I’ve been working a lot this week. With five clients, thirteen websites to launch, and several installs to complete, I had to hire a
freaking goddess to come take my kids a total of 28 hours this week while I worked in my office.
Behold Thy Office
It’s been good to get some things off my plate so I can take on new clients. I’ve recently coded these wonderful sites as well as made lots of progress on some other big sites you’ll recognize here shortly.
I’ve also consumed more lattes than I think is humanly possible. I think I pee straight caramel machiatto.
The upside to this, of course, is the fact that I love my job and my co-worker. The downside? The spiders.
Oh, the spiders.
Those damn spiders that fill my daughter’s anxiety ridden mind and make her latch on to my leg like a leech. Or maybe one of those little fish that swim up urethras in the south pacific. You know those? More painful than a leech but not as prevelant.
Kinda like that.
The last time she flipped her shit out like this was just over a year ago when I was teaching online and had to place her in daycare just twelve hours a week because DEARLORD she does not stop moving. Both of my children are the most active/hypervigalent children you will ever come to know in your entire child-bearing life. I swear to god, I have friends, and strangers for that matter, that shake their head and say to me, “you’re busy.” It’s usually about the time my three year old spins in circles until she spotaneously combusts and my ten month old crawls in to the toilet for the eighteenth time that day.
And that’s called Monday. At 8AM.
So to say it’s mother-flipping-impossible to work from home is an understatement. It’s not “difficult”. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. Hear the angst in voice? You should.
I hired some friends, trusted wonderful women whom both my children and I adore, to take them a few hours at a time. The kids really don’t know that much difference. They’re playing with their friends, they’re doing the same things I do with them, I’m just not there. I figure it’s the best of everything.
But it’s not. LB asked me not to work. She asked me to work when she leaves when she grows up.
My three year old asked me not to go.
What do I do?
So it’s just this one week, this one very busy week that I tried to make up for some lost time when I was puking and not attending to my clients. Just this one week wherein I tried to make some clients happy and do the job I adore and have a little bit of me time.
Apparently, I put spiders in my daughter’s mind with my absense.
She screams at night. She howls in terror in the dark. She clings to us, she bawls, she throws up from anxiety. It’s hard to watch. It’s hard to help. It’s hard to pee by myself.
It’s just hard.
There’s this drive inside of me, the one that makes me not want to stagnate and use my creativity and my love of all things web programming. Then there’s the other side, the mom, who watches her daughter physically suffer from her absence and the old conflict rises. I’m a mom now. But I’m also a woman. I’m a programmer. I’m a nerd. I’m a big squishy belly of snuggles and warmth to the people I gave life to.
Who am I living for now? Me? Or them?
*This weekend Mamaspod is posting a podcast on working moms. You can see fine interviews from such wonderful women as Elaine, Sydney, Jamie, and Shannon. If you’d like to call in with your own advice, let us know before Saturday night!
**You should totally take a picture of your office for Friglet. Like. Totally.
Man oh man, you are going through a tough phase. It will get better, I promise. Not completely, but better.
I still can’t get anything done because I’m picking/up/dropping off/picking up/dropping off about 30 times a day. But, the spiders are gone.
I can see why you prefer to work at Starbucks. LOL
By Friglet on 2008 04 04
My son has been freaking out about zombies since he was 3.
He’s 9 now and it is still going strong.
By Loralee on 2008 04 04
Leslie? I love you so much, but do you mean she needs Xanax? Or does LB have heartburn
By rhiinpink on 2008 04 04
Oooh honey. I’m so sorry. Good lord, with mothering I swear if it’s not one thing it’s another. I’m just sorry.
By supermama on 2008 04 04
Oh man…you and me, babe, we’ve got some stuffs in common. You available for internet-coffee sometime? Would love to chat about work…and avoid working if at all possible!
Even better if you live nearby, but I’m beginning to think that Oregon is really an island and nobody! ever! goes! there!
By TSM on 2008 04 04
Isn’t three when they begin to develop night terrors? I can’t remember. But I think it’s developmental stage. I know that doesn’t help now.
Hang in there girl.
By MammaLoves on 2008 04 04
I am so sorry. Yeah. My daughter is starting to enter the TWOs stage and she is but 19 months. The other day it took me at least 10 minutes to get her screaming, kicking, arched-back into her car-seat. Something TOLD me not to stop for coffee but I did anyway (if you know of a drive-thru coffee place here—that is not McDonald’s or BurgerKing…let me know). that was what I got for not listening to myself.
I really don’t know what to say about finding that balance between MOM and self…So I won’t say anything… you will make it through, I just know you will. Hang in there.
I am sure that it is just a stage…I think MammaLoves is right about it being a developmental stage (night terrors). Right now, my son is older, but his thing is the “black tomato” in his closet. Hmmmmm.
By hilary on 2008 04 04
Part of this is three. Three is the worst of the Toddler ages. We are almost clear of it but now he is freaking out about using the remote start on the car. “IT IS DANGEROUS!!” “IT HURTS MY FEELINGS”
The things that they start to be scared of are entertaing and weird. Definately enough to drive all mothers a little more than insane.
You will make it through.
And LB doesn’t need the xanax….you do!!!
By Faith on 2008 04 04
Oh man, I feel for you. That strain between work and mothering is so tough sometimes, isn’t? As mothers, we sacrifice, and we are often praised for that sacrifice. Like you, there’s a part of working that feeds me and is part of who I perceive myself to be. But, the guilt of feeling you may not be doing the best thing by your child is so hard. And it’s so hard to know what’s a passing phase and what’s really important. Too bad these kids didn’t come with better instructions.
By Mrs.R on 2008 04 04
Oh, how awful. For both of you.
They know JUST how to push our buttons, don’t they? The trauma they create for themselves is amazing. Astounding. Heartbreaking.
You’ll get through it. Keep chugging the Caramel Machiato’s. And wine. Lots of wine.
By AMomTwoBoys on 2008 04 04
I agree with it being part of “The Threes.” I always joked that if the twos were terrible, then the threes were low-down and rotten! That was the worst possible stage for my oldest, and I am dreading it with a white hot passion for #2 next year (esp. since #3 will be just a few months behind…terrible-twos and tantrum-threes simultaneously? Send help now!)
I am so sorry that LB is having such a hard time, thus making mommy have a harder time! I do think it gets better, somehow, after we learn a good balance between giving them what they NEED while not being a slave to everything they WANT. (If you figure that out, please let me know…I’m not quite there yet!)
By Southern Mom on 2008 04 05
Poor LB. Poor Mama.
This balance thing is a neverending quest and then it seems like when you get your shit together…it all falls apart and your left to clean it up.
I hope you find that balance. I know it is VERY very difficult (nay close to impossible) for me to get any true work, besides checking e-mail and voice mail, accomplished when both my kiddos are home. This is why I ship them off regularly to school and daycare.
I kid…I kid! Sort of.
p.s. Thanks for interviewing me…if you still want to hear my Southern twangy Tennessee voice I can call in!
By Jamie on 2008 04 05
Dude, my daughter is four and she is my shadow.
I posted a pic of my desk today. For you.
Hang in there!
By Christine on 2008 04 05
We suffer from the creepy crawly anxieties around here too. Last night (or should I say, EARLY this morning at oh say, 4:45 am) Dear Daughter runs screaming into our bedroom that she was just “thinking about an ugly cricket bug!” The anxiety and fear overwhelmed her to the point that she couldn’t contain it.
And all I do is drop her and her brother off for one day a week…with GRANDMA, and leave her (with her DADDY) for four hours one other evening to work
I like my career too. I console myself by reminding myself that it is quite likely that Daughter would have these issues whether I was attached to her at the hip or not. Actually, now that I think about it, being attached at the hip is probably the only way on God’s green earth that she might stand a chance of not having a flip out over some creepy crawly bug that exists only in her imagination.
By MGM on 2008 04 05
You have my sympathies, girl! It’s rough when your kids are freaking out about stuff. And as for balance between MOM and YOU… that’s a tough one! Hang in there.
By Holly on 2008 04 06
Girl, you *know* I know where you’re coming from. It’s not easy. But to answer your question, you are living for you AND them. And that’s probably the hardest part. The balancing act.
By Shannon on 2008 04 06
I’ll link to the podcast from Career and Kids.com, did I miss it?
I’ll either look again or go get mah bifocals.
By Busy Mom on 2008 04 06
Don’t feel bad that you have found something you love and are good at, and that you enjoy doing.
Just spend a little extra time with them when you are home. Take them for walks to the park. Make crap..whatev! Tell them how much you miss them (lie a little) when you work. How much you just CAN"T WAIT TO GET HOME to them.
COME SEE ME!! I will play with them and so will HOpe while you work…then they won’t cry!!!
By sister flinger on 2008 04 07
Keep swimming, sistah - you do good work - coming from someone who’s wading through one day at a time and trying desperately NOT to drown!
By Liz on 2008 04 08