Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

How to raise adulterers and addicts March 26, 2010

Filed under: Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood,Nanny,Work — Wired_Momma @ 2:19 pm

As if working parents don’t have enough on there minds, here’s something really outrageous….and for the first time in my life, I am completely speechless.

Note – this piece is yet another example of how to blame mothers for the shortcomings of their children. Don’t dads matter in f#cking things up too?

I know I like to blame my husband.

 

What’s wrong with a wife? September 1, 2009

Filed under: Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood,Work — Wired_Momma @ 12:54 pm

The NYT Modern Love column is something I look forward too every Sunday. Typically I am pacing for the paper to be delievered because that is my sad life. It’s true. I am generally fired up every Sunday when I check and check and recheck and the paper still isn’t there, only for my lazy slovenly, good for nothing NYT delivery person to toss it into my yard around 8am.

I mean really. We are like 2.5 hours into our day by then, why do I have to pace for it? Its sad really.

So, back to the column. I think Sunday’s column is the first time I’ve been not only pissed off as I read it but also confused. I needed to read it a few more times to even make sense out of what the point of it was.

The writer had me with the first sentence, I was seething, as she bragged about how she has a big job and two kids and how when other working moms comment that she must be so busy, her response was a flippant “Not really, my wife stays home.” Imagine if a man responded in such a fashion. We’d be organizing to burn and pillage his home, decrying him as the world’s biggest chauvinist and wondering why in the world he doesn’t pick up some slack around home to appreciate just how much is wife makes his successful career possible.

Yet instead, because the author is female, we are supposed to accept her obnoxious statement and appreciate that it’s a column about gay women raising children and the struggles with what to call each other.  But not me. I’m pissed off at how obnoxious she is regarding the ease with which she maintains her career because she has a wife at home. Then she goes on to berate straight women in marriages because essentially we take on too much and are power hungry and refuse to relinquish tasks to our husbands, as she so gallantly did to her wife (after implying her wife still doesn’t do it all as well as she would and flat out stating it took her 18 months to accept her wife’s way).

How noble of the author to admit that her career is successful and she is able to maintain it and manage it all because she has an organized wife at home. Isn’t the reality that most women take on the majority of these tasks – whether they work or stay home – and when they stay home, they do so because that is their job but when they work, they do so because these things help them stay connected and involved in the lives of their children in the way that they would want too, if they were home. 

But then she cuts at the heart of at the biggest point of contention among almost every woman with kids I know – the unbalanced workload between husbands and wives. While her arrogance and judgement irritated the hell out of me – she still made a legitimate point in that having a more involved husband at home means relinquishing control and letting him take charge of some duties – without berating him for doing it differently than we would.

What a conundrum I find myself in – both loathing and appreciating some of the words of this woman. And she’s right. We all want our husbands to take on more work around the house, really to just take initiative. To notice when something needs done, cleaning, fixing, purchased at the store, and just do it – without being asked or handed a list. And I do think that this behavior happens more often with positive reinforcement, like that of a child pushing boundaries – the more praise and recognition we heap on them for menial tasks, the more inclined they are to do them. I think if we critique what they do constantly or we don’t ever ask them to do it because we figure that is more work than just doing it ourselves, then we forfeit the right to complain about our husbands because we are enabling them NOT to be a true partner.

Then the author goes back to what was her original point of their identities as two women, both wives, and how to refer to each other publicly. At the onset of their relationship, they felt it was very in-your-face to people to refer to each other as wives, both because it is unexpected and the word “wife” has such negative connotations.

Now here’s something else I have a beef with. Why is this? And why are other women reinforcing this notion? Why is someone who manages the house, primarily raises the children to be upstanding and responsible members of society, and keeps food on the table and clean clothes on everyone’s bodies – why is this condescending and something we recoil over? Aren’t we way past that? Haven’t we all recognized that many women deliberately choose this path and take great pride in it, often times finding it more fulfilling than some dumb job in a cube.

I couldn’t believe this made it into the Sunday NYT.

 

Liberated May 8, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Work — Wired_Momma @ 3:05 pm

How ironic that the very word to describe how I feel about not working is one of the best words to describe the impact of the women’s movement? I mean – how would my women’s studies professors feel knowing that the word I can think of to describe how I feel about quitting work, losing my income and staying home with my children is liberation?

I’m now five weeks into this stay-at-home gig and honestly – I can’t remember the last time I was happier. All these years, I’ve spent racing around, trying to squeeze in time for DD1 and waiting for the weekend and projecting myself into that time – and now – finally – I am a person living in the present. I used to hate all those new agey mantras about living in the present, enjoying the now – all that crap. That just wasn’t my life. I didn’t know what to think walking into this new phase of my life but it didn’t occur to me that all of a sudden, I’d finally find myself just living in the present. This notion of not waiting for another day, or tracking days until a long weekend or a vacation so I can have X number of full days with my kids – is still an adjustment. And it’s liberating. I feel like a normal person, not a crazed person.

A friend asked me if I feel like I am on an extended vacation.

Initially I was like..umm…no….because I rarely have a minute and definitely have way less “free” time monday-friday than I did when I was working. But that’s not what she meant and after a minute, I knew that. I mean – having gotten up and dressed for work for 13 years, suddenly not doing that should seem weird, right?

Oddly, it isn’t. I don’t even think about it. Last week I even took all my suits out of my closet and put them away upstairs in another closet…and for a minute…I did caress and stroke a few of my best pair of heels, but whatever, I can wear them out on a date. I don’t need work to wear cool shoes. And slumming around in play clothes and not showering every day hasn’t yet gotten old for me. I’m sure the novelty will wear off. But so far so good.

Then there is the reality of spending long days alone with two small and needy children. Even on my worst days – and trust me – there are plenty of those – I still don’t feel like firing off my resume anywhere.

So why is this? I’m well educated, I have great work experience. I even am missing the White House Correspondents Dinner tomorrow – first time I haven’t been invited in five years. And I don’t even care.  I mean – it would be my first chance to go without f’ing Bush in office and some awesome celebs. And I still don’t care.

Is working over rated? Is it as simple as that? For me, maybe. Or maybe I feel pretty fulfilled and sastisfied and proud of what I’ve accomplished professionally to this point.

In the end, though, I think it was more because of my circumstances. The option to work even one day a week from home, or work only 4 days a week – wasn’t an option with my former employer. It was scoffed at. Most everyone I know has that option. It didn’t seem like too much to ask for. I wasn’t asking to sleep with the boss’s spouse. Or slaughter family pets. It didn’t seem like a stretch of a request in this wireless day.  There were other issues with my job that left me, generally, unhappy and overly stressed out. So I think the reality is this – if I loved my job, if I even enjoyed what I was doing all those hours five days a week more than I didn’t enjoy it, and if I had been given even the slightest bit of consistent flexibility, I probably wouldn’t have left. Or at least so easily. Do I think my employer is completely missing out in not working with me on this and thus losing someone with all this experience and industry knowledge? Oh yes. Do I think they even considered that for one minute? Oh hell no, I’m not naive.  In the end, everyone is replaceable. Even someone as cute and funny as moi.

So here we are, I was a women’s studies minor in college and I am defining my new stay-at-home mommyhood and exodus from full-time working, as liberating. The sad truth is this – I think there are millions of us out there. So many of us who are really good at our jobs and who left because of archaic work circumstances. So does this mean that too many of us are leaving and therefore we won’t make it to the top to force the sea-change so that younger women will have more options and will be less likely to leave? Who knows. I doubt it. Does it mean I’m done full-time work for good? Who knows. I really don’t know.

It’s the first time I haven’t had a master plan, a strategic next move, or any clue as to what comes next – and I’ve never been happier.

And does it feel like an extended vacation? Possibly. If vacation means you are happy and less stressed out – then definitely.

 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Back Home I Go April 1, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Nanny,Work — Wired_Momma @ 8:22 pm

So kittens, I know I’ve been MIA lately – so here’s the news: I quit my job last week. Friday is my last day. I am really excited about the decision.

As I had indicated before, I loved every minute of maternity leave and this time, I am lucky enough that we have a choice for me to not work. We didn’t previously have that option but now we do – and it just seemed so clear to me that now is the time to seize it.

I did worry and fret some over maternity leave as I considered this as an option – why have I been working, what about my career, etc etc – but I just don’t have any of those concerns anymore. Also – frankly – for all you “pundits” out there – I don’t feel like I am “off-ramping” or somehow letting down future generations of women by stepping out – I don’t feel like I am stepping out.

I feel like I am making a decision that is best for my girls because I have the choice right now – but like a good friend recently pointed out, careers are long windy roads with many stops and starts along the way. Who knows how long I will stay home for – time will tell.

Letting go of our nanny was THE low point for me in this whole process, I hated doing it and really fretted over when to tell her. In fact, someone actually gave me a hard time about how I handled it and indicated that I did wrong by our nanny by not telling her sooner.

Because determining when to tell her was something that I really struggled with and I know I am not alone in this – I want to talk more about it and why I actually stand firm in how I handled it with our nanny.

My husband and I both decided that we needed to make a decision that is best for our kids, and it’s impossible not to worry that an employee would start taking things less seriously once they know their time is up. Also, we needed the nanny to stick around until her last day of work – and who’s to say that the nanny isn’t going to up and quit two days after you give her notice because she’s found a better, higher paying job. Call me crazy, but I am quite sure that is a common scenario. It’s a dog eat dog world out there.

So we concluded that just like corporations don’t give employees 2 and 3 month notice that they are going to be let go, we didn’t give our nanny 2 or 3 month notice that she was going to be let go. I also didn’t know that far in advance. When my current boss let me know that this coming Friday could be my last day, I then told my nanny the next morning when I saw her in person. She got one week’s notice and is getting two weeks severance and I am doing everything I can to help her line up work.

As for what happens next, who knows. Having worked in this town for 13 years, it will be strange to wake up on Monday morning and know that I won’t be getting a paycheck but it also seems very liberating. My current employer wants me to freelance and several others have indicated as much as well – so I have a hunch that I’ll keep my fingers in the pot and just have to figure out how to manage it – just like everyone else.

So stay tuned for KT’s musings on mommy-land. Frankly none of it seems real just yet.

 

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho…. March 15, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Uncategorized,Work — Wired_Momma @ 2:50 pm

It’s off to work I go.

Tommorrow is the big day. After a lovely 15 weeks of maternity leave, I return to work tomorrow. To help ease the transition for DD1, DH is taking his last week of paternity week to spend with the girls. After 4 months of full-time mommy, if we both were to up and ditch her for work, it would be like a nuclear explosion in her world. I mean, how does one explain that one to a 3-year-old?

So how do I feel about returning to work?

The emotional side of me feels a pit in my stomach and tears are welling in my eyes.

The rational side of me calmly tells myself that I know from after returning the first time, the anticipation is way worse than the reality.

The emotional side is screaming out “no no no!”

The rational side of me reminds myself that tomorrow I get to put on a pretty suit, wear awesome shoes, fun jewelry and guess what – pee when I have too and eat when I’m hungry and even cruise the web for celeb gossip, all things I haven’t done at will in 4 months.

The emotional side of me thinks about someone else taking DD1 to school (well, DH taking her) and how he’ll get to experience the joy on her face when he picks her up, not me, and I immediately feel the tears.

The rational side of me reminds myself that I’ve got sweet lunches with fun people at new restaurants already lined up…you know, a gal has to stay hip.

The emotional side of me….well, you know.

SO what’s my point? My point is the reflection on this mat leave is very different than the first time. I’m pretty sure nothing is worse than the first time. That first mat leave was rife with emotions, confusion, exhaustion and lots of loneliness.

This time, there was no time to feel lonely. Who is lonely with another kid tearing through the house? There was no confusion because, well, we knew what we were walking into, so it’s not like we were surprised. The only one capable of surprising us in the house so far is the older one. Honestly, it’s just been really fun. I’ve loved every day with the girls, I couldn’t have cared less about work, I totally checked out.  Last time, I fretted about work, I kept up, I called in on some conference calls, I worried about what I ws missing. Do you think I did one of those things this time? Oh hell no……

And so the bottom line is this, DD1 is almost 3.5 years old and just about every day of the past 3.5 years has been an internal struggle for me – do I want to work, do I want to give it up, what am I missing at home, what am I missing at work? And on and on and on. I am done with that struggle.

So hi-ho, hi-ho, I go, tomorrow, to go back. For a week. Then I will throw in the towel. It will be so liberating and really nerve-wracking at the same time. I am determined to enjoy this last hurrah of looking nice, showering daily, eating great meals and toiling away behind the desk – because who knows when I’ll do it again.

These are the things I keep telling my emotional self as I think about waving goodbye tomorrow morning to the sweet faces and pulling out of the driveway.

Kids sure do make everything confusing, don’t they?

 

Children Derail Your Career February 24, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Work — Wired_Momma @ 12:29 pm

I find that some of the most provocative and helpful things are said to me by someone I don’t know at the gym during or after an early morning workout. Today I went to a 6am spin class, which was easy because I’d been up since 4:30 and already was hopped up on coffee. This was my first time at this particular spin class and the subject of children and babies came up at the end of the class. The instructor asked me how old mine are and when I revealed I had a 12 week old at home, the class broke out in spontaneous clapping – both for having a baby and for being there already, it was so nice. Who doesn’t love random applause?

Anyhow, at the end of class, we were bringing our bikes back into the side room and the instructor asked if I was going back to work. I said in a few weeks but who knows for how long. By this time there were two other women in the room – now all three of them are quite a bit older than me. The instructor said what my mom warned me about all along and now seems dauntingly apparent – going back after the second is a lot harder and a lot more complicated.

Another confirmed it and then said she just went back part-time. The third chimed in and said she also went back part-time because it kept her in the game but dramatically changed her career.

The instructor concurred and said she went back part-time and her career totally changed and so she quit…then laughed about how having a third prompted her to want to return full time.

After the day I had yesterday, I can see that.

Anyhow – at this point my mind was spinning because well, it’s been spinning and stressing over the work thing for a few weeks now as my return date (march 16) looms closer and closer. One of the women randomly blurted out
“look, children just derail your career.”

I started to agree when another one just flatly said “But who cares.”

And then they all agreed.

Amen is what I wanted to shout.

Who the f cares.

Cause guess what kittens, I don’t.

It felt like the addition of one child dramatically changed one career in our house (mine) because we both couldn’t possibly keep up at the same pace. Now that we have two, I have no idea and frankly no desire to manage two kids and commuting and a full-time career. Getting one kid out the door to preschool and dragging the baby along and trying to get there on time is hard enough. Hell, getting them both fed in the morning and my husband showered and giving me time to workout and pump is hard enough – doing all that and then going to work – no thanks.

So there you have it, random strangers enlightening me before 7am on a cold tuesday morning. There’s something refreshing about people’s honesty when you’ve had a baby – especially the honesty of strangers. And I find that women with slightly older children are quick to just tell me what they think,  matter-of-factly, with no drama. I absolutely love it because it quells all my anxieties and fears (what happens if I hate being home, how will I ever get back in the game, will I get lonely, will I miss work clothes, what did I go to graduate school for, etc etc).

I will go back to work because I don’t want to be the person who quits on  maternity leave but it’s doubtful I’ll last long.

Stay tuned.

 

Second Time….Last Time June 5, 2008

Filed under: Motherhood,Work — Wired_Momma @ 2:33 pm

Bonjour Kittens –

First, before I dive into today’s entry, how about a shout out to Obama, finally our party’s nominee! What an exciting time. And you have to hand it to Hillary, she is tenacious and though she didn’t get the nod (THANK GOD), she still surely inspired many younger girls that it’s possible – and for that, I have to respect her.  You know I’m an Obama Mamma, so yesterday just didn’t come early enough for moi. Now it’s time for the real fun and games to begin.

Speaking of fun and games, many of you know this already, but it’s now time for it to be a regular part of the KT blog – I’m preggo again. I know, I’ve blogged about how great just one kid is and why would I need or want to go through the ordeal of newborn hell again – but I knew the whole time that I would, it was just an issue of timing. I’m 14 weeks along and due the first week of December, which means DD will have just turned three, if I actually have this baby on time instead of 4 weeks early.

I knew all along that I was the kind of gal who needed to space my kids apart. Many people have them much closer together but that’s just not the best way for me or my husband – and we are thrilled with the age difference. I am optimistic that it will be manageable. For those of you with two kids out there, I’m happy if I just amused you.

So far, this second time around has been completely different. First off, I’m totally relaxed about it. I just thought over the weekend about how I haven’t lifted up one book on pregnancy. I feel a complete sense of peace because well, I have a pretty good idea of what we’re walking into.

I also feel a lot crappier than I did the first time. Either that or I just don’t actually remember how I felt the first time, who knows.

More important, though, is how managing a pregnancy and a full-time job is impacting my time with my daughter. I am one tired gal. And most of the time, I just am not as focused and into playing with DD as I usually am. Sure, digging for worms normally ranks as high as celebrity gossip for me – but I am just so damn tired that it’s really hard to want to get down on the ground and dig for worms enthusiastically.

My point – I know she notices. She can totally tell that I’m just not all there and that I really just want to go sit down on the bench and zone out.

This is a terrible feeling. There isn’t a lot I can do about it except know that I’ll turn the corner in about 2 weeks and remind myself that she’s 2.5 years old and will never remember that mommy was distracted for a few months of her life (or probably a few years once the new baby arrives).

But this is my biggest pregnancy challenge and complaint- just trying to muster the energy and focus to give my DD that she usually gets from me. It also makes me want to just quit working because I have more energy on the weekends because I can take a nap in the afternoon when she naps. So it just feeds the fire, the constant conundrum of – what the hell am I doing and is this job really worth it?

I’m sure I’ll be wondering that one many more times over the coming months.