I started a blog because I am a blog lover. Blogs are my ritual--I love to read them with my morning coffee. In a non-psychopathic way, I feel like I really know the writers. A few times in recent years, some of my favorite bloggers have shocked me by announcing that they had been on extended vacations, blogging the whole time from what seemed like home. Another blogger who everyone believed to be the quintessential SAHM shocked her readers by announcing that she maintained a high-powered job part-time the entire time she was blogging. Hundreds of her readers commented with their proverbial mouths agape.
I don't think any jaws will drop to learn that something has been up here at 31-derful. Just when I started actually blogging and got a few readers, there has been radio silence around here. While it isn't shocking, I thought I would write about my little summer hiatus: I have been working!
It is not the little "toe in the water" that I mentioned awhile back here. While I am still going to do that, I also have another part-time job with bona fide office hours and court appearances. I even have a law student! I can't elaborate on the job itself, but I can say that it has somewhat flexible part-time hours and that it will terminate in late August. This leaves me free to work elsewhere (and, shut the front door, I sort of already have an opportunity!!!). So, how's it going?
I was scared to take on this job because, while it is in my general wheelhouse, it was a little out of my comfort zone. I am accustomed to representing one side in these matter, all in one little courthouse. I was terrified because this position has me advocating for different players in courtrooms all over our geographic area. I am happy to report that I overcame my fears, and I am kind of a boss y'all! I forgot that I really like using my brain and voice! I also just like being in the world and being in real clothes. Hooray for the small stuff!
What I don't like so much is that over half of my earnings still go straight to childcare; during the school year I could have managed without the assistance of even one measly hour of a babysitting. As it stands, I am writing hefty checks each week. The flexibility which is a good thing, also means that there is no set schedule and that I am consonantly in flux. I think it would almost be easier for me to say, "Look, I work full-time, kids. That means you go to camp or school and I am not going to be a super-volunteer at your school." As my work schedule is now (and was for many years prior to this most recent hiatus--the original title of the blog was The Stay at Home Attorney), most people don't even realize I work. .....That's cool because I feel like I am doing good work without it impacting my kids. But, by the same token, people assume I am free for volunteerism and favors. Being me, I always oblige.
.....And then there are my kids who refuse day-camps, stating summer is for relaxing (they do each do short sleep-away stints). I can't disagree since I left work to be with them after all! What they really want is for me to entertain them. Honestly, I am happy to oblige most times- you know I take my role as cruise director seriously. Long gone are the days of naps or even putting on a DVD while mommy caught up on email, write a quick legal memo, or folded laundry (they are 8 and almost 10). If we are constantly on the go or playing with each other, which we are, when am I supposed to get all this flexible work done? The constant rain has certainly not helped--I figured 75% of the time we'd be at the pool, and that I'd work while they swam. Ha! I have been to every kids' museum, mall, and movie to avoid rain.
And the extra stuff? You know, beyond keeping my kids alive, fed, and entertained..... Forget about it. A friend had a baby recently and I literally could not figure out how to get a meal cooked and dropped off to her. I cook for us every night so that part wasn't hard, but she lives 30 minutes away and I have certain standards for what I take. I usually cook a new mom one of my best meals from soup to nuts, label everything with cute tags, and place it in an adorable basket and deliver it to her doorsteps hot and ready. I couldn't do it well, so I just delivered carry out to her. She was grateful, and it worked, but I felt like a failure. What happened to you can do it all?!!! The 80's lied to me. I can't play with my kids all day and work; I can't be Martha Stewart and work, and I (obviously) can't be a diligent blogger and work.
There is going to be a learning curve and a process of figuring out what really matters to me so that I can do most of it--do the dinners I drop off have to be adorably styled? Must I tell my kids that summer camp us now a family requirement? Can I keep this blog? If anyone is still out there, I would love to hear how you do it!