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this mom goes back to work: weekend update

March 6, 2011
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So here it is. The end of my first weekend since I returned to work. Most of the weekend was spent — as most weekends are — running around with the boys for their activities (a sleepover at school, hockey games and a basketball play-off). Here are some random thoughts about the workweek and this weekend:

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This first thing is extremely important: applying make-up is always an effort. It becomes a challenge of ridiculous proportions before work when one is still asleep.

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A small stone:

Networking

I sneeze in my cubicle,
a web of bless you’s
spreads through the office.

*

On Friday, I bought an iPhone. (The photos above are from today with a Hipstamatic app.) It is my first big girl phone. I have never been able to do the cool things on my phone, and I have to say I was definitely missing out!

I had been fantasizing about ordering the new iPad when it is released this coming Friday, but I did some research and changed my mind. I’m perfectly happy with the one I have. It’s doing a really terrific job of helping me at work, and it’s exactly the right thing for doodling and writing on-the-go. What I really needed was a better phone. So I did the responsible thing and upgraded that instead.

*

My computer at work is a Dell. It works just fine. But as a Mac-girl, I’d forgotten how annoying it is that PCs forbid slashes and ampersands and dashes and colons and other helpful symbols in its file names. *Pout.*

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Last week (my first week) I had two goals: get myself to work and back every day and get the kids where they needed to be, too. We managed, though I am tired. I missed terribly some of the things I used to do for myself. This week, I am going to add a few tiny bits back in.

Early this week, I am planning a quick lunch with Jill (my office is in a busy retail area with lots of restaurants) and on Tuesday and Thursday mornings after I drive the first shift of kids to school (jazz band, 6:30 a.m.), I am going to go to Starbucks and write before work. I’ll already be up and out, and so it makes perfect sense.

I am desperate to add exercise back into my schedule, and I will. But I am trying to add things back in incrementally so that I don’t get overwhelmed.

*

Already, I have realized that it was (is) a good thing that I had some years with the boys in which I wasn’t working. I do think I stayed home too long (for me), but I also have a sense now, as we hustle and bustle from after-school care to dinner to sports and to showers that we are really solid. It’s strange and new for me to feel that way about my relationship to my kids. I have doubted myself every step of the way with them. But now, I know something I didn’t know before. Something about anchoring that I can’t quite articulate yet.

*

Saturday night, I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends to celebrate me going back to work. It was wonderful. I’m blessed to have found really funny people with whom I can be honest and be myself and let loose and laugh. It was wonderful.

And I love how those conversations very often reveal things we hadn’t realized previously. Here was my fairly huge observation: for some reason, staying home for me created an environment in which I was constantly apologizing for myself and feeling inadequate. It got into my cells. It created many bad habits and did a lot of emotional damage without me even realizing it.

The environment in the workplace is the opposite. When I submit a writing assignment at work, I would never say, “I’m sorry it isn’t any good.” When asked about a skill I have, I would never say, “I suck at that.” It will be interesting to see if being on the mental flip-side cleans up some of the yuck I let in.

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12 Comments
  1. March 6, 2011 8:14 pm

    This has been making me so happy, Carolee.

  2. March 6, 2011 11:15 pm

    I see what you’re doing, sneaking a poem in there like that…

    But congratulations are in order, on all counts. ^_^

    • March 7, 2011 7:41 am

      i’m trying to find room for poetry. and it’s way too early for me to panic. πŸ™‚

  3. March 6, 2011 11:45 pm

    Thank you for the snippets of your life, your challenges, your transitions.

    (The sleeping make-up application gets easier. Can’t speak to the other. πŸ™‚ )

    Toasting your week 2 with pre-sleep tea. xoxox

    • March 6, 2011 11:46 pm

      (Meaning I am not a mom — you know that — and I still don’t know how to deal with insecurity. ;-} )

      • March 6, 2011 11:47 pm

        PPS – wise choice on the device purchase. πŸ™‚ Wait to upgrade your iPad until next year. πŸ™‚

  4. March 7, 2011 12:13 am

    This is all very good to hear. God, it almost makes me want to re-join the workforce myself!

    O.K., not really.

    “how annoying it is that PCs forbid slashes and ampersands and dashes and colons and other helpful symbols in its file names” — Yes, but on the other hand, you now have that very handy right-click menu for copying and pasting and such. That oughtta count for something. (I’m sure PCs have other virtues, but I’m blanking.)

    • March 7, 2011 7:42 am

      and dave — don’t you know on a mac, there’s a keyboard shortcut for “right click”? just hold “control” key down when you click the mouse or in my case, the track pad. it’s just as easy. πŸ™‚

  5. March 7, 2011 7:50 am

    How exciting, all of this! Sending bundles of encouragement!

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