that I looked pretty in my work clothes, which strangely made me feel nice. And then I lifted Alice out of her carseat and she just started cooing at me. She sat on my lap and it was just like she was telling me about her day--what she had done, who she had seen. Her eyes were really big and I just felt so thankful at that moment for her and for Gabby and Sam and for the job and for the daily chaos that I so gladly immerse myself into. So yeah, the guilt sucks, but I can deal with it for moments like those. And that's corny and sounds like the cathartic moment in a really bad movie starring Tea Leoni as an overworked mom who finds nirvana in the smile of an infant...sorry about that.
I should go to bed. I'll just be honest and say that the only reason I am typing this is because I wanted to stay up past 10:00. And why? Because I didn't want to seem like an old lady who goes to bed before 10:00. Yes, that's right. I am literally fighting sleep and I feel like absolute crap, but I will not go to sleep. I don't know what the magical thing about 10:00 is. But for some reason that's my line--I absolutely refuse to go to bed before 10 unless I a) have the ful or are b) dead. At least until I can receive some sort of health care benefits from the government. And with my generation's luck, I'll be at least 667 before that happens. Thanks, baby boomers.