Of global note, last night, hours after I turned off my iPhone and other devices, news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. By the time we heard the news at my house, Bin Laden had already had his proper burial at sea. The news feels surreal, especially since I was pumping breast milk and reading Facebook updates when I found out. I could not figure out what people were saying and why the posts all seemed so patriotic. My right-wing friends seemed to think that Obama has 2012 in the hole. Why? I finally scrolled down and figured out about the assassination. Nothing says "professional working mother" like getting your news from Facebook.
Speaking of being a working mother, it looks like other events of today have cleared a path for me to be more mother and less working. I finally called my firm to find out about options for working part-time or working from home. Incidentally, I made that call with complete ambivalence because I wasn't sure how much I was even willing to work. All I knew is that I am not in a space where working 5 days a week is going to work for me. I can't do it right now because of my attachment to my kids. I am not dragging my breast pump back and forth everyday and hearing from our nanny what milestones my kids are reaching.
Looks like I don't have to.
When I talked to my boss he emphatically and clearly stated that the position is "full time." Actually, he said it was "full time plus," lots of extra hours because they are really busy with discovery and depositions, blah blah blah.
Don't you love it when the universe makes it simple?
I fretted and stewed and cried all weekend, worrying about letting my boss down or burning a bridge. I was literally sick about having to tell him I was struggling with a return to work. But, the fact that there is no wiggle room at all makes my decision easier. I didn't carry these children for 9 months after crying for years about wanting to have a family only to leave them 40-70 hours per week so that I can chase down tax forms from reluctant plaintiffs in employment suits. It's relatively interesting work, but not for that many hours per week at the expense of seeing my children about 5 hours during the week.
I really respect my boss and his clarity. I told him I wanted to sleep on it one more night before giving him a decisionn. So, now I get to screw up my courage and call him again tomorrow to say that I cannot give him what he's asking me for right now. That call will be bittersweet for me, because it means that, for now, a curtain is going down on my era of practicing law. Out with a whimper and not a bang, which is good because I can't deal with a bang right now. I need all the whimpers I can get.
So, the clarity has come even if not generated by my internal process. The tension has lifted because the way has been cleared. Sadie was the happiest I have ever seen her tonight. She was like joy on steroids during her bathtime. I couldn't help but wonder if she knew or sensed what had transpired today or if she just noticed I stopped moping around like a goth teenager. Simon was also very smilely and slept more soundly during his afternoon nap that I have seen him slumber in a long time.
Looks like these two kids just got tickets to the Mommy Express this summer. I have a teaching job at Loyola Law School this fall that will take up about 10 hours per week. It's time to coccoon with my family and come out a different legal butterfly. I am excited. I am humbled. I am anxious. And, I am exhausted from all the feelings this process has brought up. There may also be some denial that I am too tired to combat right now, but I have a night of Simon eating at the mommy buffet to confront and that requires all the energy I have left.
And, that's exactly how it should be for now.
Just for today.