Is there such a thing?
I was playing with my nephew who I’ve grown accustomed to calling Bunny or Bun for short. I can’t wait for those embarrassed older years when I’m sure the nickname will lose its charm. Running wildly around the house with him with a case of the giggles is such a treat for me. He’s so pure. Everything is fun and new. He loves me because I pick him up and fly him around like a jet in the sky…or because I let him eat some of my scrambled eggs in the morning. I feel such a rush of joy when he smiles at me with those 4 to 5 teeth in that tiny mouth of his. It’s intoxicating.
It’s been a very busy last two months. I work for a public accounting firm and man, did busy season just wipe these last two months away. As I ran from the Bun man, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt knowing I’d really only seen him a handful of times over the last few weeks. He’s a mid-February baby, so I had a pleasant excuse to break up the work season with his 1st birthday party.
I look at my relatives, friends, colleagues, even acquaintances on social media and wonder how some people make it seem so easy to balance parenthood with all the other going ons life has to offer. You never really pick one thing up to place one thing down fully.
I spent the last five weeks out of state for work and the thought of doing that with a child stresses me out. There are some women who literally “have it all”. I’d say I’m a pretty proud person, so if the high standard of “having it all” means I’m successful, then bring it on… regardless of cost.
My pride has gotten me in trouble in my personal life on occasion, when I do feel like I’ve chosen wrong with work over life. It’s something I continue to struggle with, but was immediately made aware of it when my aunt Ellen got sick a few years ago. I swallowed my pride and had to ask for my brand new team whom I had built limited rapport work with for time away. They were so understanding and allowed me to work from Long Island for half the week so I could be on hand to help my family whenever and however I could. When she passed away, I felt the guilt start to creep in again and threw myself completely into work.
Similar circumstances happened this year with John’s mom, who got into a terrible accident. I was assigned to a new project, working once again with a brand new team, asking for flexibility. Not only did I get flexibility, I was told to just step away for as long as I needed. I took 3 straight weeks off and returned once she moved out of the hospital and into a rehab facility. No one came looking for me to tie up loose ends. Instead, they checked in, called often, offered to feed John and me, offered to keep me company in the waiting room of the ICU, offered legal advice and very specialized help with the situation John and I found ourselves in.
This time, I felt less guilt taking time away. At the end of the day, I work with people. Good people. People who have families of their own. While there is a very wide spectrum of those who get it and those who don’t, I still have my people who have my back. And if you have my back, I’ll cover you. That formula has worked for me in the past. I added a husband and a house and more responsibilities and the formula generally still works. Adding a child may be the tipping point for my formula, but I guess we shall see.
Now that I have more free time to ruminate, I’m sure I’ll go through my emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. What I will say is, my sister and her husband have their appointments locked down with Homeland Security at the end of March. Based on the advice we’ve gotten, that could mean we get matched with our child by the end of April! Now that moment will be a true high.
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