Thisworkingmomthingisnotworking. There. I said it. Happy? No, not really. Everyone else seems to have made peace with their decision to be a SAHM, WAHM or WOHM. Although they acknowledge some guilt, they ultimately believe that they are good mothers – no – the best mothers their kids can have. I wish I could say the same for my sorry keister. Like most major decisions I’ve made in my life, this one’s been a non-decision, a function of circumstance, the fruit of inertia.
These days, Big Byte and I continue to be up till wee hours of the morning due to non-stop, inconsolable bawling. Oh no – Nibbles has started sleeping through the night. He’s a keeper, this one. It’s my barely coherent snorts of “I think I want to be a stay-at-home mom” that kills any hope of some shut-eye. If it weren’t for Nibbles’ toothless grin that’s specially reserved for Big Byte, I’m sure he’d have said, “so long, and thanks for all the maggi”. I think I owe it to Nibbles, my marriage and myself to spew forth some bytes on this space in an attempt to figure shit out.
Why did I return to work?
Answer: Because my maternity leave ended.
Yes, just like I blindly applied to grad school on the last week of undergrad finals, returning to work after my maternity leave seemed like the most obvious course of action. And yes, I work for the dream company with awesome maternity benefits and awesome career oppotunities and the only way they could shut my mouth after announcing my huge raise was by shoving a sinfully large bonus into it. They say everyone would kill for my job, so I’d be crazy to even think of quitting. I hope all this italacizing is helping you see just how fortunate I am.
Call me an ungrateful wretch, but I don’t want it. I simply don’t love what I do and I’m not fabulous enough at it to contribute something meaningful. Deep down I know that my buggy lines of code slowly but surely aid in Wall Street’s games of controlling markets, thereby controlling lives. Corporate whoring ain’t my bag, baby. Ok, so even if I were doing government-aided stem cell research I’d focus on the paid, human “volunteers” that make it possible. That surely doesn’t mean I should sit at home and do nothing. NOTHING??? Nothing is more important than nurturing a child and provide him/her with all the love he/she needs…before being thrust into the world, a sheep amongst wolves.
I’m sorry if they say my overpriced education goes down the drain. I’m sorry if my young female colleagues feel I’ll set a horrible precedent. But I’m sorrier still when I miss a pumping slot because some lousy hack brought down the production server with inconsiderate connections. I’m sorrier still when my Nibbles wakes up screaming (from a nightmare?) just before I head for work, and gets even more flustered when I attempt to hold him. I’m ashamed when the doc says Nibbles has poor sleeping habits. I’m heartbroken when my dwindling supply can’t catch up with a ravenous Nibbles and always always always dries up when he needs it the most. So much for the breastfeeding bond. I wonder how many nights Nibbles has cried himself to sleep because I felt that an empty boob is better than evil formula.
Ok, so in an ideal world where Null Pointer is Queen and nutella has no calories, one may choose to work only if one loves one’s job. One may also use the remaining 24 hours in the extended 36 hour days to cheer their offspring as they hit one delightful milestone after another. Ah, but such is not life. Plus, it’s not fair that I get to be the one to stay at home and take care of Nibbles while Big Byte possesses as much venom for his job and love for Nibbles as I do.
<bf duty calls and this post could use a breather>