Posts Tagged ‘mom’


Pre-Acceptance Freak Out

January 28, 2012

Friday was a busier day than I anticipated. I thought I’d have my 10 am informational interview, and then a restful day at home, maybe with a phone call or two.

But my 10 am “informational” interview felt more like a real interview, and then I checked in with a friend who works at that firm for a while.  He ended up being close with one of the associates at the offer firm, so he put us in touch to chat.

I went home, spoke to this associate for an hour, and then called next week’s firm to see if I could move things up, and then had real work to do, and then decided to engage in negotiations with the ex to get child support up to snuff. Then I freaked out, a la paycheck calculator.

Here are some of the results:

  • Associate at offer firm gave a very nice and candid view of the firm. I ended up even more excited to work there. It was good.
  • Next week’s interview can’t be moved up: the firm is in talks with a senior person to come in as a partner. They were thinking if he does come in, they’d bring me in as a junior person to support him. But timing can’t be rushed, and the area isn’t my first choice (and isn’t – really – what my resume indicates I would do, so …. ????). I’m keeping the Thursday lunch on the Calendar for the sake of the “longer view.” it’s not going to be an option for me right now.
  • The Ex was less resistant than I anticipated. I’d done a good job for the past year or so in prepping him for the reality that I would not be at big firm forever, and therefore wouldn’t be able to continue to discount child support forever. I think we can avoid court.
  • But the paycheck calculator was mean to me. 

This will not be easy. I’m nowhere near having to make huge changes, like moving out of my house or selling my car, but the series of little changes are going to hurt. 

A friend joked today, “you won’t be able to run out and get the newest iPhone and iPad anymore!” not that I’d need a new iPad. Mine is great. But if the iPhone 5 comes out ….  

No, seriously. The clothes budget will be an issue, the food budget will be affected. Things like $200 athletic fees for sports will start to hurt. 

We like Calistoga Springs sparkling water, the orange flavor. David tends to buy a case of it now and again, bc it’s cheaper by the case. I was having a glass last night, and wondered “can we keep buying this?” I asked him how much it was, and he really didn’t know. “do you think we will have to look at things that closely?” he asked.  Yes. Yes, I do.

I may need to have Lemon quit her voice lessons.

And the  there’s my other hold out – Third to house and car – the housecleaners. A $200/month expense that I just can’t imagine giving up. I’d rather cancel cable. Having a lower income doesn’t mean I have a lesser job. (Odd as that may be, but the reality when you start out in BigLaw). I don’t have any more time to scrub and polish. The housecleaners don’t tidy – they keep up with the floors, the bathrooms, the dust bunnies under the radiators. And they force us (because all of our personalities require force) to keep up with our personal messes on a twice-monthly basis, so the dust and grime underneath the clutter can be addressed.

Before we had them, I was a sad lady. A mad lady. Weekends were unhappy times because I was resentful that I spent the week working and then the weekend cleaning. So maybe I’d sit on the couch and pout, instead of cleaning, and things were yucky. Then we’d plan to have friends over, and I’d have no choice but to tackle the weeks’ (or months’) worth of grime, and I’d go on a rampage. Cleaning and bitching would go hand-in-hand. I would, essentially, turn into my mother. And like the generations before them, my kids and husband would hide in corners somewhere or leave the house. 

I can’t think of anything other than these housecleaners that has increased the quality of my life to this degree.  Maybe my iPhone. Maybe – but it may have detracted, really, because of the, well, distraction.

So I will tenaciously hold on.

And we will tighten the belts and see how it feels.

And David is still on the job market. It was easier for me because the legal market here is picking up, but other markets are still slow.  I also am currently employed, and he, in contrast, has been managing the home for the past 5-6 years. He got a masters in that time, too, but even that is somewhat in the past. And in the time that he’s been looking, he kinda caught pneumonia – so, things have been slower.

Once he’s settled, I think we will be even closer to ok. 

And so – there I am. Freaking out, but still optimistic. Could be worse, right?

I could have to move … And I do not.


So Hard

June 18, 2011

I am sitting in my bedroom, in my cozy, comfy chair. There’s a book in my lap, tasty snacks & a glass of wine at my side.

And i find myself in tears.

When my girls were small, I had power over their friendships. If there was a toddler prone to biting, or hitting, I could decide not to plan play dates with that child. A kid at the park who hoarded all the shovels, or lorded over a certain slide – find another park.

Even in elementary school, Mom’s opinion (and scheduling power) held considerable sway.

But no more. We’re in middle school now.

Now I am forced to sit and watch as my child is treated like a goddamned hockey puck. Once sacred friendships are discarded for the hope & promise of “popularity”. Plans are blown off because something more “cool” has come along.

That it happens on the eve of a several hundred dollar birthday outing only compounds my anger. My sense of protectiveness cannot endure. (First my daughter, then my wallet?)

I so want to march up and say “this is not the behavior of a good friend. Or of a good person!”

But at the threat of my wrath, my daughter’s tears form.

“Mommy, please. I can handle this. This is mine.”

And I think back to my own 7th grade self. In June! Almost 8th. What if my mom marched up to my friends and gave them what-for.

Well, wow. Um, I’d have died.

So I bite my tongue.

I bitch to my husband.

I make veiled references in emails to my friends (the nasty girls’ moms).

And I wonder –

Do they scoff? do they look back to times when they sat, looking across the street at giggling girls while their own was sitting in her room, with a brave smile and forced forgiveness, and think “karma, baby!”

I am struggling, with this independence business. I want to trust. But I fear that my girls allow for too much. They take too much on the chin. They don’t stand up & say ‘enough’.

Tonight, I told her: You need higher standards for your friendships.

Her friend (a fellow blown-off girl) scoffed at me. “if we had higher standards, we’d have no friends.”

My indignation only causes bitterness from the person I want to protect.

This is so hard.