Friday, July 6, 2007

A Daring Adventure

Last night, on my way out of the parking lot after a 10-hour day in a sucky office, I smashed my car door against a concrete pole. Neither my current state of mind nor the bleary-eyed stupor induced by a day of flouresent lighting and emotional tirades can excuse this sort of stupidity. I mean, I simply forgot the pole was there, and instead of backing straight out I turned the wheel and caused myself a nice little cruncher.

I got home to a feverish baby, who awoke this morning with an even higher fever and some stomach issues. Poor baby. Cade's at home with her today, as I'm pretty sure I would be frowned upon for taking the day off at this point, and here I sit, waiting on my next client, cloaked in misery and self-recrimination.

Right now I'm pissed at the Women's Lib-bers. Right now it would be nice to to know exactly what my role in life should be, where my time and energy should be focused. I think I know the answer, but the part of me that values my independence rails against this knowledge. I have always worked. I cannot imagine not working.

But is it really possible to be a mother and an employee? Especially in the line of work I currently love?

10 comments:

Leigh C. said...

Oy vey. I'm so sorry.

Part of the problem is that, while women have made some gains in the workplace, child care has simply not caught up with those gains. Two steps forward, one step back. It's infuriating...and it's why I hope this gains some momentum:

http://www.momsrising.org/

Until all parents get some acknowledgement that raising children and ensuring the future of the human race is pretty damn important, working moms (and some dads) will feel as you do: pissed at the people who supposedly made a difference for women, yet somehow ignored a massive elephant in their presence that was staring them in the face.

ashley said...

Well, back in those "good ol days", families could survive, and even thrive, on a single income.

Maitri said...

You're a great mother just to entertain these crises, you know.

If it makes you feel any better, my mother raised two kids and worked a full-time job (6am-4pm) in which she dealt with a lot of whiny bitches and never ever got credit for her work. She managed to do all of this and knew exactly what and how my brother and I were doing in school, the names of our teachers and attended all of our school functions. And all of this in a country called Kuwait which treated their women like shit in the 1960s-90s.

Yes, she had very bad days, but she had exceptionally good ones, too, and her advice to me is that it does all really work out in the end. She wouldn't have given up a day of it and constantly warns against regrets.

You're not a bad mother if you put your child in daycare until she's in school. You're not a bad mother if you take the day off to nurse a sick child. And, you're definitely not a bad mother to rely on your husband for this kind of support. My dad was the bomb in this regard.

Charlotte said...

I find it sad that in 2007 the word "women's lib-bers" is still used.
A generation of women fought hard for the right to work outside the home, for the right to choose, for the right of equal pay for equal work (still fighting for that).
But all of the issues women faace could not be addressed or even anticipated back then. It's the evolution of a movement that sheds light on new and/or continuing inequities. The women's movement initially ignored the issues of mothers (stay at home and working) I believe because the initial fight was so intense and focused on establishing our basic human right to be ourselves, not just possessions of men.
Now it's your generation's turn to fight for the issues that face you as women. As much as people in this country like to brag we have "family values", we do not. Most work places not only look askance at time off for child issues but haven't even considered the revolutionary idea of child-care centers in the workplace. This is something Corporate America could do with no problem....but it's really all about the money....family takes the back seat.
Momsrising.org is a move in the right direction. Make it a movement.
Hang in there, little one. We all have our battles to fight and the winning is so worth it!

chrissieroux said...

Charlotte-

I thought most people would realize that I was using the term just a tad facetiously.

And I believe that I am fighting. I This is not my first job, nor my first job as a mother. The last job I had was very accomodating, and the child care center that I and my husband am helping to establish is a place where I feel my daughter is nurtured in every way possible. So yes, I am fighting.

Maitri said...

Not only are you fighting for good daycare, but pioneering good daycare in post-K NOLA. Good on you, but it has to be tough!

Leigh C. said...

"the child care center that I and my husband am helping to establish is a place where I feel my daughter is nurtured in every way possible."

Yashir koach (well done)! Keep on fighting! And if you ever need, we can run on ovah and serve you up some Fat Mama's Knock-You-Naked Margaritas if things get really desperate...

http://www.fatmamastamales.com/margarita.html

chrissieroux said...

I can't take any credit for the child care center...we just managed to hook up with an amazing group of parents after the storm who had banded together to start a truly visionary child care center in the city. We're committed to the place and so incredibly lucky to be a part of it--but all the credit goes to the Board and the parents who got together mere weeks after the storm to start building the kind of place they wanted for their children. THAT's fighting the good fight. It's just incredibly inspiring.

ashley said...

Jeez...I just saw the subsequent comments, and I'm glad you're still so high on the name redacted daycare place, I truly am.

Me, well, I'm just sorry I donated so much computer equipment, and wasted my time with Cade setting up the porch. I probably couldn't be more disappointed in the place.

It's over $10k a year to send my 18 month old there. That's criminal.

chrissieroux said...

Ashley--what happened? It is pricey, to be sure, but no more than other places in the area. What's different about our place?