The moment E was born, the idea that I was returning back to work in nine months time was immediately garbaged. We had little-to-no-money at the time. But. Before I digress… I am a little embarrassed of how judgmental I was throughout pregnancy and right after I had given birth. I had this whole IDEA of what parenting should be – Dr.Sears attachment parenting theory, co-sleeping, no tv, staying at home, cloth diapering, breastfeeding etc. I had very opinionated opinions on these subject matters. What I didn’t take into account at the start of the parenting road is the complexities of those realities and that CONTEXT is everything when implementing your ideals into your routine. I’m not saying I abandoned these ideals in parenting, but I definitely saw that cloth diapering does not work well without a working washer in your home; attachment parenting is fine so long as your child never weighs over 10lbs and you can somehow shower with them; co-sleeping is a necessary evil in some desperate evenings and only doable if you can actually sleep beside an infant; no TV is definitely better than living with it, but some days… some dreary days in winter when you’ve been snowed in for weeks, without a car, the tv seems like a life-line to the outside world or for a little reprieve to cook without dangling your baby over the stove; and breastfeeding bonding is WONDERFUL save for the learning curve, the start-up pain, hard breasts, smelling of sour milk and embarrassing moments in restaurants when you hear another baby cry.
My experience moving from stay-at-home-mom to working-mom has been equally eye-opening, specifically to those less fortunate women who don’t have the OPTION to stay-at-home. Finding affordable childcare and then the hope to find affordable childcare that makes you happy to leave your child in the arms of another care-giver are tremendous hurdles. I don’t actually know how single-parents balance the juggling act, but those of you who do do it, should receive daily showers of praise and awards. You should also been given a spot in the Cirque du soleil – far more impressive than juggling 10 bowling pins at once or being a Human Pretzel. Actually, with that said, all parents deserve this.
I know now, just like Louis C.K., to reserve judgment when it comes to other parents (starts around 6:40 of the video).
(Admittedly I can’t get past my knee-jerk judgment of non-parents. Maybe it’s envy. But when I hear them talk about how TIRED they are and how the have NO TIME, all I can think is: DUDE. YOU ARE LYING. Anyway, I’m working on it.)
Dooce recently posted a query on her site regarding the big stay-at-home versus working mother debate and with over 1000+ comments, it’s a fascinating insight into the lives of women across all walks of life. (Seriously, take a moment to scroll through her post and then the comments.) It confirms that this debate really needs to be more in the forefront of politics and community. Why it seems to be held in private amongst friends is astonishing. Why there isn’t a larger discussion afoot does not make sense since it affects every parent. And there are a lot of parents.
Now to the point of this post. I went through the ringer recently with a bad-childcare experience… not that it was BAD bad, but it wasn’t great. We were recently granted a spot at a nursery school we had been on the waiting list for – and let me tell you, it has transformed my life. Not only do I love the school, E loves the school. I love the teachers, E loves the teachers. No more drama at drop-off and on the way home, I am privy to a wide variety of excited stories and creative events she participated in all day. Also, having relatively no commute has shaved off a good three hours to my day – the routine feels serene, not harried. It now seems like we’re not playing catch-up all the time, but rather we’re able to participate in our daily lives and do fun things with that time. I barely recognize the person I was two weeks ago. And that is a very good thing.
I guess the Universe granted my request. Thank you Universe, thank you.