Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This Is How I Roll...

Roller Derby. I would be lying if I didn’t say I LOVE it, but finding the time to squeeze this in amongst already penciled obligations or sick kids has been really tough. The team just released the tentative bout schedule and some of them will require overnight travel. Can I really commit to traveling, much less overnight travel?! I have been struggling to try and sort out what to do these past few weeks. I don’t want to leave my team, but I also don’t want to miss my weekends with the kids and their sports.

I am 35 years old skating around in knee high socks, leggings and full skate gear. My body hurts and my rear end still has the purple outline of a full cheek bruise from a hard fall 3 weeks ago. I admit there is an element of youth derby allows me to hold onto; however, my life is everything but that of a youthful and carefree young thing these days.

Lately, I’ve really begun to see the difference in my kids with having both parents out of the home so frequently. I practice at least 2 times a week and the rest of the week is occupied by kid or husband sports which take our family time down to sometimes an hour or less a night. My husband finally acknowledged there is a clear difference between the kids we raised and the little one who has found achievement through pitching an Oscar worthy tantrum performance to get her way via Nanny. I do not believe in doling out any sort of corporal punishment, but I do believe in respectful and well behaved kids; the latter of which takes a lot of time and patience to achieve without wanting to spank them into submission (believe me, I’ve considered it).

I love derby and I love my family. Derby is exhilarating and exciting. There is nothing quite like hauling ass around a track, wind blowing through your hair and either jamming past your opponent or solidly blocking them and hearing the crunch of their gear on the track. It is an amazing and empowering experience. Beyond the joy of the sport, what is important to me is getting close enough to home to actually have an impact on the raising of my kids. I don’t feel like I can do this by working or traveling so far from home. Before I receive any sort of email about how working mothers can have an impact on their children, I will acknowledge that this is absolutely true and I am in no way implying it is impossible. I will also acknowledge that I was a solid B student in college and even though I wanted to be an A student, I couldn’t do it. We are all built different and all I know is what I’m doing right now, today, isn’t working.

I have a date in mind that I plan to be my last day here at this job. My husband has blessed this date and I am excited that 2012 could be the year. I cannot completely stop working at this point, but I can find a family friendly schedule through teaching. My biggest hurdle has been a financial one, but by saving and foregoing the major addition to our house we had planned, I think we’re finally there. If I can secure a teaching position next year, then I will be able to quit my job.

I love derby, but I love my family more. There is no choice in waging these two against each other; my family will always win.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The White Flag

I give up.  I am yelling "Uncle."  I am finally waving the white flag of surrender.  I can't keep fighting for a life that doesn't exist anymore.  When I left my post as a stay-at-home mom, my little boy was still wearing diapers and my daughter was just starting preschool.  A lot has changed from then until now; I have changed from then to now. 

Just when I thought I had it all worked out in my head, last week happened and it was a tough one.  Last week is the closest I have ever come to being fired in my whole life - the kicker of it is, I wasn't even here on a day that the whole thing went to hell...

The nanny had called me to say she was throwing up.  I could just picture the sick dominoes falling at the house:  Nanny, then Baby, then Big Girl, then Little Man, then my husband and I which would create a sick wheel for weeks to come. My mother-in-law was working, my husband had football and that left me.  I raced out of work to head home.

When I left work, my phone still blew up all afternoon with work stuff.  I spend a great deal of time going through projects and gave direct and clear instruction on a situation that was on any given day no big deal, but apparently my staff did not follow directions and something small spiraled into a huge deal.  The next day when I came into work, little did I know just how bad they had screwed up and how much clean-up I'd be doing.  My boss and I both went up to meet with the Principal of a company who was set on describing - at length just how bad we'd screwed up.  At the end of  the entire ass-chewing, he looked at my boss and said "The only reason I am not escalating this any further is because of her" and he pointed at me and said "She is the best."  An otherwise awesome thing to hear, but preferably in a different context.  We breathed.  We were both not getting fired just yet.

Overall, I run a pretty easy going office and I do not thrive on ruling with a golden fist. But, if you blow it and not just in a "I'm a human, I make mistakes" sort of way, but big, then we're done. The staff walked on egg shells today and each of them came in an said their peace about what happened.  I hate pulling the supreme ruler card, but it had to be done and I'm hoping we're all better for it.

I thought a lot about what happened last week.  What I concluded is that every once in awhile it might be good to think you have something to lose - like you're job.  While I would love to not come to this place everyday, I'd prefer not to get fired over something stupid.  Last I checked, my family really needs me to hold onto this job and of all people to let down, it can't be them.  They are the most important; the reason I wake and rise every single day.  My fingers are crossed for a better week this time around...