Remember When: Fear of Losing Control
As I run around my tiny, newly renovated Belmont Shore apartment like a little chicken trying to find a seed, all these thoughts creep into my mind as if I don’t have enough to worry about already.
I think, “What am I doing? How did I get here? I’m so freaking tired. How am I possibly going to nail this interview? Seriously though. Why would they hire me?”
As I continue trying to talk myself out of leaving the house and keeping the kids today instead of dropping them at the sitter’s so that I can run to this interview (one that I felt lucky to land!), I feel all sorts of emotion rush over me and I want to cry. So I do.
More thoughts come and go, “Where are my shoes? Where is that clutch? Hello? A little help here? Oh my god, the diaper bag. I didn’t put on any mascara. Wait, no to textured tights? Yes, textured tights are fine—it’s the beginning of November. Wait a second, where are my keys?!”
I finally gather myself and, “MOM, POOP!” interrupts my thoughts bringing me back to reality. It’s Linda, my 4-year-old.
Great. Really? It’s all over the tile floor and her hands, but that’s fine because this is all a part of potty training, right? We’re learning.
I think, “Don’t let her know I am freaking out. I am not mad that your poop is on the floor and all over you, it’s totally fine. Honey you made a mistake. Lets clean it up!” We can turn this into a song and a teaching moment right? Moms, you may be laughing because you have, many-a-times, TURNED IT INTO A SONG. Thank you YoGabba Gabba.
In my mind, I revert back to a particular Mommy & Me class where we were guided through how to voice our feelings without talking like insensitive, condescending adults. “Lets make Mommy and Toddler feel more comfortable with the learning process about proper toilet training,” they said. Do anything but get mad. Change focus and energy into something fun! How about a quick bath? I’m not even dressed yet and I still need to straighten my hair anyway. Phew!
Right…no problem. I’m sure all the women at Mommy & Me are also getting ready for important interviews—especially their first one since the baby’s been born. Sure! Single moms too, right? They all have newborns and toddlers at the same time, just like me, I’m sure! They have no idea what they’re whipping up for dinner that night or what they’re doing tomorrow at 9 a.m. because they forgot to write it down, right? A planner? Who even carries around a planner?
My clean laundry is still sitting in the basket from three days ago because I was too busy and much too tired to fold any of it. But that’s fine because I wont be having company at my place this week anyway! Phew! Nobody visits Long Beach shore cities because who likes to find street parking, but seriously, they just plain DON’T VISIT.
The truth is, those other mommies and me—we’re the same, but so different. These women who have perfect lives, perfect shoes usually accompanied by a perfect mani-pedi too, and their kids are fully segregated at the playground. I’m not one to look sloppy or slummish, but I’m definitely more of a, “Quick! What looks good and is comfortable?” kind of Mom. Clearly I’m not pregnant anymore, but more obviously, I can’t fit my skinny jeans I was wearing last year pre-pregnancy.
At least I’m smiling though. At least today, something made me laugh and smile. But these mommies from Mommy and Me, I did grow to love them. Mostly just their kids because Linda made a connection with them, but actually some are still my very best friends. If anything, Mommy and Me taught me how to be ME. I suppose we all have similar tastes and opinions, but we are truly not all the same.
Right, back to the potty scenery. I’m sitting here at the tub cleaning off Linda and her little potty-training butt and somehow Skye is still sleeping! How is that possible? That is pure luck and blessings right there. Birthing an old soul is definitely a gift from above. You feel like your child was born and for some reason takes better care of you than sometimes you do of her. To this day, she still gives me that look. You know, the one that says, “Mom, seriously?”
So, making it through this day was a great accomplishment! That exact day was the day I was the frantic chicken trying to find my seed. Tearing (literally meaning ripping through the house with tears in my eyes) through the house looking for the perfect shoe because I was headed to my first real interview in two-and-a-half years. This was a BIG DEAL for me.
Thoughts rush through my mind. “Who’s going to hire the just-30-something girl with no professional work experience in the last two years? I mean, besides hobbies and caring for two babies, of course. Yes, I am damn good at taking care of my kids, but that doesn’t necessarily get you a J-O-B in the industry. And god, I was already going to be late and there I was, cleaning up poop.
As I grabbed everyone, ran out the door with snacks and practically carry-on luggage in tow…I thought, “I’ve got this!” That was a first-world problem. I am lucky to be where I am, I have a chance, I want it and damn right, I’m coming to get it!
I wished I hadn’t looked so postpartum at the interview, wearing those tight Spanx under my slacks and feeling a little rounder than the barely 20-somethings who were staring at me from the other side of the sales floor. I pondered possible thoughts going through their minds. “Oh, there’s the new girl? Who’s this chick? She looks pregnant still but not really and there’s no baby in sight. And um..she’s late.” Or maybe they thought, “Dang, there’s our competition.”
That afternoon marked my first experience as a mommy going back to work, approaching an environment where I felt I didn’t belong. I wasn’t 18 and I hadn’t just interned at an unpaid internship for the past year and I didn’t know the current couture trends. I’ve been reading Parenting Magazine for two years because, well, I couldn’t really afford or even find Vogue on the newsstand. So did I get the job because my friend made a phone call to get me the interview in the first place? Did they just need a body to fill the floor? Did my reference tell them how amazing I am? Or was it the HUGE compliment I got of my outfit? Maybe it was all of the above. This was a fresh starting point for me. I got out of my pregnancy yoga pants and went on back to work eight full hours a day, five days a week.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy, leaving the babies for longer periods of time. But I was thankful, yet guilty because I finished nursing Skye just shy of a year. But time has a funny way of moving at its own pace. I guess it was just up to me to roll with it or fight it. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of choices. I just had to DO, whatever that meant. Some say a lot of it is genetics, environment and family life. I say yes to all the above. My journey began as a momma taking charge of my life for my girls and myself. Fingers crossed, I’VE GOT THIS.
Thank you to my loving Editor for making sense of my thoughts.