Friday, August 14, 2009

Late Night

I went to a baby shower last night. That happens quite frequently in our ward. It started at 7, I was there on time. I got home at 2 o'clock in the morning. Quite the baby shower, eh? There were six of us there that late. All of us are stay-at-home moms. Do you think maybe we're starved for a little social interaction that doesn't involve three year olds? Next time the invitation should just say "Baby Shower and Sleep Over"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bursting My Bubble

I've been realizing something over the past few years. It is something that I am still trying to believe is my reality. It is this: I was an extremely privileged child. I am not referring to growing up in the lap of luxury. We were a middle class family. I am referring to the fact that I was privileged to have my parents - my dad in particular - around so much. They were both very accessible, even though they both worked. My mom was a public school teacher. My dad is a university professor. I have heard him refer to this profession as the best part time job you can ever have. His hours are very flexible. He was always home for dinner. We took long summer vacations. He had all holidays off. He was there. A lot. I thought this was normal. A lot of my friends had parents who were professors too. I didn't know it was an unusual life style.

And then I got married. To an accountant. Who ended up working for one of our country's largest and most troubled financial institutions (Citigroup). My introduction to corporate America has been rocky. What I thought was normal for a husband and father I have discovered is anything but. His hours are not flexible. If we wait long enough to eat dinner he may be home in time to eat with us two out five nights a week. The other nights he'll usually come home after the children are asleep. We do go on vacations, but he doesn't get every holiday off. I don't think I'll ever get used to him having to go into work the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas.

When this lifestyle first started to reveal itself I was indignant and assumed that something was drastically wrong with this picture. Then I started listening to all of the other women around me. I realized our life was completely normal. Everyone's husband was getting home late at night and working weekends and traveling for their jobs and basically not being at home much. This knowledge just makes me feel more sad. This really is the new reality for our families? We're not allowed to have family dinners together because of the demands of the working world? I get so sad thinking about the years stretching ahead...our family gathering around the dinner table and discussing first days of school and science projects and what happened on the school bus and it being just me and the kids. I also feel sad complaining about it to Tyler, because what can he do? Other than go back to school for a PhD and become a university professor...then again, even that job isn't looking so good any more. I really am an adult now because I say with complete sincerity phrases like "what is the world coming to?" .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Perchance to Dream

Sometimes, you just can't help falling asleep on the couch. You know how it is. You are comfortably situated there, laying on the couch with a good book and you are getting sleepier and sleepier. There comes a moment when you think to yourself "I should go up to bed" followed by the thought, "or, I could just let myself fall asleep here".

Letting myself just fall asleep on the couch can sometimes feel...indulgent. Like a little luxury. It is comfy and cozy on the couch with the light of a lamp and the quietness of being downstairs all by myself. So I allow myself to just drift off...and then, sometime later, I wake with a start.

It's one of those "Why am I sleeping here??" split seconds of reorientation. And then suddenly I notice that it doesn't feel so comfy and cozy on the couch anymore. I'm down here all by myself. Late at night. That's not so cozy. A lone lamp is on surrounded by deep darkness in all the other rooms of the house. Its light is stark rather than comforting now. Quickly I switch it off and race up the stairs to my own bed, next to a sleeping husband in a soft darkness. Comfy and cozy once again.