Thursday, April 27, 2006

The great mommy debate: remixed

April 24, 2006

Los Angeles, CA
1 son (6months)

Last night my aunt (my babysitter) called to say she couldn’t watch my son today. And of course, I don’t have a backup sitter. Although it is frustrating to be given such short notice and have to take off work, hanging out with my son is a welcomed break. A few weeks ago, the same thing happened, but instead of taking two days off, I worked from home. I am thankful that my job provides some flexibility, but staying home--even for a day--always makes it harder to return to work.

I know I’m not alone. All throughout my pregnancy I read thousands of magazine articles, books, and trolled the ‘net for baby advice. A lot of the time I’d come across articles dealing with the great mommy debate: to work, or not to work. For many of us, the option does not exist. Being as not-so-single, single-mommy, I don’t have a second income to fall back on. I must work. And for now, working means getting up early, dropping off my son, and driving to the office. It’s a routine that I’m used to, but now that I’m a mommy I want something more.

Being on maternity leave was the best vacation I’ve ever had. It also gave me time to reconsider what I thought “work” should be. Getting up every morning and leaving my little one makes me feel as though I am missing out on so much. At six months old he has already grown so much, wiggling and rolling and smiling wider each day. The last thing I want to do is be at work when he takes his first steps or mumbles his first word.

So what’s a
mommy to do?

It’s easy for me to dream of working from home, but never realize it. It’s easy to become a worker bee, driving to an office each day and working a job I don’t really enjoy. But I’d
rather be the Queen. I’d rather work from home or the park or a beach in Jamaica, while I’m spending time with my son. I want to be able to provide for him, while keeping my sanity and happiness as a woman in tact. I know it will take a little more drive and a little more hustle, but I’m willing to work a little harder to get where I want to be.
Who knows, in a year or two, you may look up and see my name in your favorite magazine’s byline.

Monday, April 24, 2006

breathless. speechless. grieved.

April 24, 2006

Jasai - 30
Los Angeles, CA
2 children - 1 boy (11), 1 girl (5)

My girlfriend just wrote me and told me that a woman whom I knew well, through and old job, lost her daughter. It took a few moments for it to register, but then it did.

I recall the day it was first whispered at work. Later that week I saw her walk by my office. She did not look her usual lively self, so I called her in. Her baby, her beautiful teenage daughter, just heading off to college, had brain cancer.

She seemed less distressed than me. Her daughter had beat cancer before as a child, and they had the best brain surgeon in world - literally - on the case. This news let me breathe more easily. I googled brain cancer and
this doctor incessantly, and I prayed. I left that job shortly thereafter.

That was more than two years ago. And this news, all of these months later sliced me open and gutted me like a fresh fish. I have a daughter. She is five and having her in my life was like having a precious jewel placed in the center of my eye. It is the way I see her no matter what she does or how I feel. I can not imagine this kind of loss…………

Yet my whole heart goes out to my mama-friend who lost her best friend and baby girl. My heart goes out to every mother who has lost a child. May God keep you in his perfect care. Keep your heart in his able hands.