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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Well, after all kinds of back and forth and craziness regarding my future employment, I can finally say that I’ve settled on something and gotten a job.
An awesome job. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s about as good as this whole “job” thing gets. (I wouldn’t know. I’m 28 and have been in school for-literally-effing-ever, so I have never had a real one before.)
I’m going to be an associate at a private practice in Massachusetts, about 45 minutes from where Caroline and I live now. It’s a busy and successful practice with two other super-nice young doctors who also have kids, the office is beautiful, and my hours are perfect: Monday and Tuesday 8-7, and Friday 8-5. I’ll have to find a sitter I trust to pick her up on my long days, but this will leave me four full days of the week to spend with Caroline. And this poor child has been in daycare from 7:15am to 5:30pm nearly every day of her life since I went back to dental school and then residency, two and a half years ago. I am so excited to actually make a comfortable living and still be able to spend more time with my daughter… particularly since her father is moving eight hours away, and I’m sure she’s going to be somewhat… out of sorts.
Basically, it’s my dream come true, I think. I have worked so hard for this.
So all of that is a huge relief and very exciting. I’ll be finishing my residency at the end of June and starting at this practice in early July, assuming I can get a Massachusetts license by then, because as it turns out, it is the most giant pain in the butt ever to acquire a Massachusetts dental license. I need to pass a physical and take a legal exam and get a passport photo taken and donate a kidney and give up my firstborn child and wait, I’m not even sure what we’re talking about anymore, but all of that seems reasonable, no? Thanks a lot, Massachusetts. We might never be friends.
Caroline and I also found the most adorable house for rent ever, located in a fancy-pantsy town nearby, so we are waiting to hear back about whether or not we are cool enough to live there. I suspect we might not be, seeing as how I have been known in the past to forget to pay my bills until whatever I’m not paying for gets shut off (well played, cable company) and I am a scandalously single young mom. But, we will see.
So, things are looking pretty good for me and Caroline these days. As my friend says, “Great kid, great job, great future– only one piece is missing now, Jules…” She means men, of course, and although I have pretty phenomenally terrible luck in that category, I’m sure that someday, all of that will work itself out, too.
And if it doesn’t? That’s okay. Because I’ve got my dream job… and I’ve got my baby.
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Apartment, Breakups, Caroline, Dating, Dentistry, Friends, milestones, Moving, Private practice, Residency, Single Parenting | Categories:
Caroline, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
Monday, May 14th, 2012
(Alternate Title: This is Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Read Kids’ Books.)
Have you ever sat there, reading a classic kids’ book to your children, and thought… what in the everloving eff is going on here? I have. In fact, I do it on a regular basis. (Don’t even get me started on fairy tales.) For your convenience, I’ve listed here several books to watch out for, summarized their questionable messages, and thoughtfully re-titled them to more accurately reflect their content. No need to thank me. I do it for the kids. Let’s begin.
Guess How Much I Love You: Okay, I’ll be the one to say it. Big Nutbrown Hare is the biggest one-upper who ever lived. His son is all “I love you as high as I can reach” and he’s all “Oh yeah well I love you as high as I can reach, which is way higher since I’m older and taller and smarter and better-looking.” There is no need to get so competitive, you know? Your kid’s just trying to tell you he loves you, so maybe don’t be such a jerk about it.
Moral of the story: Anything you can do, your parents can do better. Sweetheart.
New title: Guess How Much I Can One-Up You.
The Runaway Bunny: It’s sweet that the mother bunny loves her baby bunny so much that she’d resort to all kinds of impossible shapeshifting and crazy stalking and improbable kidnapping to keep him near her. Wait… no it isn’t. It’s the creepiest thing ever. And I thought I was a helicopter mom. I mean seriously. This woman is gonna be all up in her poor future daughter-in-law’s business. I can smell it from a mile away.
Moral of the story: Mommy loves you sooo much, honey, that if you leave her side, she will hunt you down Taken-style and drag you right back to where you belong, so stay exactly where you are, so help me Jesus. You can move out when you’re forty. Five.
New title: When Helicopter Moms Attack.
Goodnight Moon: Okay, I’ll admit that I love Goodnight Moon. (Sorry, Margaret Wise Brown. Didn’t mean to call you out twice here. Love you, girlfriend.) Still, books like this are the reason my kid takes 45 minutes to go to bed every night. It is the original book of bedtime stalling excuses. Whatever happened to just saying goodnight to each other and going to bed? Let’s not encourage saying goodnight to the room and the moon and the cow jumping over the moon, (which is not real), the bears and the chairs and the kittens and the mittens and the house and the mouse and the wait there’s a mouse in here?? What the f*ck?? “Goodnight nobody” is right, because none of us are getting any sleep tonight, are we. Get real, kids. When I say it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime now. Where’s the children’s Benadryl?
Moral of the story: It’s perfectly acceptable to take so much time to go to bed that it’s basically the next morning already.
New title: But I Don’t Want To Go To Bed. Five More Minutes?
The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real): This story basically traumatized me as a child. Yes, I am sensitive. (I cry several tears for each and every mean comment you guys leave me.) Can we first discuss the “Skin Horse” for a second? That is some Jeffrey Dahmer sh*t right there. But mostly, my problem with this story is that it’s just super sad. The little boy loves this toy and lures him into a false sense of security that he’s gonna be real someday and then gets all sick and sends him off to be burned alive (what?!) and then gets a nice new shiny one and forgets about the old one and goes to the beach, the end. Not nice, little boy. Luckily the rabbit does get to become real because he cries, and he runs off to the woods with the other wild rabbits where they all probably live another two to three weeks, tops.
Moral of the story: If you get too sick, Mommy and Daddy will burn all your toys. Also, you can get anything if you cry about it. Even if it’s impossible.
New title: How Toys Become Super Depressing.
Postscript: I sent a draft of this post, as I often do, to a friend so that she could prescreen it for excessive witchiness.
Me: Can you make sure this post isn’t too much? I think everyone on Parents’ Facebook page thinks I’m a huge wench. With a potty mouth.
Her: Oh my God!! You’re like the Ann Coulter of the parenting world!!!
Me: …That’s the meanest thing anyone’s ever said to me.
Her: Oh. I meant it as a compliment.
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Saturday, March 10th, 2012
It has been brought to my attention that whenever I attempt to date, I turn into a magnet for The Crazy. (See here and here. Oh, and here. One more… here.)
I mean, I can’t really complain too much. I’m moving away this summer, so there is little point in entering into an actual relationship. (Though you’ve got to admit that it does make for entertaining blog material.) But I do find it frustrating that no matter what I do or how I meet these guys, I always manage to end up in Crazytown.
But hold that pity party for just a minute. I was thinking about it the other day and realized that this scenario sounded awfully familiar. In fact, I had a friend in college with the exact same problem. She used to sit me down in the dining hall and go on and on about how every single guy she’s ever dated has been a total nutjob, and I would smile and nod but couldn’t help but think, “obviously not every guy in the world can be crazy, my dear. The one thing all these guys have in common is you. Either you’re the crazy one, or you just pick all the wrong guys, and in either case, the problem is not them. It’s you.”
So, fine. I get it, b*tchy college me. The problem is me. I pick the crazy ones. I can own it.
Based on this philosophy, my best friend decided to take matters into her own hands and scour the internet for the perfect men for me. Whenever she finds a good one, she helpfully emails me a link so I can check out the dude. I thought you guys might enjoy seeing the lineup.
Ready or not, here they are: my future
blog subjects dates.
The more baby mamas, the better… right?
Wait, no, it’s “the more arrests, the better”.
This one loves kids! Or just their money. Potato, potahto.
It’s important to have similar views on parenting and discipline.
If he’s not crazy anymore, I will literally eat my shoe.
What do you guys think? Any of them worth a shot? I mean, all of these guys have to be at least 85% less crazy than some of the ones I’ve already dated, right?
On second thought, maybe I’d better reconsider turning over the reins of my personal life to this particular friend… (Love you, babe.)
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Thursday, March 1st, 2012
A friend of mine recently became a single mom, in such a difficult way that I can’t even pretend to begin to understand how she is feeling. She is scared, and I don’t blame her.
It’s been long enough for me now that single parenthood is just my way of life. I don’t even think about it most of the time. But I do remember how it felt in the beginning. It was nerve-wracking, earth-shattering, free-falling. The way we got there might be different (and certainly some ways of getting there are more traumatic than others), but all of us who end up in this place could have used some words of encouragement in the beginning, when single parenthood is new and terrifying, and your entire world has shifted, and the earth even feels different under your feet.
So, these words are for you… the new single parents.
Right now you are afraid, not only of the overwhelming responsibility of raising a child (or children) on your own, but of the dizzying possibility that you may never feel normal again. Maybe you don’t even want to feel normal– you don’t want this to be your reality.
Even the little things seem like insurmountable tasks. Going to the grocery store on a weekend, for example. Not just physically missing the help with the kids– you can handle that. Watching the “complete” families, the “traditional” ones. That’s the worst. Feeling the unsettling void of the support of a significant other. Having no one to share the struggles and triumphs and proud moments of parenthood with. You’ll be jealous of the people you see who have that. You’ll feel cheated. You’ll be afraid that you will never have that again. Single parenthood will feel unnatural and impossible, like trying to breathe underwater.
But remember this.
You will have something incredibly special that they will never understand. The love shared between a single parent and their child is fierce and beautiful and overwhelming and is, in my opinion, an entirely different kind of love than anything a coupled-up parent can ever know. Everything will be more intense for you: the challenges and stress of parenthood, yes, but also the attachment and bond to your children that develops when you are the only one they rely on, day in and day out.
You might be afraid that you can’t do it, that it’s too much to handle, but you can do it, for the simple reason that you have to… because if you don’t, no one else will.
And there will come a day, in the not-as-distant-as-you-think future, when you realize, in a quiet moment reading to your children before bed, or seeing the wild excitement in their faces as you walk through the daycare door, that you not only don’t remember how it was before, but you don’t miss it… and you truly wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Single parenthood will feel like all you’ve ever known. It will be happy, and peaceful, and there will be joy and laughter and more love than you ever could have imagined.
The hard times will pass, like the good ones do. This is only one moment out of your whole life. You will be proud of yourself and your children and how far you have come.
Everything is going to be all right. I can promise you that– because I’ve been there, and now I am here… and someday soon, you will be too.
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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Caroline is in Arizona for the week with Tyler, visiting his parents, because he has her for her birthday this year. Which means, of course, that I’m on momcation… and missing her.
Whenever she’s away from me for more than a day or two, I always try to make the most of it, and this week has been no exception. Since she left on Friday, I’ve been going nonstop, doing all the things that are impossible to do when you are a single mom to a toddler who’s in bed before 8pm. I went shopping with friends, salsa dancing with my South American friends from work, have been out partying with friends until all hours (a more-than-semi-ridiculous night which actually ended up with me stitching up my friend’s face after she nailed herself with the car door), went on a really fun date with a very cute guy (judge me), celebrated match day out at the bars with my dental student friends, and of course enjoyed the requisite sleeping in and staying up super late, just because I can.
Clearly, I’ve been enjoying my single, childless life to the fullest. I actually almost started to be grateful that she was gone for so long, because I was having so much fun and had really been in need of a break. Then I was at work today, talking to Caroline in between patients via FaceTime, and she noticed my scrubs and head covering.
“Are you done being a dentist yet, Mama?” she asked.
“No, not yet,” I said, thinking she meant for the day. ”I have awhile yet to go.”
“Oh,” she said sadly. “I thought it was time for me to come see Mama. I asked Daddy if I could see my Mama and he said no because you were far far away. I miss my Mama.”
That was the sound of the Fun Train coming to a screeching, crashing halt– stopped in its tracks by the Divorced Mom Guilt. I felt so guilty that I kind of wanted to cry. Here I am, going out nonstop and having a blast, while my poor kid is 2000 miles away, missing her mom.
It’s not that I don’t miss her, of course… I keep as busy as I do because there is no point in wallowing in the sadness of her being gone. All I can do is enjoy myself as much as I can until she gets back.
But man, that made me feel bad… as it should… I think. What about you, fellow parents, single or otherwise– are you able to enjoy your kid-free time, or do you feel guilty about it if you do?
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Caroline, Dating, Divorce, Friends, Residency, Single Parenting, Visitation | Categories:
Caroline, Divorce, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting