Category: Motherhood

Parents: You are On Your Own!

Parents: You are On Your Own!

This is what I do not understand about this country at all. Alleged pro-lifers (you are just pro-birthers really) scream and shout about saving a child’s life! Don’t let harm come to an innocent! But there is no support system in place in this godforsaken country AFTER you give birth to support you as a parent. None. You are on your own 100% of the time, and any support you do find, you will pay through the damn nose for.

Both my ex and I work in Corporate America, and even though the pandemic rages on, most corporations have discontinued any kind of pandemic support. Neither of us has any paid sick time if one of us or our daughter gets sick. Well, guess what happened last week? Our daughter tested positive for Covid. While thankfully she appears to have had a mild case, my ex had to eat the daycare money he had already pre-paid for the week ($300+), while simultaneously trying to work with a kid at home. While his boss was flexible, if you are not a parent, you cannot possibly understand how completely and utterly exhausting this is. Trying to still get shit done with a kid at home is next to impossible. But still, you try because you do not have the time or ability to take off from work. The work will be piling up if you ARE fortunate enough to have the paid time to take off. Add to that trying not to get sick FROM her as a result, and that only adds to the anxiety. I do recognize our privilege here in that we even CAN stay home with our child; many, MANY parents in this country do not even have this option available to them.

Since we live in a city with no family, we have no built-in support structure in place. No grandparents or other relatives to be able to help out with our kid in times like these. His only support system is me and I am his. Today is technically day #8 and she is STILL testing positive on an antigen test. I want to do the right thing, in case she still is contagious, by keeping her home with me today. I would feel horrible intentionally exposing other children at our daycare. Again, I recognize my privilege as a lot of parents cannot even do this, even if they really wanted to. So that means she is home with me today.

Last week, I felt completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of work that was on my plate. Having her home with me does not help that feeling of overwhelm. In fact, my boss wrote back to ask if there was anything she could help with and my snarky reply was: Can you help with the impending mental breakdown? As you can imagine, she hasn’t replied. How do you even reply to that? Even though I was one million percent serious, there is little to no help she can offer me, because I work in a technical field that she does not have any skills. Again, whatever I cannot get done in terms of work will be piling up and waiting for me. It doesn’t go away. The workload, the overwhelm, the worry, the constant struggle to be everything to everyone all the time…it doesn’t go away ever as a parent. This feeling that if you are kicking ass in your career that somehow means you are neglecting your duties as a mother or vice versa. This persistent feeling of failing in at least one major area of your life at all times.

I sit at my work laptop, attempting to tackle the pile of work, and being unable to summon the energy or focus needed to get started right now. In all reality, with my mental health right now, I could stand to take about a month off of work….but I can’t because almost no one in this country can afford to take unpaid leave of any kind, even if they desperately need it. I feel almost panicky, since I know whatever gets put aside today will just be added to the pile for tomorrow. This cycle of feeling buried, with no support or relief in sight, is so very depressing. I fucking hate this country so much at times.

Not Going Back

Not Going Back

Seeing my newsfeed and Tiktok flooded with the leaked decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, I feel like screaming this from the rooftops: “WE ARE NOT GOING BACK!” This applies to that situation as well as many others in my life at the moment. I am not alone when I say I will make DAMN sure the women of this country have bodily autonomy for their own healthcare decisions. Women are not breeding livestock you can legislate to just keep pushing out babies. We are humans and we have rights too. I refuse to be silent when my daughter’s (and daughters everywhere) future is at stake. We are not going back to the time in our country when the only person considered in our laws and our society is a white man. Mediocre white man: your time is up!

I’m overwhelmed with rage about the state of things. This is on top of the ludicrous cries of corporate America everywhere to “return to the office” and we “need to collaborate in person”. Really?!? Working remotely worked just fine during the past two years of the pandemic, but suddenly it no longer works? We all watched as millions of people around the world lost their lives as a result of this pandemic. The world is not the same as it was before. We, collectively and individually, are not the same as we were before. The pandemic enabled me (and countless others!) to see through the capitalistic, hustle, and work-until-you-die grind culture, and I am no longer here for it. I refuse to give my mental or physical health to a company that would cut me in a heartbeat in order to make the numbers look better for their shareholders.

And I have recently left a marriage that drained me of my time, mental energy, money, health, and self-confidence. Studies have shown that women’s health suffers during the marriage, while men thrive. And when divorce does happen? The reverse is true…women THRIVE while men take a hit. Is anyone surprised by that? I am most certainly not. We are the supporters, the cheerleaders, the taskmasters, the organizers, the soothers, the doers, the love, the glue. We hold families together. All I can think now, having time to heal and repair some of the damage from my marriage is, what took you so long to decide to leave? And that is even without being 100% done with the divorce process itself!

I am fucking DONE. I am not going back to the way things were before. I’m not nostalgic for old times. I am here, along with women everywhere, forging a better, more inclusive, more empathetic path forward. Not just for women, but for all people. If you are longing for the past, watch out, because we are about to mow you down. Burn the whole damn system down to the ground.

Perfect Timing

Perfect timing for my daughter to get sick. 2-1/2 weeks into a new job. With no manager or director right now. Sigh. Tuesday night we were up half the night with her because she wasn’t feeling well. Poor peanut, I know this is not her fault but shit. What awful timing!  

Yesterday I stayed home from work with her. I tried to do some work when she napped but also wanted to make sure I took good care of her. I was able to still attend a conference call because the husband came home from work. I felt so incredibly guilty when I was working and not taking care of V, and then felt guilty when I was with her and not attending to my work. It’s incredibly exhausting to feel like an octopus juggling all these balls in the air. And the sad fact?  By trying to spread myself so thin I’m not doing any of these things well. At all. 

Last night she still had almost a 103 fever. I felt so bad for her because I knew she was miserable. Poor baby. Even though she woke up with no fever this morning, I still wanted to keep her home for another day. 

Which meant another morning of trying to juggle. Then rushing off to work for an afternoon filled with meetings and trainings. Sigh. These are days that I wish I could clone myself. 

This Morning’s Drama

My morning started off by me dropping and shattering a coffee mug, coffee splattering all over the floor and my dress. Guess I didn’t really want to wear that outfit today.   Husband left for the gym so I was left to wrangle the toddler to get her ready for school. 

First she didn’t want to leave the house and was scream crying. Then I tried to coax her with tablet. It turned off so she started crying again. We get to school and she didn’t want to give the tablet up. She screams at me. Out of frustration she throws the tablet so I take it and put it away. More screaming and crying. I tell her it’s time to go to school and she tries to slap me and physically fights me when I try to take her out of her car seat. I back off and try telling her again it’s time for school. She’s shaking her head and hollering “Noooooooo!” at me. I try again to get her out of seat and I have to hold on to her carefully as she is flailing and fighting me all the way. We walk into the building and she throws her milk, where it promptly spills all over the floor. 

I take her to classroom for drop off. She wants nothing to do with me. I kiss her goodbye and as I walk out of the room, I feel the tears welling up. I quickly walk out and get in my car and lock the door. 

I lay my head on the steering wheel and sobbed uncontrollably. It’s barely 7:30 and I’m already emotionally and physically exhausted. Now it’s time for me to buck up and head into week 3 of my new job, where I will face an entire day of not knowing what-the-fuck-I’m-doing, adding to the incompetence and ineptitude I already feel. 

I feel so badly about how things went down with my daughter. I feel completely at a loss on how to deal with her when she’s like this. And then I feel like a terrible mother when I lose my patience with her. I vaccilate between trying to understand what she may be going through and thinking “I don’t have time for this fucking shit.”  

Here I sit at the office, working on a server outage I know nothing about, praying I don’t dissolve into tears at work.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.