Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One year!

Today is a milestone for me on a professional front: I have been at my current job for one year! A year ago today I nervously made the commute from PA to NJ. I had a bad cold and was anticipating a long but exciting day! With my breast pump packed, I made my way inside the building. Our decision for me to work full time was a challenging one and one that hasn't been without a fair amount of angst on my part. I interviewed when I was pregnant. I borrowed a nondescript grey suit from a family friend (I looked like a blob) and did my best. I remember flying home with my belly and saying, "Well little girl, if they offer it to me, I'll take it." And so we negotiated a start date of October, thinking that Seren would arrive in June.

When Seren started to arrive two months early, we realized our plans would change a bit. I needed to birth a child, learn to feed her, pack our apartment, move and then complete my MA. We did it so by the time October actually began, I felt quite accomplished!

People's response to our working/stay at home parent situation is always revealing to me. I have several colleagues who say, "Your husband stays home? Well, that is a win-win situation." I have met other folks who say, "I could never do that! No way! I'd be too jealous of my husband." Truth be told, I'm somewhere in the middle. It is a challenge but a good challenge. I get to do work that is important to me. I enjoy my colleagues. But I also miss being home more. I think this is normal and natural.

So, thinking about a year ago today made me cry a bit this morning. On one hand, I'm proud of our family. We have a non traditional set up that we have made work. Sam is an excellent father who has enjoyed being home with her immensely. The bond between them is amazing to watch! It is hard to visualize our lives being any other way. And I am a good colleague and a good mom. (Despite my constant internal thoughts that speak to the contrary!) On the other hand, I have missed first steps (but caught steps 3-4 later that afternoon) and hate saying goodbye to that sweet face every morning. I live with a lot of guilt.

The truth is that there is no 'perfect' situation. We all choose how we respond to certain situations. And in that response, we learn a great deal about what is really important to us. As my father always says when I worry that I have not done something well. "Did you do your best? That is all you can do."

Sam, Seren and I are doing our best on a daily basis.

Today I celebrate my one year of being a working mom(in the traditional, outside the home sense). However, I also recognize today that while I'm not home during the day, being a parent is a full time position- a position held in our family by two, dedicated, full time employees.

1 comment:

LauraC said...

Congrats on one year!

And the first steps you saw are the first steps to you! But I agree that we all choose how we respond to situations... and it sounds like you guys are responding positively!