Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lunch Date

Minh and I went for our first ever lunch date yesterday. It was very very nice - and with another A-mom - and Minh was wonderful. We spent 2 hours talking (me and the other A-mom - Minh also talked, but that was more of a one-sided conversation) and my little ankle biter was AWESOME. He was charming, and funny, and other than flipping my entire lunch on the table (totally my fault - I did leave it where he could grab it), he was just fantastic. I had some hesitation with going to lunch with this person (I'll call her B), since I don't know her very well, and there are some things about our "relationship" that makes it a little difficult to become actual friends with her, BUT she is a fantastic woman - and aside form being another adoptive parent, B is also a working mother (who went back to work 3 weeks after bringing their DD home). It was great to hear from someone who has been through what I am going through - and she reminded me that it's OK to be a smart, dynamic, attractive, and WORKING Mother.

Ok, digression coming ........................

Nearly ALL the Moms I know (who are around my age - My Mother doesn't count!) are SAHMs. Or the preggers ladies in my life WANT to be SAHMs. And as I have said before (and will no doubt say again), I have the ABSOLUTE UTMOST respect for stay-at-home-parents in a BIG BIG way, but it is SOOOO not for me. Seriously. I took yesterday morning and part of the afternoon off to spend with the Minute, and I've had him most of today (Saturday). And it's been great. Fun even (we had coffee with another wonderful lady!)!! BUT, I know there is an end in sight - so to speak. Monday, I get to go back to work. I love my son but I am indeed a better parent BECAUSE I work. I get to stimulate my brain, I get to talk to other adults - with words that make sense - and I LOVE IT. I LOVE MY JOB. I love being a Mom. and I LOVE my job. I get virtually NO support from anyone in my life for this path I have chosen - or the people around me doesn't really understand what I am dealing with. Which is ok, but I do begin to feel isolated. Hence the lunch date with B.

Digression over ..................

Anyway, it was really nice. Minute was great, (did I mention how ADORABLE he was??) and it was really nice to hear that you can be a good Mom AND a woman (in a man's world) working at an academic institution. The most important advice she gave me was this (and I bet this is the kind of advice that working Moms as WELL SAHMs need to hear - Are you ready? Here it is:
MAKE SURE YOU MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Take time to get your nails and hair done if that makes you feel better, or get a gym membership and GO TO THE GYM if that's what you enjoy. Or get your butt back into that yoga class you love... find something that replenishes your soul and allow yourself to be selfish enough to DO IT every week (or whatever).

Advice to live by.

So, what makes y'all happy? What do you do FOR YOURSELF? I want to know.


Jill said...

I have the same issue most other adoptive mom's I know are SAHM and like you it is just not for me. People think how awful that is but I know it's the truth. I love my job and it's flexability to be the parent I want to be.

Mindy said...

I'm a mom too and I am (partially) going nuts while i'm only working one day a week. I'm actually going job applications now so hopefully this will change soon. I love my daughter dearly. But she gets so much out of daycare the 3 days she does go- socialization, different perspectives and change of scenery. I do value the time we spend together for the most part, but I don't feel that I'm fulfilled enough, I worked long and hard at school to work. My goal is part-time. 3-4 days a week away, and the rest with my kid/family.

I have grown-up fun with visiting friends, eating out, and watching shows w/ my husband. Plus we take her out often and visit with friends. It's great to be around friends and our daughter enjoys the different attention.

So many people try to make us feel guilty for our "modern" way of living. But it's who we are, and we're also raising loving, independant and spirited children.

Alyson said...

That is a great picture of you and Minh.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, I COULD not be a sahm...I am a school teacher with two adorable children who I lOVE better than anything.......when Aug rolls around, I am SOOOOOOOOOO ready to go back to work. I admire those that stay home full time with their kids, but its not for me either. I enjoy my job, too and I don' think it makes us bad mothers b/c we work. We work b/c we have too and we work b/c we want to be able to provide for our children. It's not the fifties anymore and its okay for children to have working moms.

Kathryn said...

i might be missing something, but i really don't think people have been unsupportive of you since your return from vietnam BECAUSE you're a working mom. what i think is that people were surprised you went back to work so early. i think the typical leave for working moms is 6 weeks to 3 months, so going back to work as soon as you got home wouldn't really be considered the norm. obviously if that's what you needed to do, you had to do it. i just wanted to offer my perspective on why people may have seemed unsupportive.

i have some very close friends here and in other states who are working moms, some of whom work very demanding full-time jobs, and i have the utmost respect for them. i didn't always want to be a SAHM, believe it or not. in my college years i felt certain i would have a high-powered career (even though i'm not exactly the high-powered career type). i felt a lot of pressure to be successful. and then over time i began to reassess what success meant to me. i think it's different for everyone. i eventually realized motherhood was at the top of my list, and for me being a really good mom meant not having a demanding job. some people can handle both. i'm not one of those people, at least not now. having come to this conclusion i still struggled b/c i felt that it wasn't ok to "just be a mom." i believed i had a duty as a woman to get out in the working world and further the plight of women in a country where we're still fighting for equal pay for equal work. perhaps my time to do that is still coming...something else i later realized is that i don't have to do it all right now. that's my story, and i don't expect it to be everyone else's.

it is difficult for women. i do believe our choices are harder than for men when it comes to kids. and certainly we receive more criticism on both ends of the spectrum. we should all be a little gentler on each other.

glad you had such a nice weekend!

Tod Carley said...

Just a reminder that doing things for yourself is not a selfish act! One can serve others the best when feel ing the best. Re-creation is important for effectiveness.

Anonymous said...

You have to take time for your self, that advice is true. My husband and I enjoy a double date (no kids allowed) with some friends of ours from time to time. We even go away for the weekend sometimes with this same couple just to get away and "act like crazy kids" again.

It's fun and we miss our kids, but we all need the "me" time.

Anonymous said...

you spend a lot of time justifying that you love your job...fine, you do. that you went back to work so soon after bringing your baby home was a bit of a shocker though. sure you need 'me' time, but it just seemed like you couldn't wait to get away from your son. which of course isn't true but that's what it seemed like.