Baby boy is sick. Snotty, feverish and super cute in his half awake (but not sleeping) state. I started a new job last week. I negotiated today’s excursion to work; but we can’t afford for DH to take two days off in a row. I’m trying to persuade myself that a full Tuesday of work can be covered by 2 hours after dinner and frantic emailing over nap time.
I did not know this about motherhood. Through maternity leave, I worried about how we would all feel about nursery; I didn’t know that there would be mornings I would pray for them to accept his coughing self.
Unless plans include one or more parent hanging around the house with the little one, nothing can be counted on. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that christmas could be cancelled by chicken pox; anniversary dinners by a mild cold. Work meetings with senior executives delegated down because of an ear infection.
I also didn’t know that I would grow accustomed. I am becoming more who I want to be. My husband and I are becoming the team we used to be. In the early weeks of work, we didn’t negotiate for important days, and trade off meetings for site visits for nights out. We fought. And I really did fight. I resented him; resented being a mum; resented the baby for being unwell. I felt trapped as I grieved for the career I thought I would have.
Now I am irritated by the unexpected disruption. But I also resent my work for being so intense that a day off is a big deal. That my team aren’t good enough to just step up. That I have to work harder to make up for a senior management level that won’t make decisions. I like the extra day on the sofa with cuddles; I like getting back to work and being free of snot.
Planning is impossible. Some semblance of balance might not be.