Tag Archives: Family

Working Mothers

11 Apr

I’ll never forget the day I left my son at day care when I first went back to work.  I knew I had no choice.  DB wasn’t going to support us in any real way nor was he interested in taking care of our newborn infant on a full-time basis (nor could he be trusted to do so).  It was a very difficult decision and one that I relented over for a very long time afterward – how I would be missing all of his growth and changes that occur so rapidly when they are that young. 

Of course, pain has subsided over the last 4-5 years but I will never forget the agony of leaving my infant and the anger I had at the US government for not supporting working families in a way that would allow a women to spend more time with her infant – even if unpaid – 12 weeks doesn’t seem to be enough time to bond with your baby when they just seem so small and helpless at just 3 months old – weighing at times less than 16 llbs!  What I learned is that many women are back in the office after 6 weeks for financial reasons – I can’t even imagine that!

Our country has so many problems but if we can ever clean up our current problems (like getting people employed, tax reform and saving the middle class from extinction), I would love to see our federal government sponsor some type of legislation that supports Working Mothers returning or not returning to work so soon after the birth of their children.

I saw this clip of iVillage’s Woman of the Week and I thought I should share it.  I think this women is a great role model for her daughter and for the Working Mother’s of Italy.  We are not all able to bring our children to work but she found a way to do it in the public eye raising awareness about the dilemmas of working mothers.

Here’s the link to the video – I can’t figure out how to actually embed the video here:

http://www.ivillage.com/ivillage-woman-week/1-j-392786?ice=iv:dailycandy:promoweek2

The Request for Some Digits

4 Feb
PHONE

Image via Wikipedia

I have a secret stress weapon that lives in my building.  Her name is M.  She is 14 years old and charges $8 an hour to babysit.  She is the  best deal I found in Manhattan.  My son adores her.  She is almost always available when I ask her to babysit.  If it wasn’t for her, I probably would not have been able to develop my relationship with Mid-Western Boy.  She stayed with my son on almost all of our dates in the early part of our relationship and she even watched him last weekend so we can go out on a Friday night. 

I responded to her advertisement  in the laundry room of our building and we have been developing a nice relationship.  I learned recently that her parents are divorced and that her dad lives 4 blocks away.  She understands my need for help.  She is the oldest child and her mom has three girls. 

There is a very friendly neighbor in my building who always offers to help me (although I haven’t asked her to).  She has two sons and one of them is my son’s age.  She and her husband have been incredibly kind and even invited my son to their son’s birthday party.   We went “trick or treating” together on Halloween.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her when my son joins her son at the local elementary school.  I’m sure the boys will get along well.  It will be great as the boys get older and can spend time together.  It will be nice for me to have a friend in the building – if a relationship develops between us.

Earlier this week she asked me if I had babysitter. I said “yes”.  She asked me who? I said she is 14 and lives in the building.  She said I can’t believe “”you” already have a babysitter in the building!  You have to give me her number!”

I paused.  It was as if she asked for my boyfriend’s number.  I don’t want to share it.  I became really quiet.  My friendly neighbor is a psychiatric nurse practioner, she sensed my closing up.  She said “I’ll run my dates that I need her by you first if you give me her number.”

I didn’t respond.  I just don’t want to share this secret weapon with anyone.  She is the only outside help I have.

My friendly neighbor has a lovely full time Nanny that even comes on Saturdays.  Her parents and her husband’s parents live within walking distance of the building and fill in gaps when her Nanny isn’t available.  She has ALOT of help.   She makes her own hours for her business.  She works 4 days a week (my other fantasy),

She asked me how the heck I found a babysitter in the building – “I told her I do my own laundry.”  It was her turn to be quiet.  It proved my point, I need the help and I can’t share this little help that I engage.   I know my friendly neighbor’s Nanny better than I actually know her because we spend time together in the laundry room with the kids.

This is the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  I need to fend for myself.

My Fantasy

2 Feb
The Nanny

Image via Wikipedia

I did it! Today I took time out of my day to sit by myself in solitude in the center of Manhattan and I was able to enjoy a few minutes of quiet time.  As I people watched, I noticed that my mind kept drifting to coveting a certain relationship that I have never experienced and until recently, have had no desire to experience.  However, as my stress levels rise at home and at work I’ve been increasingly thinking about engaging in a certain relationship.

In the short time I have lived with my son on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I have noticed that many working parents have this relationship (and many non-working moms have it too).  I noticed this relationship in my building’s playroom, in my building’s laundry room and during walks in my neighborhood. 

Unfortunately, my fantasy is not about some sexy, hot celebrity – like Bradley Cooper.  Instead, I find that I spend my time fantasizing about a Nanny. 

I never really thought I wanted a Nanny and I have been so proud of myself for figuring out how to do work/life balance without any outside help (beyond my parents).  However, lately I find that I have been frequently fantasizing about engaging in a relationship with a nanny. 

My fantasy is something like this: My relationship with my Nanny (she would be an older, lovely woman, say mid-60s) would be amazing.   She would take care of my son’s every need and demand and I wouldn’t have to do a thing (this is a fantasy, of course).  She would cook dinner for us, she would do my laundry and clean our apartment. I would be able to stay late at work and go to the gym and fit in long runs.  She would run my errands for me and do my grocery shopping.  My son would love her and so will I.  She would become part of our family and she would live close by, perhaps in an apartment in the building.  She would take my son to activities during the week that I can never ever dream of signing him up for because I have to work.  She would take him on playdates.  She would bathe him and actually be able to clean his ears.  He would no longer leave the home with his hair standing on end and jelly all over his face.  His finger nails would never have dirt in them and when I told him not to run off he would actually listen.  He would be so content he would never ever have a tantrum again.  She would even put him to bed for me and he would fall asleep quickly.  My home would always smell of freshly made bread that she would bake for us. . . .

My fantasy was just interrupted by that demand – MOMMMEEE!!!!  Back to reality. . .

Yes, it is an unrealistic fantasy but so is having sex with Bradley Cooper and we all engage in that fantasy or something like it every once inawhile – so I’m allowed this one little guilty pleasure.

Running Away From Home

22 Dec
 

My four

 

year old son told me he was running away from home yesterday because I was always yelling at him.  He told me he was going to go live with his daddy. I decided to call my precocious four year old’s bluff but he didn’t even blink an eye.  I told him if he wanted to go live with his daddy he can leave right now!  I opened up the door to our apartment.  He looked at me like he thought this opportunity was too good to be true.  So he ran to his room, grabbed a car and gave it to me.  He told me that this car was something to remember him by and  ran right out of the apartment, called the elevator and jumped in.  He actually left the floor and went down to the lobby.

I, of course, ran after him using the stairs.  When I got to the lobby I heard him telling the Doorman On Duty that he was running away to live with his Daddy in Brooklyn.  The doorman told him that he couldn’t leave the building without shoes on so he told him he was going to wait in the lobby for his dad.  I asked him to come home and he told me “it was so much fun running away from home!” 

It hurt my feelings that he wanted to go live with his Daddy but in all honesty, all I do is keep disciplining him.  He doesn’t seem to listen anymore.  He told me that he doesn’t want to be naughty but he can’t help it. “His ears are frozen” and when the summer comes they will melt and he will be able to use his listening ears better! 

My son and I have reached an impasse. I am tired of repeating myself to clean up toys, get dressed, take a bath, put on pajamas and go to bed and he is tired of hearing it. 

I think we both need a break from each other.  It’s impossible for me to get a break.  DB doesn’t work but only elects to visit with my son for two saturday overnight visits in a month.  While is it better in the long run for my son to spend more time with me, it does mean that he is ALMOST ALWAYS with me.  I am so feeling like I need a break.  I, too, want to run away from home.

I’ve never regretted my divorce and my life experience.  However, lately, I’ve been stuck somewhere in my feelings thinking I wish I can do it all over again.  I would have such a better life now.  I could still be living in my really cheap apartment and I could have time for myself, time to do things like, blow dry my hair, shop in a store instead of online, get a manicure and pedicure, walk around my apartment naked, read books at the end of the day without being interrupted, go to a real gym instead of doing workouts on DVD, run more and maybe even train for a long distance race again, not be responsible all of the time.  I’ve been fantasizing and fantasizing a lot about these things and I feel guilty about it. 

Is there anything a single mom can do to snap out of this negative place, this fantasy world? How can I  stop the regrets ?  I’m usually so positive but between working hard toward end of the year deadlines, christmas shopping and being a full time, present mom, attemtping to raise a perfectly well adjusted child.

 

Tonight, at least, I too wanted to run away from home too.  I wanted to be bymyself at least one night when I get home from work so I don’t have to be the person to do everything.   Maybe I should just take an adult vacation – maybe that would help ease this tensition in our home.

F-A-M-I-L-Y – “When you are in my heart, you’re in my family”

14 Nov
Family Photos 1999-2002

Image by IvanWalsh.com via Flickr

My son and I love Laurie Berkner.   The Laurie Berkner Band is like a rock band for pre-schoolers.  Her tunes are catchy and fun for parents and children.  She even has cute videos which you can watch on YouTube.  She sings a song called Family.  When I first separated from my husband the song always brought tears to my eyes.  I was sad because Family is the most important thing in life and here I was initiating a divorce when my son was an infant breaking up a new family.  I couldn’t get it out of my head that my son  would never know the meaning of this song.

Yesterday we celebrated my niece’s christening and I realized yesterday that my fears were just nonsense.  I watched as my son had the same life I had with my cousin’s children.  I was raised with my seeing my cousins and my grandparents on a weekly basis.   Although we don’t see my extended family anymore on a weekly basis, we do get together at holiday time and for family events and catch-up with each other.  We remain in each other’s life – not because we have to – because we want to.

It was beautiful for me to see my son run around with my cousin’s children.  They had so much fun together and spent the day playing – just like I did when I was his age with my cousins.   In my life, Family is not just mother, father, sister,  and brother.  It is all the people  that have come and remained in our life to support us as we evolve on this great journey.

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