Tuesday, August 9, 2011

step into my office please, we need to talk

It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up “…I spend maybe about 10 to 12 hours a day away from my child” The program was The Baby Project on All Things Considered on NPR.  I was on my way back to the gymnasium to pick up Beach from her 3 hours gymnastics practice.

Where do I start to list all that is wrong with that statement? Don’t worry I have learned many things which would be helpful right now.  The first is if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all (my soccer coach); second is compassion for others (my mom); the third is the only behavior I can control is mine (my big sister). 

So why bring it up if you aren’t going to talk about it?  Because I am going to use that interview regarding child care as my grateful moment for the week, maybe the month, oh hell, give me the whole year…

I am grateful that I never have to throw shoes at a sleeping child, screaming ‘we’re going to be late’ while running around in a skirt & a bra, one high heel shoe,  holding a pop tart in a napkin.

I am grateful that when my child gets sent by the teacher to the nurse because she just threw up during school that I am the teacher & the nurse and my boss won’t fire my ass over stopping what I am doing to care for her.  Bonus no school work to make up.

I am grateful that the money we shell out to someone to love our child passes straight from her dad to me no middle man needed.

I am grateful that as we take on her physical challenges with her vision that I don’t have to ‘go to bat’ for her accommodations in the classroom.

I am grateful that my ‘boss’ cares about my child as much as I do. 

I am grateful that time apart from each other is a nice break and not a necessity.

I am grateful that I don’t have to ask my child what she did today while trying to balance laundry, house cleaning, making dinner, working out, her homework, and the list of shit that needs to get done for the next early work morning.

I am grateful that no one will ever interview me about child care, never ask me ‘what about the back up plan?’  And I will never have to answer yes I have sent a sick kid to childcare and felt bad about it but “I had to go to work.”

I haven’t always been home with this child her dad was the stay at home parent the first year of her life.  She has been in childcare too.  Right before she turned 2 Colby needing to get back to work turned her over to me.  She spent 4 hours a day at ASUU childcare on the U of U campus in 1-hour blocks while I attended lectures. Between classes I would wave to the Director reach over the play yard fence & scoop her up take her off with me to nurse, to study, to play in the museums, and nap in the medical library. Right before she turned 3 I finished my studies and we went home together. 
And a long time ago I was a working mom of 2 Elementary school children so I get it.  I get it all.  And most of all I get how lucky I am to be here with her every day.  If I had to line up with someone from the Baby Project it would be the Swedes.             

My personal truth is I ran into a ‘patient’ of mine who said you must be a real doctor by now. “You know what I’m not, I’ve got a way better gig going on.  The pay and prestige is iffy but the benefit package is out of this world.”

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