So, this week I've been telling people at work about the December arrival of BT2 (what we're calling the baby until we know gender). I work with a wonderful group of people on an awesome project and I feel really lucky and excited about the work we do. And I won't lie, I was kind of scared to tell them about our new little bundle of joy.
Of course, I was scared for no reason - everyone was super excited and we have plenty of time to work out the details of my maternity leave and everything really is great. It was when I was on a call with a colleague today that I realized that so much of the pressures (for me) associated with being a "work outside the home mom," or WOHM as we are known on message boards far and wide, aren't really associated with my professional colleagues at all. Everyone I work with and for completely understand that family comes first, but that I am a professional who will work hard and get things done. This is a blessing, but before you think I'm getting off easy, let me tell you who DOES throw me the "oh, you're not a 'stay at home mom'" (SAHM, as they are called) curve balls:
Last week, I waited about an hour past my appointment time for my 12 week pregnancy check up and I was apoplectic by the end. I was having a super busy day at work, but I still did what I was supposed to do and showed up early for the appointment like they tell you to do (so total wait time was closer to an hour and a half). The entire time I was waiting, I kept thinking about the work piling up on my desk and the small window of time I would have left to do it all in before I had to leave to pick up Chloe from day care. I called Ed afterward and tried to explain that I know how lucky I am that I get to be the one to carry our babies and feel them from the moment they are big enough to kick and get to know them before they are born and all of the amazing things that I get to do as the Mommy. But, some days, I just want to work. And he can do that. He can go to work and just work. And that's ok and we all expect that Daddies can and should do that. And if I was a SAHM, Chloe would have been in the office with me waiting for my appointment to finally happen and who cares? It would have been fine and we would have gone to lunch afterward.
And here's the thing: if it had been any other appointment (i.e. if I was not pregnant), I would have just left. Because you don't get to disrespect me and waste my time. You just don't. Except that you do because there's a baby in there. And I have to make sure he or she is ok and you people are the only ones who can tell me that. And so I wait. And fume. And look at the other women in the waiting room who are not looking anxious about rushing back to work and I hate them.
And it is hormones. It is. But then it is also spending 2 hours at the genetic screening place by myself and going to the lab to get blood drawn by myself and making endless appointments and knowing (from previous experience) that when BT2 does arrive and I feel like reaching out to other new mothers, I will find that the Mommy and Me groups in this area meet at 10am on Tuesdays and the Mommy and Me Get in Shape and Lose the Baby Weight Classes meet at 10am on Thursdays.
I don't mean to complain. I'm lucky - I've got a kickass job with awesome people and I leave every day at 5p to hang out with my awesome kid and husband and I never work weekends and we have dual incomes, great insurance and it's all really good.
But you SAHMs, man. You've got it good, too. You can be anywhere you want at 10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.... and Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays.