I want a sick day

December 2, 2009

I’m ill. Not H1N1 ill, but I am congested, tired, my nose and head feel heavy and all I want to do is lie down.

But that is not to be for this mommy/consultant. Children need to be fed and sent off to school, soccer, swimming. bed and the like. Client deadline demand I keep working, and my part time job demands that I go into the office. I spend most of my day alone in my office anyhow, so it’s not like I’m infecting others. But I really want a sick day.

I want to stay home and do nothing but lie on the couch and watch soap operas (are they still on anymore?). I want someone else to bring me chicken noodle soup and books to read. I want someone to take care of me.

But no, today I’m at the office, after getting the boys ready for school early, dropping them off then busing here. Then after work I have a training session I must attend for a client. If I’m lucky I’ll be home before 9. And tomorrow doesn’t seem like a day I can take off either.

Sometimes being a self-employed mommy stinks.

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A glimpse into suburban mom life

September 30, 2009

Generally,  I work full time. I may be self-employed, and may get to make my own hours, but I tend to put in nearly 40 of them during a work week. Or more.

My kids attend school in a rather affluent neighborhood, and sometimes I feel like one of the only working moms at the school. All the other mommies seem to have time to volunteer for field trips, drive their kids to activities right after school, and personal time, for stuff like manicures and boot camp workouts. I barely even get to the class, since I often drop the kids at before care and always pick them up at aftercare. I know I sound petty and jealous, but well, I guess I am.

Don’t get me wrong — I couldn’t be a stay-at-home mom. I know my own limitations. I love my kids, but if I couldn’t go to work, or at least have the intellectual escape of work, I’d go nuts. I don’t have the stamina or patience to be a stay-at-home mom. Many’s a day I wish I did, but I don’t.

Still, I partly envy the other mommies at my school. They have time, now that our kids are in school, to do stuff by themselves during the school day. They can shop alone, they can workout, and most of all, they have time for other mommies, time to make and nurture friendships. I don’t, and I often feel quite left out when all the other mommies gather and giggle, and I don’t get the jokes.

Anyhow, last week, I mentioned this in passing to a mom from my son’s class, and she was very understanding. In fact, she suggested that perhaps I could join her and a couple other moms for a weekly exercise class. Normally I would have had to say no, but this one actually fit into my schedule. At least it did last week. So I came. And I feel like I entered another world, a world of suburban moms which I had only ever glimpsed or seen on tv before.

This class, a 75 minute boot camp (not as hard as it sounds!), is taught by a mom in her converted garage. It’s a great workout studio space, packed with balls and bars and weights and stuff. And a dozen moms turned up for this class. They were all fit and trim. During the class, we paired up, and every pair chatted away as they did the circuit. I eavesdropped a lot, and heard about soccer, girl guides, school fundraisers, canning, and other mom talk.

It was a fun class, and I enjoyed spending time with the mommies I knew and meeting the ones I didn’t. But it all seemed kind of surreal, like I was allowed temporary entree into another world, a world we working moms don’t get to live in. Yes, I take my kids to soccer and lessons, and I even cook and can food sometimes. But I don’t normally get a lot of time to discuss any of it with other mommies. Because I’m too busy working. And to prove my point, about 45 minutes into the class I took a water break and glanced at my blackberry, only to find an urgent message from a client. So I had to step out of class for five minutes to call the client, call a reporter, and deal with a work matter. Then I reentered the other world and finished the workout.

I think I’ll go back to the class next week, because I like the workout and I enjoyed the chance to step outside myself. Maybe if I do it often enough I might find a way to feel a part of the suburban mom life, instead of just feeling like an interloper.


A night alone

July 24, 2009

Last night hubby and I had the house to ourselves. The boys’ day camp took both of them on an overnight, so from 9:30 Thursday until 3:30 Friday, we were free of children. For a couple without family around to take the kids for us, this was huge!

But of course we had to work, so we didn’t really get to take advantage until late afternoon. But then we did. We went out, we went for a walk, went for drinks, went for dinner, then went to a baseball game. With no kids. And we didn’t have to race home for a sitter.

But the best part, of course, was this morning. We slept in. Okay, we only slept in about 20 minutes later than usual, but I think it’s the first time we’ve been able to do that in years.

I hope the boys had fun on their overnight, because I know we did.


A day away from the kiddies

May 25, 2009

I had yesterday off from being the mommy and got to be just an adult. And I’m trying to decide if I feel guilty about that. I don’t think I do.

I left the house before they woke up and didn’t come home until about 4:30pm. I loved having time to just be an adult, but today I’m sun and wind burnt a bit, so perhaps Karma is trying to tell me I should spend more time being a mommy and less time being an adult.

Do you feel guilty when you have time away from the family? I think my guilt used to be much more acute when the kids were babies. There were things only mommy could do — never mind breastfeeding — I mean stuff like the right kind of cuddles, and feeding them healthy food, and throwing the baseball (I’m nothing if not a renaissance woman!). But my boys spend a lot of time away from me now, when they’re in school or daycare. And when I go to work, I get to be an adult. Although I get to be the kind of adult who doesn’t get to enjoy her own time then, but at least I can eat lunch all by myself.

But yesterday I got to be just a woman, not a mommy at all. I spent the day in a boat on the Delta Slough, umpiring a rowing regatta. I used to row myself (you know, the Silken Laumann kind of rowing). But I stopped a few years back because while I like it a lot, it takes me three hours to go row, and in that I only get a one-hour workout. I just need to be more efficient with my time these days. But I trained to be an umpire when I was pregnant with my first, thinking it was a good way to stay involved with the sport. So now I do a couple races a year, just to keep my umpire license valid.

And yesterday was a glorious day to be a rowing umpire. Sunny, warm, on the water. And as an umpire, I get to yell a lot and all the rowers fear and revere me. Who wouldn’t love that?

And then I got home, and the kids didn’t quite fear or revere me. But they did cuddle with me. And frankly, that I missed in my being-an-adult day, so it was great to get it in the end.

Now I just need to go find some lotion for the sunburn.