Friday, August 22, 2008
Roller Coaster
One of the hardest things about being a working mother is that you sometimes constantly wonder if the lifestyle your family lives because of that second income is worth the time spent away from your children. Is being able to afford a home someday better than squeezing into a two bedroom NYC apartment for the rest of your natural life? Is a car with all the latest safety features better than that old jalopy we used drive around?

The kicker comes when the children notice your absence. In an ideal world, they will love school and the sitter so much that your being at work if fun for them. Work for you can be a complete downer as long as school is so much fun certain soon-to-be-second graders hate how loooong the summer is.

But when that certain soon-to-be-second grader calls you at work when you are up to your ears in deadlines and changes and madness and they're crying, saying things like "I wish you could come home. We're never together anymore and I just miss you so much. Why can't you come home?" Yeah, that's when you want to call up the HR representative that laid you off and say "could you please come over here and wear the shoes you wore on May 15th? I'd like to throw up on them now because this laid off business? It is officially sucking ass. Yeah, I know I have a freelance gig and all but my summer was not fun and my kids are all 'hey, mom, don't you love us anymore?' and I'd like to return to my regularly scheduled programming now."

The entire way home the other night night I was convinced we could live out our lives in our two bedroom apartment, take the bus everywhere, subsist on beans and never vacation anywhere ever again as long as I never have to have another phone call with my child like that. It would even be worth giving up wine.

And then I walked in the door and was greeted by a very happy soon-to-be-second-grader. I kissed and hugged her tight and asked "Everything alright, now?"

"I'm fine now! I guess I was just hungry!"


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