Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween's Over, So's My Pity Party

I usually try to mask my true feelings as much as possible on my blog (kidding). Seriously though, I think it's a little weird to just "let it all hang out" when I have no idea who might see it all hangin out and later make fun of me for it. But, today I'm breaking loose and letting go. Today I'm saying goodbye Halloween, goodbye pity party. I need to say goodbye to something so I can start to move on.

You see, I've been having a pity party for myself since last year at about Halloween time. I pitied myself for having to go back to the cruel, ugly working world after giving birth to baby Pumpkin and staying home with him for the first three months. The days leading up to going back to work were awful. The worst was the night before I had to go back. It was Thursday, and my husband wasn't home that night. After baby P went to bed, I sat on my floor and sobbed. I caught my breath long enough to call mom and dad and bawl to them for an hour or so. I felt like my life was literally ending. It was the worst, most heartbreakingly sad night of my entire life so far.

Then, I had to get up the next day, get dressed and head into the office. I cried on the bus. I cried at my desk. I cried on the bus all the way home. And honestly, I've been crying for a year. Off and on, I cry. Sundays are the hardest, when I start thinking about going back to work.

My well-meaning friends have suggested lots of different ways of looking at the situations and my options. Get a different job. Work fewer hours. At least he isn't in daycare. Start a work at home business. Send the hubby back to work. Generally I'm all for taking the bull by the horns and not sitting around moping. I mean, moping should have its place, but should be followed by action. So I did get another job. Still, I wanted to mope. I was still not happy. Not really.

Here's the deal. I wanted to be hired for the job of stay-at-home mom. I was good at being a mom even though it was new and scary. My kid was happy and we had fun. I got dinner made. The house was clean. I didn't have to think about PowerPoint presentations. I didn't have to iron my slacks. I didn't really have a boss.

It was the best job I've had so far. It wasn't and isn't about getting a few more hours with my kid (not that I don't want that, but it just isn't the true problem for me). It was and is about having a job I loved and getting laid off from it. I got laid off, and the job I found, I didn't really like. Plus, my husband quit the job he kind of liked and hours that were pretty flexible. A recipe for a year long pity party, if you ask me. It all felt horribly unfair. We made a decision based on money, and what we thought was best for all three of us at the time.

So, in retrospect, I may have made a different decision a year ago if I had known that I'd spend all year pouting. But, my husband is an awesome stay-at-home dad, and I couldn't take that away from him. It's true that at least one of us gets to be home with him. Lots of people don't have that luxury. And maybe someday, I can switch spots. Who knows.

That's why I decided to end the pity party. I'm not going to switch places with Mr. P right now, and I'm not going to quit my job. We're lucky we have my job. Baby P is happy, and that's what matters. It's been a year of pitying myself, and frankly, I'm really freakin tired of it. Of course I'm sure there will be days when I am wishing I was wearing jeans and traipsing through the zoo with my kid rather than holding back-to-back conference calls in my tan cubicle, but I'm not going to let it ruin my life, my marriage or anything else.

Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to usher in my new attitude. I'm thankful for so many things, I just have to remind myself how truly lucky I am. Thankful I have a job. Thankful my husband is so great. Thankful my kid is happy and healthy. Thankful we have a nice house. So many reasons...

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Feels good to purge it. Now back to the regularly scheduled sarcasm and crafting projects...

Did I tell you about my new favorite phrase? It's "steppin' out". Used in a sentence: "I got some new jeans today, and they're not for the office, they're for steppin' out." Now, let's hope I can get some opportunities for steppin' out real soon. You do any steppin' out this weekend?


Anonymous said...

Ahhh... didn't that feel good? I love letting it all hang out on the internet. No one has to listen if they don't want to, and I get it all off my chest! I don't even care if I get made fun of, since I figure anyone making fun of me would find a reason to do it no matter what. I say more!!!!!

Wallowing is necessary sometimes, it's good to be able to let it go though. Bu-bye pity party.

Recess said...

Way to let it go, girl. You can't be too hard on yourself for having a pity party, but yeah it seems there is a point where you just have to be done with it and move on. And how awesome is it to think of a generation of boys and men who could be like your lucky son - raised by a caring and present father and with a mother who was also emotionally available and materially supportive. Sounds like a recipe for a generation of men with realistic expectations and healthy gender role models to me. Not that you ever asked to be the poster child for the well adjusted gender identity club, but I am nominating you anyway. XOXOXOXO

Jen said...

You got a new attitude (sing it along with me, Ms. Patti LaBelle)

Now you're ready for steppin' out.

You go girl.

Jen said...

Oh, but wait. Aren't you going to tell us about the Pumpkin Family Halloween?

Granny said...

This is probably an appropriate time for your Mom and Dad to tell you how extremely proud we are of you! You are awesome!

KristenMary said...

The other day I picked Ronan up at daycare and met one of the moms of one of the newer babies. I asked how old he was and she said 4 1/2 months. I said "oh, how are you doing back at work?" knowing how hard it is for all of us. She sheepishly smiled and said "I'm quitting". I was so happy for her and at once sad for myself too. My point is that all of us working mothers must be going through pity parties of some degree. There's never an easy answer! You've motivated me to look to the positive as well!!! :-)

Stacy said...

i've been at the same party for about three years now. gahh, it's a hard party to leave. Mostly I just go, head hanging low. I still say in my heart I was meant to be a stay at home mom but alas with no sig. other it's not a choice at all (excepting the lottery win possibility). Good for you for only taking one year to exit your party, maybe i'll stay here until she's in kindergarten. Stacy (jen's cousin)