Ever since Hank got hurt, people have been telling me how lucky he is to have me — which, yes, he is — and how great I’ve been doing — which, yes, I have. And if they happen to think there’s something heroic about the way I’ve put all my energy into helping Hank get better… well, I guess we all need heroes, right?
You know who I admire? Working moms. I can rock the to-do list, but seriously, those ladies are some black-belt-level multitaskers. They start their day making breakfast for their families, get the kids off to school and daycare, put in a full day at a crazy-making job, and then go home, get dinner on the table and get everyone off to bed, homework done, diapers changed, dishes washed, the whole deal.
I can’t even imagine how they do it. Where do they find the time? How do they get up every morning, knowing their day won’t end until they’ve crossed everything off their list? And the thing that really stumps me: How do they stay focused on their job, knowing they have a perfectly adorable little baby sitting in some daycare center, wondering where her mommy is?
Because, of course, Hank and I have talked about having kids. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Maybe now? Maybe wait? So far, we’ve always landed on the side of “not right now,” because we can’t figure out how to balance our careers with the demands of a new little person in our lives. I mean, if you’ve met Hank, you know how he feels about his work, and for me, radiology is not just a job, it’s a calling. How can I walk away from something like that? Answer: I can’t.
And yes, I know — there’s always daycare, and working part-time. But as much as I admire the working moms I know… I couldn’t do what they do.
Look, I’m not saying it makes you a bad parent if you put your kid in daycare, but if I had a beautiful, smiley little baby, I would never hand her over to a total stranger for eight hours a day. I don’t care how many great reviews that lady has on Angie’s List, or what kind of recommendations I had from other parents, I couldn’t do it.
That’s just me. And as certain people have pointed out, I’m not a parent, so who am I to say what I would do if I had kids? But you know what? Hank’s not a football coach, and he has all kinds of opinions about what this team or that team should do when they’ve got the ball and it’s sixth and five or whatever.
So yes, maybe I’ve seen a two-year-old in a grocery cart, with a full diaper and stains all over his shirt, drinking a can of Mr. Pibb and thought about calling Child Protective Services, but I didn’t actually do it. And I would never just scoop up a toddler and run off with him because his Neanderthal dad is about to buy him some lead-paint-covered toy car made in China by underfed eight-year-olds. (Although, hypothetically speaking, if I DID? The dad probably wouldn’t even notice, because he’s so busy playing Tetris on his cell phone. Should there be a law that allows people to abduct children if their parents are clearly incompetent? Probably not, but really, I can think of worse ideas.)
What was I saying? Oh, right — working moms. I couldn’t do what they do, and I’m not sure I could live with myself if I did, but they’re doing the best that they can. Really, what more can we ask?Read More