So, here it is, the Monday of my 4th week back to work full time, with Gopher in daycare full time.
And you know what? It’s going just fine.
Sure, I miss my days of working from home. Mostly the parts when I was baby-snuggling and coffee-getting, though, which meant that I spent a lot of nights working from home to meet my deadlines. And as fantastically snuggly as that Gopher can be, I don’t miss working FT with an infant and no childcare.
The month of February was a great opportunity to live the dream, refine the dream. What was once “I want to work from home” is now the more specific “I want to work for myself.” Which is good to know. And what was once “sooner than later” is now “when the time is right,” which is not now. And what was once “I could totally handle it” is now “I would really, really have to work at time management and give up on perfection.”
And for whatever reason (maybe the refined and less urgent dream), I am much more comfortable where I am and I’m realizing that I really like what I do, that I get to do some really interesting things with interesting people, that I am treated with much kindness, and that I am really, really lucky when it comes to my job and many, many other areas in my life. I mean, I knew that before Gopher, but coming back to work was a nice reminder that everything is FINE. GOOD, even. That there is no need to reinvent everything, all the time.
The mornings, though. If I could just fix ONE thing, please. The fucking mornings. The racing around, the unpreparedness, the madness. The limited baby-snuggling, lack of patience-having. The feeling like I’ve been clawing my way out of a deep, dark pit for hours upon hours before I even hit the office door. That I could do without.
Spring must be hiding and giggling and almost peeing its pants somewhere, waiting to jump out and be all “Bloodeedoo!” because I have been feeling CRAFTY and RESTLESS. I’ve been knitting washcloths like your Granny, I made Birdy 4 little belts to hold her jeans up (bless her heart), and I’ve been threatening for three weeks to leave this damned house with no children strapped or otherwise attached to my body to go to the fabric store and purchase one of about 8 dress patterns I’ve had my eye on. That’s right, I said it. DRESS PATTERN.
Which is funny, right? Miss jeans and solid-colored t-shirt over here? Well, despite my legendary * ahem * simple fashion sense, I spend a weird amount of time thinking about clothing, partially from a nerdy construction angle and partially from an “I’d like to be in over my head on a project” angle. Plus, dresses. I mean, how much easier does it get? One piece of clothing + shoes. Tights if it’s cold. No finding multiple clean pieces. And in my current body shape, no waistband, amen. What may seem like a move toward the fancy is actually a move toward the lazy, and I am totally cool with that.
Bird and I ran into one of her former daycare teachers at the hotdog stand a few weekends ago. She’s a lovely person, mid-twenties, who has recently become a police officer. She spends her working hours patrolling on foot in the projects. Which is, as you might have guessed, is totally hard core.
I realized as we were talking that becoming a cop is one of the most unsettling things I could imagine. In my life now, with my constantly humming little brain thinking up bizarre scenarios in the background of my actual, valuable thoughts, there are plenty of situations (plausible and implausible) that I am able to dismiss with “I would call the police.”
But for Laura, holy shit, she IS the police. Which, for some, might feel empowering. To me, it seems terrifying. To know that this idea of an all-seeing protector is truly just a human, with no superhuman powers and no more magic than anybody else. That since Joe Policeman visited my 4th grade class, I’ve had this imaginary army of officers who totally had my back and really? There’s just ME. I’m IT, and I know just exactly how un-magical I am. And there are a bunch of people out there who think I’m capable of being not only a badass, but a superhero badass.
And really (this is my point), it’s kind of the same thing being a parent, isn’t it? Those moments when you say to yourself, “Holy shit, I AM the mom. And I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.”