40 Hour Blues

Can we please all just agree that we don’t work on Fridays? Just moving forward, it’s like another day of the weekend? And lo, a 4 day work week was given to them?

Oh I know the problems with this, the fact that retailers don’t close and it all trickles down and money and blah blah blah. I don’t care. I am selfish and I want to sleep in tomorrow. Kthxbai.

Now that we’ve settled that.

What is it with Americans and our undying need to work so hard? Where did this come from? I am especially guilty of this.

Even in high school I was bound to some weird code that said I had to get all of my reading done before I did anything fun. My parents didn’t make me do it. It was a personal choice. But I have to think it came from somewhere. There is some innate quality I have that makes me want to work, or feel guilty if I’m not working.

There is no in-between for me. No middle ground.

When I was unemployed I was miserable about being unemployed. Now, I’ve been re-employed for almost a year, and I’m happy at my job, but every day I’m jealous of my husband who gets to work from home and my sisters who are both in school.

I know logically all of those people, in fact people in every type of working (and non-working) situation, have their issues. The things they want to bitch about and the things that drive them crazy. But you know, grass is greener.

In all likelihood, there is absolutely nothing that would make me 100% happy. Were I suddenly give a four-day work week, I’d want it to be three days. But if I had the opportunity to only work three days a week, I might be bored. Or feel guilty. Because I would know that someone out there was working 80 hour weeks.

So what’s the ideal when it comes to work? 20 hours a week? 40? Should I just get over it? Or should we just trade the dollar in for giant stones like they have on Yap? What’s your work week philosophy?

On Becoming a Mom

I’ve written here plenty of times about my struggle with identity. Who I am. What I’m doing here. Why my life is the way it is.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m happy.

Incredibly happy. In fact, my life, on paper, is damn near perfect. And my reality is pretty great too. But you know, there I am, inside my own head all of the time, and I get confused.

I’m going to be a mom.

I’m pregnant, and I have a little baby inside of me and John is going to be a dad and we are going to be a family. And I am overjoyed. Honestly I am so so excited. I wanted this so so much and and I am thrilled that it is happening for us.

But I am also terrified. Scared shitless.

First, there’s the fact that I’ve got to be the one to grow this child inside of me, and make sure he’s healthy and gets enough folic acid and eats vegetables and not Sour Patch kids all day long. I’ve got to be the one to make sure he is well. I mean really well. Really alive and well and healthy. It’s all about me.

Then there’s the fact that when he’s born, I still have to do that but now he’s on the outside. In the world with me. I have a whole other person besides me that I have to feed and bathe and soothe and LOVE. And oh I will. I know I will love, I already know a love I never thought I could have ever known. And he’s not even any bigger than a “large shrimp.” Thank you, The Bump for that stunning visual. I prefer the fruit metaphors.

And it’s all so exciting and scary and wonderful but it’s already just so confusing. Being a mom, being a parent, I don’t think I’ve really ever understood the magnitude of what that means. And what it’s going to mean to me, specifically, me Jeni, who is constantly wondering about whether or not I’ve chosen the right path and what it all means and how do I change the world or just my life and is it even worth it?

I think being a parent is going to make it worth it. Being a family is going to make it worth it.

But then, you know, comes the question. What happens when you become a mom and then you’re just a mom? People say that doesn’t happen anymore, but there’s judgment. No matter what my choices are, I know there will be judgment.

Even in pregnancy, there’s the judgment. Coffee? Yes. Sushi? Maybe. Soft cheeses? Umm yeah. Heart rate above 140 beats per minute? Yup. Snowboarding. No.

I make my choices, every day, and I am the one who has to live inside my own head. And I am the one who is scared to death.

But I am also the one who gets to do this. Who gets to have this baby and be a mom and a family and know this stunning love.

It’s okay that I don’t know who I am every day. It’s okay that I am scared and confused and feeling ALL THESE FEELINGS. Because I’m pregnant and I get to. I’m having a baby, and I’m going to be a mom. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the best thing in the world.